Yet more news cribbed from alt.tv.red-dwarf – specifically, this post. The talking book of The Illmoor Chronicles: The Ratastophe Catastophe by David Lee Stone have been released on CD and cassette – which is read by none other than Robert Llewellyn!
The synopsis for the novel (from amazon.co.uk), is as follows:
“The first in an hilarous and exciting new fantasy sequence from a fresh new talent. The Duke of Dulwich is in distress – several reports are coming in that the city is beginning to be over-run by a plague of rats. Naturally he has killed off all witnesses, but daily the problem is becoming more obvious. His corrupt council, led by the hapless ex-wizard Tambor has no solutions. He must send for mercenaries to rid his city of the rampant rodents. Heralds ride out from every gate, each hoping to bring back the saviour of the city. Part-time herald, full-time thief, and grandson to Tambor, Jimmy Quickstint is the lucky man – falling haphazardly upon the skills of Diek Wustapha – a charmer – recently inhabited by magic and suddenly irresistible to girls, sheep – and rats. Diek fulfils his task and is promised £500 for his troubles. But once the rats have gone, the council renege on their deal. Full of anger (and magic), Diek charms the children of Dulwich out of the city, playing on his mouth organ, where he disappears into the caves and woodland of the surrounding area. The Duke is now in despair. Jimmy and his useless friends Groan, a barbarian mercenary, and Gordo, a dwarf – decide they will bring the children back, and garner a huge reward. But their adventure is only just beginning…”
www.illmoorchronicles.com is the website for the series of books; not knowing anything about it, I did some investigating. The Ratastrophe Catastophe is the first volume in this series of “funny fantasy novels for children”. The novel was originally written back in 1997 as After the Organist; he wrote the second volume of Illmoor in 1999, then called Leaving Legends. After the Organist was rewritten in 2001, as David “feels some elements are missing from the orginal ‘Pied Piper’ tale”; and in 2002, a deal was signed for three books of the Illmoor Chronicles with Hodder Childrens Books. This year the first novel, renamed The Ratastrophe Catastrophe was published in the UK in June in hardback; the paperback is due to be published this December. See his bibliography for publishing details for future books, and other countries.
I’ve obviously not head Robert’s reading of it; but David says in his diary on the site that “It’s hilarious! Robert’s take on Burnie, the troglodyte translator, had me in hysterics! Seriously, look out for this. It’s great!”. Excellent. The book sounds rather good as well; I may hunt it out…
Incidentally, this is our 100th News/Site Updates article since relaunching back in September. Hooray for us!