Review Detail

4.0 1
A bit unlikely...but very likable!
Overall rating
 
5.0
Plot/Characters/Writing Style
 
5.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
0.0
The Fall of Fergal is The First Unlikely Exploit in the adventures of the McNally family, though it is hard to say exactly what place Fergal will play in the remaining novels, as he dies&well, splats, almost immediately. Page one, in fact. The author, Philip Ardagh, then spends the rest of the book explaining how exactly the fatal accident that occurs on page one came to be.

To say that the McNally family is a bit down on their luck would be like saying my cat is rather fond of cat food. In fact, shes a 20 pounder and the McNallys havent had an acquaintance with luck in years. That is, until little Le Fay McNally makes it to the finals of the Tap n Type typing competition.

As part of being in the finals, Le Fay gets a fancy room at very posh Dell Hotel. Its only supposed to be for her, but Jackie, the oldest of the McNally kids (pretty much a grown woman), decides it would be good for them all to have a holiday (other than Rufus McNally, their taciturn and sole remaining and non-parenting parent). So Jackie, Fergal, and the almost-identical twins Albie and Joshua, set off by bus to join her. On the way they meet Mr. Peach, a ventriloquist and beat poet (not exactly Kerouac, but very nice), who figures largely in the story later on.

Le Fays competition in the type off includes the nasty Graham Large, a regular dandy of a kid, who is not above shortcuts and cheating to get ahead. Things would have turned disastrous indeed if not for the sharp eyes of Fergal, the keen hearing of Jackie, and the kindness of Mr. Peach (and Malcolm Kent, the Tap n Type representative and a very nice fellow to boot).

But it is Twinkle-Toes Tweedy, the hotels detective, that ultimately changes the lives of all the McNallys after the competition is over. And Im not going to say another word, as Ive probably said too much already and Id rather have you off reading this delightful little book than read any more from me about it.

Its funny, a bit dark, exquisitely odd, and genuinely original. I recommend it for readers aged 9 and up (especially those reluctant ones), though I think just about anyone with a decent sense of humor would enjoy this one and the other unlikely events that occur in the sequels.
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