I'm the King of the Castle

I'm the King of the Castle


By (author) Susan Hill

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  • Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
  • Format: Paperback | 224 pages
  • Dimensions: 128mm x 196mm x 18mm | 159g
  • Publication date: 1 January 1990
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0140034919
  • ISBN 13: 9780140034912
  • Sales rank: 78,124

Product description

'I didn't want you to come here.' So says the note that the boy Edmund Hooper passes to Charles Kingshaw upon his arrival at Warings. But, young Kingshaw and his mother have come to live with Hooper and his father in the ugly, isolated Victorian house for good. To Hooper, Kingshaw is an intruder, a boy to be subtly persecuted, and Kingshaw finds that even the most ordinary object can be turned by Hooper into a source of terror. In Hang Wood their roles are briefly reversed, but Kingshaw knows Hooper will never let him be. Kingshaw cannot win, not in the last resort. He knows it, and so does Hooper. And the worst is still to come...This extraordinary, evocative novel boils over with the terrors of childhood and won the Somerset Maugham Award. 'Hill's exploration of a juvenile ghoul and his natural prey is a brilliant tour de force' - "Guardian".

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Author information

Susan Hill is the author of many books published by Penguin. Her novels include Gentlemen and Ladies and Mrs de Winter, the sequel to Du Maurier's Rebecca. She is also well-known for her children's books (Can it be true? won the Smarties Prize). She has written non-fiction, autobiography & has edited women's short stories and other classic fiction for Penguin. A regular broadcaster and reviewer, Susan Hill lives in Oxfordshire with her husband, Stanley Wells, the Shakespeare scholar.

Editorial reviews

Boys will be boys, but in England, with the reminder of Lord of the Flies and If, they seem to be a class apart, a law unto themselves, and the perpetrator-victims of monstrous malevolence. Thus Miss Hill's spare and unsparing account of the enforced relationship of motherless Edmund Hooper and fatherless Charles Kingshaw after Mrs. Kingshaw becomes Mr. Hooper's housekeeper hoping at last to find a home for herself and young Charles. Edmund greets the newcomer with hostility; terrifies him with dead moths and a stuffed crow; locks him up in the rooms of the large, isolated house; and baits and bullies him on every occasion. Charles decides to run away and Edmund follows him through the spectral Hang Wood where Edmund, also susceptible to terror, has an accident. Later he attempts to follow Charles up on the parapet of a castle and again, frozen in fear, falls - unfortunately not to his death. Finally with Mrs. Kingshaw's marriage to Mr. Hooper, Charles can see only one alternative to his entrapment. . . . Miss Hill's misbegotten little blighters are not particularly prepossessing or pitiable but one reads their story fastened on to the inevitable worst in whatever form it will take. (Kirkus Reviews)