Artemis Fowl
by
Eoin Colfer

 

More in this series:

 

Review of Book
When I first started to track down Nat's audio recordings, I put off listening to this one for quite some time. It was, after all, a children's title about a 12-year-old criminal mastermind…and fairies.

But as the story unfolded, contemporary, everyday things that I could relate to were introduced. Such as email, laptops and plasma screens - not to mention futons, budget cuts, and tribunals - and an elf with a daily moisturising regime..?! Mix that together with Eoin Colfer's tongue-in-cheek humour and his own brand of sprites, dwarves, goblins and the like, with Nat's revelatory range of characterizations and voices….and I was hooked. Big Time!

Eoin (pronounced Owen) Colfer is one incredibly clever writer, as well as being a very funny man. Born and raised in Wexford, Ireland he is a teacher by profession, which is evident by his excellent variety and choice of words and subtle references to grammar and science. And though he does directly mention environmental issues he never gets 'heavy' on the subject. My one criticism would be his having Artemis share out his mother's medication and mixing it with alcohol - a case of 'Don't try this at home, children.'

The fun begins with Artemis and his manservant obtaining a copy of The Book - the instructions to the "magicks and life rules" of the fairy folk - in order to relieve them of their pot of gold. This will enable Artemis to restore the family fortune and perpetuate the criminal Fowl empire…. It seems that Artemis has the permanent upper hand, until these armed and dangerous, street-wise fairies start breaking a few of their own rules…..

The Cast (In order of appearance!)

Artemis Fowl - cunning, cold, calculating and infuriating Irish boy genius
Butler - his, errr… butler cum bodyguard
Butler's vacuous teenage sister, Juliet
Angeline Fowl - Artemis' temporarily dappy mother
Captain Holly Short - disaster-prone first female officer of the LEPrecon
Mulch Diggums - kleptomaniac dwarf, "reprobate" and all-round rascal with, shall we say, a problematic digestive system
The permanently stressed Commander Julius Root, who is described as being "touchier than a septic bum boil"
Unappreciated techie genius, Foaly, for whom "driving up Root's blood pressure is one of the few perks of the job"
And a whole host of delightful extras!


Review of Nat's Reading
What a great combination - Eoin Colfer and Nathaniel Parker. It sounds as though Nat thoroughly enjoyed himself in recording this. He enters into the spirit, the humour and the enchantment of Colfer's writing as if it were written for him. The sheer number and variety of his voices are pure delight. Nat's characterisations make all 'the cast' such little individuals and personalities, and he picks up on the irony, the touches of sarcasm and the plain mischievousness so perfectly. There are many wonderful moments, especially involving Foaly, Mulch and poor old Commander Root, who is surrounded by insubordinate and irreverent individuals!

Root to Mulch: "That's Commander Root to you."
"Commander now? Says Mulch. "I 'eard that. Clerical error was it?"

or

Root to Foaly: "Good man Foaly. Hit that backstabber where it hurts - right in the ambition."
Foaly: "Thanks Julius!"


'Artemis Fowl' has been included in the BBC's 'The Big Read' and shortlisted for or won several literary awards. It's due to be made into a movie, projected for release in 2004. (Personally I think Nat should and could play all the parts, but then I am incredibly biased…) How very astute of Nat and his agent to get involved in a series of such acclaim and excellence. :o)

Link to Eoin Colfer's Official Website

Artemis Fowl Confidential

 


Published by
BBC Cover to Cover/Chivers
ISBN CD - 1855491915
Cassette - 0754071553
March/July 2002 Complete and Unabridged
Running time 6 hours 7 minutes

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