The Power of a Good Influence

Mr. Wrong - Roger Hargreaves

I have to admit that I really liked this one, not so much as a kid (I loved all of them as a kid), but after spending two minutes reading it before I wrote this review. It has one of those really heart-warming happy endings where we see somebody, out of the goodness of their heart, voluntarily set right a wrong (even though it was at great personal cost to them). It's a shame that you don't see that happen all that much these days, but then again I'm sure if you don't have to search too hard on the internet to find some story that has a similar happy ending.


The thing is that Mr Wrong simply cannot do anything right. I'm not entirely sure why, but he just doesn't seem to be able to get himself dressed, great people correctly, or even follow the simplest of instructions. In part it seems that he may have a lot of difficulty understanding the language (maybe he's living in a foreign country) and in another way it seems as if he was never really taught how to put on a pair of shoes. Then again he is also quite clumsy (he misses his bowl of cornflakes when pouring the milk) and is quite absent-minded (he puts on a pot plant instead of a hat, and then goes wandering around the streets wearing the flowerpot on his head).


We have a look at his house and it looks like one of those places where we have somebody who fancies themselves as a builder attempting to build their own house, and failing completely, but instead of trying to fix their mistakes simply takes the good old Australian attitude of “she'll be right” and leaves it as is. Mind you, despite it being a rather odd looking house, it would probably sit right at home in today's cities where there seems to be a habit of building houses that simply aren't quite right (unless you live on a housing estate, then you can't be too individualistic – unless you have the money of course, money always seems to get you around inconvenient regulations).


Anyway, on his rather awkward journey he runs into Mr Right who offers to let him stay with him for a while, in the belief that he will have a good influence on Mr Wrong. Guess what – he does, and Mr Wrong goes off happy now that he has been cured. Unfortunately, it was to the great cost of Mr Right, but I'll leave it at that (though I have probably spoiled it enough for you anyway – sorry).

Source: http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/1591687159