The Pedant and the Shuffly

Once upon a time in a forest of rotting crabapple trees and quaking aspens that were dying of Parkinson's disease there lived a nasty pedant-magician named Snodrog. This Snodrog, whose house is made of old bed slats, spends his days posing logical problems to victimize unfortunate passersby.... Fortunately for everyone, a kindly old gentleman, Sir Bertram Crabtree-Gore, enlists a Shuffly to foil the nefarious Snodrog. A monstrous duel ensues. Someone is turned into a very unattractive ticker tape machine. Other happenings follow, too humorous to mention here.
"...a surreal tale of the clash between the two title characters, a mix of Lewis Carroll and Doctor Seuss, something like The Phantom Tollbooth, but illustrates something about Bellairs’ work, and that is his tendency to write learned, precise nonsense." - Matthew David Surridge

About the Book

Portions of the book were presented during the 1987 Mythopoeic Society conference; Bellairs was on hand and “professed himself charmed.”

Can you find the necktie hidden in one of the many illustrations? How about the soda bottle?





Suddenly the air got colder, and a black cloud appeared - the black cloud that you saw before, since Snodrog was, at bottom, a cheapskate. Only this time the cloud looked like an overdone hamburger, and it hovered low over the Shuffly's head. A faint whirling began, and it roe till the noise was like that of a badly adjusted metal lathe. From the cloud roared a blizzard of Irrelevant Facts, and it swirled around the inert creature till he looked like a spiny snowball. Then Snodrog's devious machine spread under the Shuffly's unsuspecting feet a glistening patina of Generalizations, and the immobilized hulk slid the hill into the valley below, ricocheting off trees with a sound like wet sponges being slapped on kitchen sinks.