Review 1715: #ThirkellBar! The Demon in the House

This third book of Thirkell’s Barsetshire series returns to the village of High Rising and Laura Morland and her young son Tony. Tony is now thirteen, and he is of course the demon in the house.

The novel is set during four holiday seasons that make up most of the year, during which Tony creates as much havoc as is humanly possible. During the Easter holidays in the first section, Tony talks his mother into getting him a new bike. He has grown out of his old one but is not yet tall enough for an adult bike, so she compromises by renting one from Mr. Brown. Then, knowing his talent for falling into trouble, she waits, agonized, to hear about his lifeless body being picked up from the road.

During the course of the novel, several of the old friends from High Rising are on the scene. We also meet new ones, though, in particular Master Wesendonck, Tony’s friend from school, who manages to be silent throughout the novel while proving himself to be loyal and sweet.

Lest we be afraid that there will be no romance in this novel, there is one, but it is very understated. The novel is mostly about Tony’s hijinks. Tony is the same ebulliant, know-it-all motormouth, but some of his adventures seem a little young for thirteen. Still, times have changed, and children now are probably a lot more sophisticated. In any case, this is another charming and funny entry in the series. I hope that the readers who are not on Team Tony will still want to continue with the series.

Related Posts

High Rising

Wild Strawberries

Diary of a Provincial Lady

6 thoughts on “Review 1715: #ThirkellBar! The Demon in the House

  1. Liz Dexter August 31, 2021 / 11:21 am

    How funny, Virago must have left this one out because it’s so full of Tony! I will pick up the ebook as mentioned on your last such post, though, for completion’s sake!

  2. Yvonne August 31, 2021 / 5:52 pm

    Overall, I liked this one, although I could only read it in small stages. For such a short book it took me a while to get through. Tony was so annoying that after reading a chapter I’d have to have a long break from it, but some of his escapades were amusing. Not sure if I’d recommend this book to anyone and I can see now why it was hard to find a print copy. Obviously, not a popular book. I’m looking forward to the next one!

    • whatmeread August 31, 2021 / 7:44 pm

      I guessed it probably wasn’t one of the most popular. That may be determining which books Virago is reprinting.

  3. Penelope Gough August 31, 2021 / 6:35 pm

    I did manage to get the book through Internet Archive, although I found it a little strange reading that format. I really enjoyed it. The Demon was at times appalling and then appealing, annoying, ridiculous, but could be charming. His funny silent friend was very sweet and it was lovely to be reacquainted with the cast of characters from High Rising. I laughed a lot over the Christmas present buying episode. Thirkell’s writing and humour made it all worthwhile and I ended up liking this book very much.

    • whatmeread August 31, 2021 / 7:45 pm

      I found it funny as well. Yes, that friend was sweet, and I hope we see more of him, Master Wiesendonk.

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