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Uncle Gustav's Ghosts/Thiele, Colin/Paper/1741102375/S035-F
Sun on the Stubble
Ghosts are abroad in this hilarious story set in a South Australian farming community. Benny Geister's Uncle Gustav meets the first Unseen Presence on the Bethel road, near the place where Maria Rollenberg and Marcus Kreutzer mysteriously disappeared on their wedding night half a century before. Maria, complete with wedding gown and veil, appears after a tin-kettling for two newlyweds, and from then on the fun is fast and furious as a succession of ghosts and ghoulies, phantom horses and poltergeists plague the Geister household and the community at large.
As usual, Colin Thiele introduces a host of interesting characters. These include Benny's grandmother, old Mutter Eisenstein, and his mother, Bertha, who recognise the nightie Uncle Gustav takes from the ghoulie he shoots; Ahmed Singh, the Afghan hawker who stays for half a night in the haunted house known as Gartenschmuck; and twelve-year-old Benny and his friend, Ossie Schmidt, who with pretty Louisa Wittwer make a startling discovery relating to Maria Rollenberg and the events which happened fifty years previously.
Colin Thiele's outstanding ability to combine humour and drama with vivid characterisation is seen at its best in this diverting tale. Uncle Gustav's Ghosts received a Worthy Mention in the Children's Book of the Year Awards, 1975.