Groosham Grange

Author: Anthony Horowitz
Read by: Nickolas Grace
BBC Audio
RRP: 11.99
ISBN-13: 978 1 8460 7132 4
ISBN-10: 1 84607 132 1
Available 05 February 2007

When David is expelled from Beton College, his parents don't know what to do with him - until the mysterious letter arrives from Groosham Grange. This school is miles away from anywhere, has one day's holiday a year, and sounds like an awful place to send a child. His parents think this could be the answer to their problems, but it is definitely the start of David's...

For those unfamiliar with Anthony Horowitz's Groosham Grange series, this is the perfect place to start - mainly because it's the first in a short series of two tales (the second, also released this month by BBC Audio, being The Unholy Grail: A Tale of Groosham Grange).

The story starts with poor David Eliot being given a hard time by his parents because his school report is not what they were expecting. I couldn't help smiling to myself as David's father got angry with his son - explaining to him that in his day his father was a lot stricter with him when he was at school. Telling David that his father would have hung him up in the refrigerator by his feet if he so much as sneezed without permission. It that wasn't bad enough, David then has to explain that he's also been expelled.

By a quirk of fate, this event coincides with Mr Eliot receiving a prospectus from Groosham Grange school. The next thing poor David knows is he has been whisked off to Groosham Grange and it's not long before he realises that this is a completely different sort of school to the one he's been used too.

Read by Nickolas Grace, this three CD collection represents excellent value for money. Horowitz is no hurry to get the listener to Groosham Grange and this puts us in the same position as David - not knowing what to expect. The result is that once David arrives at the school and is exposed to the various characters there, the listener is pretty nervous too about what to expect.

This is a wonderfully written story, which is well read by Grace - who brings the characters to life.

Ray Thompson

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