Our Man Weston
William Blackburn is a professor of English at the University of
When Tom and Sidney Weston take summer jobs at the Pine Grove resort, Tom believes he is safe from his twin brother’s obsession with “playing detective.” But Sidney — who once tied up the gas man with a clothesline and told the police he’d captured Public Enemy Number One — soon “detects” evidence of espionage against a military base near the resort. The indefatigable Sidney is right about the plot, and wrong about every single one of its details. In the course of his misadventures, Sidney involves the Ontario Provincial Police, the RCMP, Norad and NATO, causes the arrest of his brother Tom (who has struggled vainly to undo the mischievous results of Sid’s crusade), and finally emerges triumphant from a riot which almost wrecks the resort. Everyone, of course, lives happily ever after — even the villains, who make their escape at the novel’s close.
Gordon Korman has a good ear for dialogue and a taste for zany and slapstick humour — qualities likely to appeal to his intended readers. The novel’s characters are adequately sketched and the string of serendipitous mishaps that constitute the plot make Our Man Weston a satisfactory entertainment for grades 4-6.