• Title: NASTYbook
  • Author: Barry Yourgrau
  • Released: 2007-05-01
  • Language: English
  • Pages: 192
  • ISBN: 0060579803
  • ISBN13: 978-0060579807
  • ASIN: 0060579803
From Publishers Weekly These 43 very short—vignettes? essays? anecdotes?—aim at outrageousness but fall curiously flat. An unidentified narrator relates a variety of gruesome, grisly, gross or just plain stupid sketches (there isn't enough meat in any one of them to call it a story) about nose-picking, farting, monsters, poisoning, pimples and assorted dementia, like a boy with a toenail-clippings fetish. Decapitation is a recurrent event. The tone is mostly dark: in "Cake," a boy freezes to death after running away from home and his parents' reaction is to sell off his bike at a yard sale, but the subject matter is mostly grade-school, meaning this will likely miss the mark with its intended audience. An inventive design (the book is bound so that the text appears upside down and many pages appear to bear smudgy black fingerprints) may draw in reluctant readers. The last entry, "Goblins and Their Crimes," is about a "bitter starving writer of exquisitely arty, bad-selling fiction," who decides to write children's books because "how hard can it be to make up a story about some little wizard, like what'shisname; or a bunny that runs down a hole?" As this tedious collection points out, it's harder than it looks. Ages 10-up.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the edition.

From School Library Journal Grade 6-8–An author of adult titles brings his surreal perspective to this uneven collection of macabre tales. Unlike the lighthearted gloominess of Lemony Snicket's "A Series of Unfortunate Events" (HarperCollins), the general mood here is world-weary cynicism. The stories vary dramatically in style and quality. "The Werewolf's Garden" is a darkly comic satire of the movie business. "Panda" is a truly eerie account of a disturbed child and his homicidal pet. "Skateboard" is a standard ghost story in the campfire tradition. There are several ironic, just-deserts vignettes in the style of the old "Twilight Zone" series. Practical jokers send the new kid on a pizza delivery to a vampire's lair and find that tomato sauce and blood don't mix. Other stories rely on adult themes, cruelty, and gross-out effects. A lustful pirate mistakes a shark for a willing mermaid and an over-the-hill superhero fights evildoers with powerful flatulence. Characterization is variable as well, sometimes drawn with spare, subtle descriptions and other times in broad caricatures. The book is deliberately printed upside down and illustrated only with scattered black fingerprints.–Elaine E. Knight, Lincoln Elementary Schools, IL
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the edition.

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