Bodley Head , 1994
"It was a Thursday evening when things began to go seriously wrong.
We'd just had our tea. Mum was practising her Turkish ready for our summer holidays, and watching Wallaby Springs on the telly. Dad was sitting at the dining table mending the sandwich-toaster which blew up at the weekend when I gut out a burnt-out waffle with a knife.
Me, I was practising my powers of psychokinesis..."
Most of this story is set in Snowdonia. If I remember correctly I went there first with the school cadet corps when I was fifteen. The teachers in charge had trim beards and sinewy thighs and wanted us to do abseiling and ridge-walks. The boys were simply waiting for the evening when they could slip away to nearest village, go to a pub and drink enough to make themselves violently sick. I probably wanted to be at home with a book about the evolution of fossil man. I was that kind of child.
But something happened in the intervening years. I've now been back to Snowdonia many times. To camp. To walk up Snowdon. On one occasion I took part in the Plas-y-Brenin Mountain Triathlon.
So, hang on in there. There is hope for sensitive boys who write poetry and cry when the cat dies.
Like all the Agent Z books, Agent Z Goes Wild now has a new cover (illustrated by someone else) designed to appeal to the discerning youth of today.