Afterworlds: The Book of Doom by Barry Hutchison

Afterworlds: The Book of Doom

Written by Barry Hutchison

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Shortlisted for the 2013 Scottish Children’s Book Award The second in the Afterwolds series, this is a cracking adventure which keeps up a terrific pace to the last. The Book of Doom has gone missing! As it is the most important object in existence there are some very red faces indeed. Could Satan have stolen it? If so, how on earth will they ever get it back? It’s not a job for those in heaven. But what about a human? Clever Gabriel comes up with the perfect plan. Selecting fifteen year old Zac to do the job of fetching it and giving him Angelo as a guide seems like a great idea but will they find the way to Hell? And can they bring the book back?


Afterworlds: The Book of Doom by Barry Hutchison

There's panic up in Heaven. They have mislaid the BOOK OF DOOM - the most important object in existence. Oopsy. They think Satan might have stolen it, the sneaky little devil, so to save the world - plus, you know, quite a lot of embarrassment, fifteen year old Zac and his angelic guide Angelo are sent to retrieve it. Sadly directions aren't Angelo's strong point and they soon find themselves just as lost as the book, wandering through Afterworlds such as Valhalla and Hades and encountering some colourful characters along the way...Can the hapless pair make it to Hell and back?



Hutchison's work is not only hilarious; it contains a high degree of wit and intelligence. He delights not only in the apparent endless idiocy of humankind, but in the describing of it. This delight is infectious, his ability impressive. - Books for Keeps

About the Author

Barry Hutchison

Barry Hutchison was born and raised in the Highlands of Scotland. Despite this, he has never once tossed a caber, wrestled a haggis, or gone a-roamin’ in the gloamin’. He’s not even entirely sure what a gloamin’ is. An avid reader from a very early age, Barry spent most of his childhood with his nose buried in some book or another, and began writing his own novels when he was 10. Barry was 17 that he sold his first piece of written work, the comedy horror screenplay, Curse of the Bog Women.

Barry lives in Fort William in the Highlands with his partner, Fiona, and their two children, Kyle and Mia.

A Q&A with Barry

How did you go about making the characters in Beaky Malone come to life? When I was Beaky's age I had A) an overactive imagination and B) a big sister who I argued with constantly, so it wasn't all that difficult to put myself into Beaky's shoes. As a writer, I basically tell lies for a living, so that helped, too. Sometimes, though, characters just come to life without you having to do very much, and that's pretty much what happened when I was writing this book. I could pretend that I'd carefully figured out every character's mannerisms, motivations and all the rest of it, so that you'd think I was dead clever, but if you forced me into a Truth-Telling Machine I'd have to admit that it just sort of happened by itself. Beaky and the rest of the cast just did their own thing, really, and I followed along for the ride.Unless anyone from the publisher is reading this, in which case I worked really hard. Honest!

Are any of the tricky situations that Beaky finds himself in based on real life events? A. I don't think any of them are based on specific events, but a lot of it is based loosely on my own life. I think readers will see a lot of their own lives in there, too, though. Lots of us have annoying brothers or sisters, we all get a bit embarrassed by our parents sometimes, or are made to spend time with relatives we don't like. Beaky lies for all kinds of reasons, but (putting on my psychologist hat) I think one of those is because he's sometimes scared of being overlooked. By lying he can make himself seem just a bit smarter, or braver, or just better, and I think we've all had that feeling of wanting to fit in, but also to be noticed.That said, I did once wet myself in a shop, so that part of the story actually happened, I suppose...

Without getting yourself into too much trouble, what’s the last porky you told? How dare you? I never lie! OK, that's not true. Technically, I suppose that was the last porky I told. Don't tell my wife this, but I quite often tell her I've got an urgent deadline and that I can't be disturbed for the rest of the day, then I shut myself in my office and play the Xbox for hours. Seriously, though, don't tell her or she'll hide all my games.

Are there any more adventures planned for Beaky Malone in the future? Yes! At the end of the first book there are some hints about the other situations Beaky is going to find himself in. Now that he can't lie, life has suddenly become more difficult and dangerous. In the next book, Beaky is partnered up with the school bully on a class day out, and has no choice but to be brutally honest with him about his anger issues and shocking body odour, before loudly announcing which girls he fancies. As you can probably imagine, it does not end well...

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Book Info


400 pages
Interest Age: From 11


Barry Hutchison
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HarperCollins Children's Books an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers

Publication date

28th February 2013




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