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Snotty's self-absorbed mother flies off to Africa on a 'project', leaving 12-year-old Snotty to his own devices - and her credit cards. Over the weeks the house becomes a glorious arcade of hi-tech machines, games and music, and the stairs are a skateboard slide for him and his friends who feed off pizza and Coke. But there are increasing problems from neighbours, school, Social Services and the plumber who demands cash. Hunter Davies' resourceful children are always wholly credible and the narration makes the most of the fast pace and 90s' dialogue in this wish-fulfilment story tinged with nightmare.