Thursday, 19 May 2011

The Wish List by Eoin Colfer - Book Review

Publisher's write-up


Meg's soul is up for grabs as Heaven and Hell try every sneaky trick imaginable to claim it. Helping a lonely old man complete tasks on his wish list is her only chance. But even if she takes that chance, will she really have enough points to face up to St. Peter?

An unforgettable and gritty tale of life, death and an unexpected hereafter by the bestselling author of Artemis Fowl”

The Wish List, is a novel written by the Irish author Eoin Colfer, who became famous after his success with Artemis Fowl. He writes fantasy and it is meant for children. Most of his books are categorised under “Young Fiction”.

So far, this book is a stand alone and I don't think that there is going to be a sequel. This book also falls into the usual Eoin Colfer categories,fantasy and juvenile fiction. This book also has occasional humour and doesn't have a sub-plot. This book will appeal to children aged 8 – 12.

Meg Finn, is just twelve, but her mother is dead and her step-father is useless and she hates him. She has a friend, Belch Brennan, who is a petty criminal. She asked him for a favour and in turn, she had to help him in his little thefts. The other character in this book is Lowrie McCall, a pensioner, on whose house there was a burglary attempt by Meg and Belch.

The story starts with Meg, Belch and Raptor(Belch's dog), breaking into Lowrie McCall's house. Lowrie's leg was attacked by Raptor and Meg insists on calling the ambulance, but Belch didn't want to draw attention and threatened Meg with his shotgun. He accidentally pulled the trigger and the bullet hits a gas tank. Raptor, Belch and Meg die, Lowrie becomes a cripple. Belch was directly sent to hell but since Meg good and evil side was in perfect balance, she was given another chance, as a ghost and she has to help out Lowrie McCall complete his Wish List. The wishes in his list include

  1. Kissy Sissy – Kiss Cicely Ward, a popular TV granny, who used to be Lowrie's lover, but he never managed to kiss her. Hence, he wanted to do it now.
  2. Kick a ball over the bar in Croke Park.
  3. Burst Ball – Brendan Ball has bullied Lowrie when they were in school. Now, Lowrie is seeking revenge and wanted to punch him on his face.
  4. Spit over the Cliffs of Moher. - Lowrie knew a rhyme where various tasks had been mentioned and he had accomplished all of them except this.

Meg is not unopposed in this. The lord of hell sends Belch to stop Meg from helping Lowrie complete his Wish List.

The story may not have has a good concept, but it certainly has a revolutionary concept. Afterlife was portrayed very differently in this book, it is also a place where things like computers exist. But for that, in my opinion, this book was terrible. There were several attempts made by the author to make this book interesting, where he mentions certain things, but forgets them after that and it just ends up becoming a loose end. Several things in this book had no logic, the wish list for example. Who would want to take revenge on a person after 40 years, just for bullying him in school. In fact, an old person would just be delighted to see an old schoolmate and of course, the other person also would not have any thoughts about bullying him at 60+. There was nothing special in the language. Despite that I'd say that it was good because the author's target is not adults, but children and considering that, he has written in simple English and occasionally, an elite word was used. This would also help them to improve their vocabulary and it is a better way of improving vocabulary instead of reading Charles Dickens' novels and referring the lexicon for every word.

To conclude, this is not a good book or maybe it is my mistake to have read it when I was sixteen. Even otherwise, I don't think that the plot would appeal that much to a 11 year old. For its revolutionary concept and writing according to the target, I'd not be giving this book a 1 / 10, but a 3 / 10.

Rating – 3 / 10

Have a nice day,


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