Meet the residents of Arthritis Hall | Pushkin Press

Meet the residents of Arthritis Hall

Posted 5th March 2020

And your choice is… Duncan Versus the Googleys by Kate Milner! When he is sent to stay with his boring Great Aunt, Duncan thinks his summer is going to be the most uneventful one yet. But little does he know, there’s something afoot with the elderly people and their strange mechanical pets…

It is only fair to warn you, before we go much further, that so much in this story is upside down, backwards, a story for the faint-hearted. It requires courage to face the unspeakably nasty things that are going to happen. It also requires maturity, foresight and an agile mind. If you are the sort of person who likes things to plod along in a predictable fashion from A to B then this story is not for you. I would suggest that you go and do something useful instead, like sorting out your socks.

Meet the characters!

Before you dive in, author and illustrator Kate Milner is here to introduce you to some of the main characters in her wonderfully wacky novel. So, without further ado, let’s get to know them…


Duncan is not very tall and he is not very sporty. In fact, the thing he likes most is playing computer games with other children around the world, but when he finds himself faced with some really despicable enemies out to destroy him, he turns out to be very good at keeping his head.


The daughter of the caretaker at Arthritis hall, Ursula is dirty, passionate, emotional and angry. When her and Duncan get themselves into a spot of bother, she discovers she is rather less brave than she thinks she is.

Mrs Linoleum Grunt

Despite being a very small woman Mrs Grunt is a throughly nasty bully who uses a mixture of threat and manipulation to make everyone do exactly what she wants, and what she wants is money and power.

Toffee Cheeseman

Toffee Cheeseman starts the story as a professional pick pocket. He goes along to Arthritis Hall to apply for a job as a criminal but he can’t quite stop himself from helping Duncan and Ursula out of a very sticky situation.

Mr Meager

Poor Mr Meager. He is Ursula’s father and the caretaker of Arthritis Hall. He has a good heart but Mrs Grunt uses this to get him exactly where she wants him and, as a result, he is exhausted and broken.

Now you’re acquainted, why not head here and get yourself a copy of the book? Or click here to go back to our mystery packages…