Customer Reviews for

Tales of the Madman Underground: An Historical Romance 1973

Average Rating 4
( 20 )
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5 Star

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 21 Customer Reviews
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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 7, 2013

    Too much cussing

    For my taste xP

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 2, 2013

    Yes!

    I read this book in print and love love loved it! I am not gonna lie it had those slow parts but if it didnt i wouldnt of slept for days!

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  • Posted March 27, 2013

    A really genuine and intriguing book. Amazing characterization,

    A really genuine and intriguing book. Amazing characterization, voice and diction. There's enough plot to keep things going but not so much that you're scratching your head. There's humor sprinkled throughout but there are some serious issues touched upon. Barnes's writing style is very similar to that of John Green, who I really love also.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 3, 2013

    Beautiful.

    Absolutely stunning.

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  • Posted March 14, 2012

    Tales of the Madman Underground by John Barnes follows the chara

    Tales of the Madman Underground by John Barnes follows the character Karl Shoemaker over the course of about a week. Karl has been in group therapy every year since fourth grade. He is determined his senior year will be the year he gets out. He begins to act what he describes as "normal". However, he has many things in his way, such as his alcoholic mother, and reputation as "psycho". I liked the characters in this novel, each having their own unique stories and challenges. I also liked Karl's sarcastic and very lighthearted attitude towards everything around him. I did not like however, just one of the therapy group members, Darla. Darla, hates most of the therapy group members except Karl, and has a very strange attitude, and almost killed her younger brother, yet we are still supposed to like her? I sure didn't. Tales of the Madman Underground is a very great book about social issues, taken to the extremes. Its 544 pages might seem daunting at first, but is well worth the effort.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 12, 2012

    Perf

    Perf

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 16, 2011

    Amazing but...

    Loved it. The setting, dialogue,voice, and characterization were superb. I loved all the dysfunctional characters,funny situations and colorful description. However I dont consider it a historical romance. Its more of a coming of age story. A great read.

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  • Posted March 21, 2011

    its good(:

    i love this book. its funny and different but in a good way! its a nice change from vampires and ghosts that 'have feelings.' all in all, one of my favorite books of all time!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2010

    Great Great Great

    Loved it! The story is fun and exciting. It really shows you the tough life some people have. I loved this story and really recommend it.

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  • Posted April 7, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Great Read

    I really liked Tales of the Madman Underground by John Barnes. I didn't expect to, but it caught me from the first chapter. Karl Shoemaker is the narrator. It's his senior year in high school and he's got a plan. He wants to be normal..for just one year. He's going to distance himself from the Madmen Underground, his therapy group since forever. But it's easier said than done. First, he's going to sneak out of the house early and grab the first bus to school, leaving his best friend, Paul, alone on the late bus. He gets his foot in the door just as Jolene, the bus driver and his mother's drinking buddy, is about to close it. What does he see ahead of him? Paul, who totally ignores him. It's going to be that kind of year.

    The Madmen Underground is comprised of 7 or 8 kids who have problems like drinking, having alcoholic parents, being abandoned by their parents, having lecherous relatives or abusive parents. In his first class of the day, he sits next to Marti, who he soon finds out is joining the Madmen. She wants to be his friend. Things are not going well for normalcy.

    Tales of the Madman Underground recounts six days of Karl's life and includes countless flashbacks. Karl works hard and saves his money, but his mother keeps finding it and 'borrowing' it, hitting the bars, leaving IOUs that will never get paid. They've got a houseful of cats who keep crapping on the floor and on his bed. Darla, another Madman, brings her stuffed bunny, Mr. Babbitt, to school and converses with it. Paul's father verbally abuses him. It goes on and on, each Madman having his/her own personal demons. The book, set in 1973, is serious and funny and hopeful. It is cast with wonderful characters. You'll love them, empathize with them, give them a smack on the head. You can visualize each situation. The setting of 1973 brings an interesting element to the book. Tales is a hard book to describe but it's well worth reading. Go for it.it won't be a normal book.

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  • Posted August 20, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Dianna Geers for TeensReadToo.com

    Karl has a plan for his senior year. It's to be normal. Or at least to appear to be normal. Forever he has been known as slightly crazy and a target of harassment.

    There are a ton of obstacles that will make it difficult to pull of the "normal" appearance. First of all, he has to avoid his very best friend in the world. Not to mention the fact that he has to work endless hours to help support his mother and himself. (She has been off the deep end ever since his dad died.)

    And there's the cats. So many of them in his house. Karl constantly has to clean up their messes and even bury the ones that die before his mother sees him. (He never knows what is going to set her off.) He can't even keep his earnings in a bank because his mother would have access to them and she would spend it all. (And hiding his money around the house only works occasionally.)

    He also has to find a way to get out of the "Madmen" class - required counseling for students identified as "troubled." How can anyone appear normal under those circumstances?

    But Karl takes it one day at a time. If he can make it through the first day of school appearing normal, then he can make it through the first week. Once a week of appearing normal passes, he'll be able to begin the next week.

    Even though Karl has plans to work around his known obstacles, he has several other hurdles to overcome. Is the best friend he was going to avoid actually avoiding him? And what about the new girl? The one whose mom likes to party with his?

    Will Karl be able to shed his madman reputation? And how important is it to appear normal?

    Read TALES OF THE MADMAN UNDERGROUND and experience six days of Karl's life in 1973. It'll be a trip.

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    Posted May 1, 2011

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    Posted January 22, 2011

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    Posted August 28, 2011

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    Posted March 2, 2010

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    Posted January 23, 2010

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    Posted July 17, 2010

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    Posted January 19, 2011

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    Posted December 29, 2010

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    Posted September 14, 2011

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