Item description for Digging Up Donald by Steven Pirie...
It's the end of the world in Mudcaster, and the Mother is beset by family troubles - Maureen's unborn babies have been stolen by demons in the night, and Robert has taken to playing with dead Uncle Norman. The Father is talking to his pot plants again, which wouldn't be so bad if the Mother hadn't heard them answering back. In dark times, the Mother knows that only by drawing the family together, the living and the dead, may they overcome the trials of Ending. Together they are strong; divided they are weak. Aunt Maude is easy to find; she was cremated just the year before. But others, like Cousin Hilderbrand, who had his brain confiscated by medical science - before he'd finished with it, some said - prove more difficult. The real ancients are little more than rumours their boxes. The family must dead with troublesome dead, demons and - worse still - the living, in order to save the day.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.43" Width: 5.43" Height: 0.94" Weight: 0.84 lbs.
Release Date Sep 21, 2007
Publisher Immanion Press
ISBN 1904853463 ISBN13 9781904853466
Reviews - What do customers think about Digging Up Donald?
"It was biscuits at ten paces." Jul 8, 2005
I knew, from the moment I read that opening sentence, that I was in for a thoroughly enjoyable experience with "Digging Up Donald".
I'd seen the book at Lunacon in March, and, to my regret, hadn't bought it (being a Donald, I was curious as to why anyone would want to dig one of us up). Finally, curiosity and regret got the better of me, and I ordered it from this site.
And loved it.
I like my days sunny, my coffee strong, and my novels "Oh my god, I have to put this down because I'm laughing so hard" humourous. And Pirie certainly delivers. From the quirky cast of characters, to the well developed village life, and through one of the more creative visions of the Afterlife in print, he handles a large and disparate group of elements deftly, never letting the lunacy get out of hand, but keeping it nicely balanced straight through. But the real clincher is Pirie's voice and use of language. One pictures him sitting in a pub, surrounded by his chums, and simply regaling them with the story, so individualistic is his turn of phrase. It's his story telling, more than the 'end of the millenium and impending Armageddon' storyline, which makes this novel an absolute delight.
And that's brilliant. Because that means there will be more stories forthcoming from this man, and given that this is a first novel, things will only get better.
Sign me up. And I'll take a custard cream, please.
A wonderful, quirky excursion May 14, 2005
Author Steven Pirie has penned a truly wonderful story in DIGGING UP DONALD. Comparisons to Pratchett and others are apt due to the style of humor (which is singularly British in my mind, though I might add Americans Tim Powers and James P. Blaylock as others who invite comparison), but Pirie's voice is all his own. The humor ranges from subtle to laugh-out-loud funny, and is always infectious. Pirie's skill in expostion brings to life as peculiar and fascinating a cast of characters as you're likely to find anywhere, with the forces of 'good' being as odd as those of 'evil,' though the former are delightfully so whereas the latter are sinister. In the midst of raising the dead and saving the world from demonic forces, Pirie crafts an honest and effective romance between his young protagonist Robert and a girl named Joan, daughter of one of Robert's adversaries.
I highly recommend this book.
A Great Read ! Feb 5, 2005
I've never visited an English village the likes of Mudcaster, but fantasy writer Steven Pirie has woven such a vivid and detailed tapestry of a tale in Digging Up Donald, I feel as if I was there when the Richards family, both dead and living, joined forces to save the world from the demonic machinations of the possessed Reverend Likewise and his evil minion, Curate Dodds.
The story is told from the perspective of young Robert Richards. Charged by The Mother to find and assemble every family member against an unthinkable doom, he embarks on a rite-of-passage mission, finding love along the way and traveling literally to hell and back.
While all this sounds quite serious, the tone of the story is anything but. Pirie has been likened to writer Terry Pratchett in terms of his humorous fantasy style, and I will add to that a comparison with Tom Holt and Douglas Adams. I've read few other books that incorporate such imaginative witticisms, such gently twisted dark satire, as Digging Up Donald.
The plot is pleasingly intricate but even more compelling are the characters. The cast of Digging Up Donald are a collection of weirdly original folk - some human, some not; some living, some not - that will delight. Take The Grandmother, for instance, an ancient witch living in a rusted bath chair, who ... " sends her teeth off on errands of their own, to forage for food or effect terrible revenge upon the neighbors' ankles." Or the deceased yet talkative Donald, to be found in the nether-worldly Parting Breath Pub, with hair like a tangle of worms and fetid breath leaking from the eye sockets. These unforgettable characters are saved from mere oddity by the empathy and warmth with which Pirie imbues them.
The underlying theme of the book seems to be the triumph of young love and family solidarity over both the forces of evil and of progress. In our mundane reality, the world goes unthreatened by the domination of demon-possessed reverends, and there exist few if any tea and crumpet families like the Richards to confound their fiendish plots. But if you'd like to tread the imaginative trail of such a possibility, you'll have to read Digging Up Donald.
Best thing on my to-read stack! Oct 17, 2004
Let's just say that "Digging Up Donald" was on my stack with Bruce Sterling's "Distraction", China Mieville's "King Rat", Robert Rankin's "The Hollow Chocolate Bunnies of the Apocalypse", and Nathanael West's "A Cool Million", yet it was "Donald" I kept coming back to. The comparison to Terry Pratchett is most apt, not only in the style of humor, but also in the manner in which both authors build up a nice "what the hell is going on here?" tension.
This book has a host of fine points: domineering matriarchs; a sex-crazed reverend with, shall we say, unwholesome intentions for the world; young love; not-quite-so-young lust; a bar fight in the land of the dead; high tea in hell . . . I'd say more, but a large part of the fun lies in figuring out Pirie's particular brand of mythology.
My favorite part of the book was the well-developed relationship between young Robert and the reverend's daughter, Joan. These passages were surprisingly sensitive and insightful.
All in all, a fine read!
Offbeat, Strange, and Wonderful Sep 16, 2004
Offbeat, Strange, and Wonderful...
This book has got to be one of the most enjoyable yarns I've read in years. Fans of Terry Pratchett, rejoice! This book should be read by anyone who likes there humor just a little bit off. Highly enjoyable, and worth the price of admission.