Diana Wynne Jones, Archer’s Goon, 1984.
I can’t count the number of times I’ve reread this book. I just so enjoy falling back into Howard’s world, as he puzzles out the seven siblings who “farm” various aspects of life in the town in which his family lives. It’s one of those wacky bildungsromans that can only happen in a brilliant fantasy world that is so closely tied to reality and yet so far from it at the same time. Part of my fascination is that I identify with Howard, as he daydreams and constructs spaceships in his head; part of it is that I long for adventure and mystery. Plus, a goon just sounds like fun.
How can one dislike a book that begins by identifying facts it will prove? They're not boring and trivial facts, either, but are essential and life-changing facts like “All power corrupts, but we need electricity” and “It pays to increase your word power.” Like most of Wynne Jones’ books, this one is fun and silly, and repays rereads. A nice divertissement.