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Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer

Posted by RB Kollannur on July 15, 2012

Note: This review is part of a weekly book review column that I write for City Journal, an English newspaper based in Thrissur, Kerala.

Published on 23/06/2012

Publisher – Penguin; Year of Publication – 2001; Pages – 280; Cost at the time of purchase – Rs. 299; Purchased from Cosmo

Artemis Fowl the Second is an unfortunate twelve year old. He lost his father in a shipping accident (Murdered, many say) and his mother went crazy after that. Like any hopeful boy in such a desperate situation, he hopes his father is still out there somewhere alive and well to come back when the time is right. He also wishes his mother will wake up one day perfectly sane, pack him his lunch and send him off to school like she used to.

Of course, going to school would pose a huge problem for him because he has “better” things to do like running his family’s centuries old crime syndicate.

He now intends to capture and kidnap a leprechaun and steal his pot of gold. If you have not heard of leprechauns yet, they are magical creatures that keep a pot to the gold at the end of a rainbow. But unbeknownst to him leprechauns are the police officers of the magical realm and not very nice people to deal with. They don’t give up their treasure without a fight even it means killing the child master-thief. So Artemis the Second has to put in use all his wits and skill if he is to outmanoeuvre his foes from their riches.

Eoin Colfer weaves a children’s fantasy out of the criminal life of Artemis Fowl spinning it with fairies, pixies, leprechauns, dwarves and other magical creatures. The book for today’s review is the first of an ongoing series currently at its seventh book.  The last book It is an easy read equally funny and amusing for both kids and adults. Fowl exhibits a certain flair for self assurance and over-confidence in his methods that one wonders whether that may prove to be his undoing. The author develops his magical world as the page turns, so it keeps the reader guessing as to what happens next. While the book is a complete story, it can appeal to the curiosity of the inquisitive reader and create a yearning to read the sequels.

While you can question the logic of having a criminal portray the role of a hero in a children’s book, it can be easily countered by the unambiguous morality of the protagonist. He is merely carrying on his family trade all the while showing tremendous loyalty to his family and friends. Only you will need to read the entire book to realize that. After all, every little kid has a little bit of mischief in them and it is better to accept it than let it mature into something far worse.


One Response to “Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer”

  1. […] – Published on 10/06/2012 14)   Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman – Published on 16/06/2012 15)   Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer – Published on 23/06/2012 16)   The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway – Published on […]

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