Book Review: Crog by Amanda Mitchison

Crog is a fizzing axehead of an adventure story reminiscent of that other great cro-magnon Stig of the Dump. The action kicks off in grey and grimy modern day London with tearaway Wilf nicking a bronze age bowl from a museum. Wilf gets out with his prize just ahead of two sharply suited pursuers, but next morning wakes up to find a filthy and weirdly dressed creature in his bedroom. Meet Crog – a curious, fascinating and smelly 3,000 year old sacrificial victim who enjoys flushing toilets. Crog has somehow come back to life to claim the bowl for himself and protect it from murderous pursuers who are out to get it off Wilf at all costs (warning: this book contains gore).

As they go on the run, accompanied by Wilf’s fashion conscious twin sister Ishbel, Crog’s ignorance of pretty much any invention after the wheel leads to plenty of comedy moments, while Wilf’s relationship with Ishbel gives the story an emotional core. The sharp dialogue will ring true with anyone who’s ever bickered with a sibling they love, and as the action reaches its climax in the wild North West Highlands, readers young and old will be gripped. No spoilers – but the ending contains a jaw-dropping twist in the tale that will live long in the memory..

If Crog ropes you in try: The Tripods Trilogy by John Christopher; The Thirty Nine Steps by John Buchan 

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