|Publisher:||Random House Audio Publishing Group|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 1.50(h) x 5.00(d)|
|Age Range:||9 - 12 Years|
About the Author
Ian Ogilvy is the author of two other books about the intrepid Measle Stubbs: Measle and the Wrathmonk and its sequel, Measle and the Dragodon. He is also an actor and has appeared in many plays, as well as in the popular British TV series The Saint, in which he played the title role. He was born in England but now lives in southern California with his wife, his two stepsons, and lots and lots of dogs.
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Measle and the Wrathmonk
The Horrible House
Measle Stubbs was ten and a half years old. He was small, thin and bony. He had a short snub nose, a pair of eyes colored a deep emerald green and (when he felt like it) a wide and friendly smile. His hair was brown and stood up all over his head in spiky tufts. It was the oddest haircut -- long where it should have been short, short where it should have been long -- and the reason it was like this was because Measle cut his hair himself, using a blunt and rusty kitchen knife, with which he sawed and hacked at his hair whenever it got so long that it fell in his eyes. Apart from having the most uneven haircut imaginable, his hair also hadn't been washed in a very long time. Neither had his clothes, and sometimes he smelled pretty bad, particularly when the weather was warm. It wasn't warm very often where Measle Stubbs lived, because he lived in a cold and horrible house.
The horrible house was at the far end of a dreary, dirty street full of dreary, dirty houses, but three things set it apart from all the others. The first was the way it looked -- all black, with a tall, pointed roof, tall, dark, narrow windows like blind eyes and tall, soot-caked chimneys that were like dirty fingers pointing at the sky. It looked like something bad had happened in it -- and, quite possibly, something bad could happen in it again tomorrow.
The second thing was that it was the only house that was occupied. All the other houses had been deserted by their owners long ago and their doors and windows boarded over.
The third thing was also the strangest: all day and all night, winter, summer, autumn and spring, there was a small, black cloud that hung, never moving, over the dismal roof, dribbling a steady, constant stream of rain that fell only on the house where Measle Stubbs lived and not at all on any of the others in the street.
The house belonged to Basil Tramplebone, and Basil Tramplebone was Measle Stubbs's legal guardian. Measle lived in the house with just his legal guardian for company, and his legal guardian wasn't good company at all. He was very tall and thin and he always wore black clothes. A black coat and a black shirt and a black tie; black trousers and black socks and black shoes. His greasy hair was black, and he parted it in the middle and plastered it down on his head with black shoe polish. The only things that weren't black about him were his face and his hands: Basil's face was very white, as though all the blood had been drained out and replaced with milk. His eyes were like fish eyes -- staring and blank and very, very cold. His long, bony hands were the color of candles, and the skin was so dry that it rustled when he rubbed his palms together, which he did when he was pleased. Basil Tramplebone wasn't pleased very often, so the rustling noise didn't happen very often.
If the outside of Basil Tramplebone's house was grim and gloomy and depressingly ugly, the inside was even worse. All the rooms in the house smelled bad -- each one in a different way -- and most of them frightened Measle half to death. He certainly didn't dare go into the room that was supposed to be his bedroom. There was a huge black oak wardrobe in there, full of clothes that weren't his. They felt damp and smelled of mildew. Once Measle had gotten up enough courage to sort through the clothes. He stopped when he found the jacket. It was made of some sort of rough material and it had three sleeves -- two in the usual places and a third that stuck out at the back. When he finally got up the courage to ask Basil about it, Basil told him to mind his own business -- but if he must know, all the clothes in the wardrobe had been left there over the years by visiting friends of his, some of whom were, perhaps, a little different.
The wardrobe was in one dark corner of the bedroom, and a great, black bed that looked like a coffin was in the other. There were black velvet curtains over the windows and the glass in the windows was painted black, so you couldn't see out at all. What with the black painted walls and ceiling and floorboards, it was one of the gloomiest rooms you can imagine, and one that would certainly give you nightmares if you tried to sleep in it -- so Measle didn't try at all. Instead, he slept on a pile of old rags in the kitchen, right up by the ancient iron stove, which was the only place in that horrible house that was at all warm.
Measle hated Basil Tramplebone and, of course, Basil Tramplebone hated Measle, because Basil hated everybody. He only looked after Measle because Measle's mother and father had been killed by an encounter with a deadly snake when Measle was four years old, leaving poor little Measle an orphan. The story about the deadly snake had come from Basil who, in Measle's experience, always told the truth. His parents had left a lot of money in the bank and now it was all Measle's, but a judge had said that Measle was too young to have control of all that money and to live by himself and had appointed Basil -- who said he was Measle Stubbs's fourth cousin twelve times removed and, therefore, Measle's closest living relative -- to look after him and his money. The odd thing was that the judge had looked a little like Basil. The same black clothes, the same cold, fishy eyes, the same white, white face. He'd even talked a bit like Basil, too -- and every time he'd looked at Basil, he'd smiled like a crocodile, as if he was approving of everything that Basil said.Measle and the Wrathmonk. Copyright © by Ian Ogilvy. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I found this title by sheer chance. I was familiar with the author's acting credits but hadn't known Ian Ogilvy wrote books, let alone children's books. Well, my ignorance has been remedied and thanks to the luminous vocal talents of Nicholas Grace, just about one of the most AMAZING actors to have graced stage and screen, Measle and the Wrathmonk is a delight to listen to let alone read. Grace's acting ability transforms what might normally be an ordinary but entertaining narration into a radio play like performance that dazzles listeners. Distinct accents as well as cadences for each character bring this story to life in a way reading on one's own never could. The first in a series of Measle tales, I look forward to Grace's future interpretation of Measle's adventures.
When my teacher recommended this book to me, I couldn't wait to start. As soon as I started reading it, I couldn't put it down. I would try to read whenever I could. When my teacher bought the sequal, I knew it was going to be as good as this.
When I first saw the cover, I said that this might be a good book to read and I read it. In the middle of the book I was so into it that every time I finished a chapter, I wanted to read more. Its an amazing book and I just love it.
Wow!!!!!! this is the best fantasy i have ever read! you have got to read this book! i liked how he destroyed basil! you are going to love this book!
This great book by Ian Oglivy takes place at a horrible home where Measle lives with his evil Wrathmonk gurdian Basil whos building a highly intresting train set that Measele is desprete to play with.So he gets Basil out of the house and goes upstairs to play until basil gets home and shrinks him and puts him on the train set which leads to one big adventure! I liked this book because of the adventure and charctures.
I think that this is a great book to begin a series. It is about a boy who lives with a guardian who is a wrathmonk named Basil Tramplebone. I think that it is cool when Measle gets shrunk and has to survive in Basil's train set. He helps other people that were turned into plastic figures by Basil Tramplebone. They had to create a hideout to keep away from Basil Tramplebone and his pet Cuddlebug. Cuddlebug is like a bat and bird mixed together. I think the second book will be as good.