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Changeover by Diana Wynne Jones

Changeover (original 1970; edition 2004)

by Diana Wynne Jones

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933186,387 (3.04)12
Authors:Diana Wynne Jones
Info:Moondust Books (2004), Edition: 2Rev Ed, Broché, 256 pages
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Changeover by Diana Wynne Jones (1970)



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Changeover, Diana Wynne Jones's first book, takes place in the fictional country of Nwmkawami, which is on the verge of gaining independence from Britain. A small misunderstanding between the Governor and his aide leads to the creation of Mark Changeover, a wanted criminal to be hanged on Independence Day. The misunderstanding snowballs until Changeover becomes a communist-anarchist-capitalist terrorist with an atomic bomb hellbent on blowing up the capital city of Truro. The entire army and police force are running around in circles looking for the nonexistent Changeover when an atomic bomb from an American plane really does go missing. ( )
  soraki | Jun 3, 2011 |
It's the 1960's and the (fictional) African nation of Nmkwami is about to gain independence from Britain. Threatening this historic moment is the mysterious figure of Mark (or is it Roger?) Changeover - who is he?

The story is basically a farce (as in stupid errors leading to other stupid errors in the plot, not that it's a farce as a book!) and reminded me a little, in some ways, of Scoop, which I read last year. You can tell it's an early work and sometimes, the writing style gets a bit confusing (everything happening at once on the page, but in many different places in the plot - deliberately meant to confuse I think, but occasionally hard to read!). It is also very much of it's time. Nonetheless, it had me giggling a lot of the way through, just from the pure ridiculousness of it all. ( )
  flissp | May 15, 2009 |
'Suggestions-' The aide-de-camp had difficulty in reading his own writing. 'Suggestions,' he continues, 'for Government House - to take appropriate action - mark changeover. One-'
'Who the hell,' said the Governor, 'is Mark Changeover?'

This is the start of the story and this is the setup for the whole story. From this converstation a monster is born, a monster who ends up driving the move to independence of the small African country of Nmkwami from Britain. He does mark the changeover but in ways no-one suspected.

While somewhat dated (it's set in the 1960's and was published originally in 1970) and sometimes it does lag, it is an interesting story. Strange and fun and something you can imagine happening, or being filmed. It's based in truth and there's no fantasy elements here.

With allusions to sex and torn garments this isn't really a children's book, more YA or adult. ( )
  wyvernfriend | Mar 19, 2008 |
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