Angus Flint was first published as The Fearsome Friend in 1975, and was reprinted with its current title in 1978 – for my re-read, I chose to go with the first publication date. It’s a very short book, coming up to only six chapters, and is one of the DWJ books aimed at much younger readers. I was already in my teens when I discovered DWJ, so as a result I bypassed all of her books for this age group, making this my first read.
My copy is from the omnibus Vile Visitors, which already gives you an idea of what the story’s about. Angus Flint is indeed vile, from the moment he showed up at Candida’s house. He insults the furniture, hogs the telly, complains when the children play the piano, eats all the food, spanks the dog, and – worst of all – lifts the children up by their hair. The parents, in true DWJ style, are unhelpful. They even abandon Candida and her brothers Pip and Tony to entertain Angus in the daytime.
Being a shorter, simpler sort of story, Who Got Rid of Angus Flint? isn’t going to impress anyone looking for something complex, or great character development. I did thoroughly enjoy Candida’s voice, though. DWJ usually have characters with a sense of humour that I really appreciate, and Candida is one of them.
While the adults in Wilkin’s Tooth were untrustworthy, and the The Ogre from The Ogre Downstairs was basically like an example of how not to parent, the parents in Angus Flint are depicted as not necessarily bad, but still human – weak “cowardly” that would run off and let their children do the dirty work for them. Thanks to a bit of magic, the children – and the insulted furniture – get their own back, ridding them of Angus Flint once and for all.
Readers By Night
– previously posted on my Weebly