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by Mark Haddon

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Anche se è un ragazzino vivace, a scuola Jim non è che sia molto brillante: qualcuno - ma è solo la sorella - dice che corre addirittura il rischio di finire in un istituto per bambini ritardati. D'altra parte, non sarebbe male sapere cosa pensano di lui gli insegnanti. Meno male che il suo amico Charlie ha un'idea davvero brillante: basta


Anche se è un ragazzino vivace, a scuola Jim non è che sia molto brillante: qualcuno - ma è solo la sorella - dice che corre addirittura il rischio di finire in un istituto per bambini ritardati. D'altra parte, non sarebbe male sapere cosa pensano di lui gli insegnanti. Meno male che il suo amico Charlie ha un'idea davvero brillante: basta nascondere un walkie-talkie in sala professori! Detto fatto. I prof arrivano, discutono, se ne vanno. Anzi no, Mr Kidd e Mrs Pearce restano, e una volta soli iniziano a parlare in una strana lingua: sono forse rapinatori di banca che comunicano in codice? o spie? o marziani? I due nascondono un segreto, Jim e Charlie ne sono convinti; e iniziano la loro indagine senza sapere che si stanno mettendo davvero nei guai: Charlie scompare, Jim rischia di essere a sua volta rapito. E a questo punto la storia decolla verso un pianeta misterioso, a 70.000 anni luce dalla Terra. «Era un'idea scema, folle, suicida. Il che rende un po' difficile spiegare perché decisi di aiutarlo. Credo che, gratta gratta, sia per questo: Charlie era il mio migliore amico. Sentivo la sua mancanza. E non mi veniva in mente niente di meglio da fare. Proprio motivi idioti, che non avrebbero mai convinto la polizia, la preside o i miei genitori. Se ci ripenso, credo che fu questo il momento in cui tutta la mia vita incominciò ad andare a scatafascio».

Editorial Reviews

To Jim and his best friend Charlie, bugging the staff room seemed like a fun-fest prank. What they didn't expect to hear was two middle-school teachers speaking in code. That not-quite-by-chance discovery propels this pair of anarchistic adventurers on an action-packed furtive mission of their own. A frantic, entertaining standalone novel follow-up to The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time.

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Random House Children's Books
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10 Years

Read an Excerpt

I was on the balcony eating a sandwich. Red Leicester and gooseberry jam. I took a mouthful and chewed. It was good but not a patch on strawberry jam and Cheddar. That was my best yet.

I spent a lot of time on the balcony. The flat was tiny. Sometimes it felt like living in a submarine. But the balcony was amazing. The wind. The sky. The light. You could see the 747s circling slowly in the stack, waiting for a space on the runway at Heathrow. You could watch police cars weaving their way through the tiny streets like toys, their sirens whooping.

You could see the park too. And on this particular morning you could see, in the middle of the huge expanse of grass, a solitary man holding a metal box in his hands. Buzzing high above his head you could just make out a model helicopter, banking and swerving like a dragonfly.

Dad has always been crazy about models. Trains, planes, tanks, vintage cars. But after he lost his job at the car factory it became the biggest thing in his life. To be fair, he was brilliant. Give him a brick and a rubber band and he’d have it looping the loop before you could say, ‘Chocks away!’ But it didn’t seem right somehow. It was a hobby for little boys and weird blokes who still lived with their mums.

A flock of pigeons clattered past and I heard the sound of a familiar motorbike engine. I looked down and saw Craterface’s large black Moto Guzzi turn into the estate car park. My darling sister, Becky, was on the seat behind him, a grimy leather jacket over her school uniform.

She was sixteen. I could remember the time, only a couple of years back, when she tied her hair in bunches and had pony posters on her bedroom wall. Then something went badly wrong in her brain. She started listening to death metal and stopped washing her armpits.

She met Craterface at a gig six months ago. He was nineteen. He had long greasy hair and enormous sideburns with bits of breakfast stuck in them. When he was younger he had spots. They’d gone now, but they’d left these holes behind. Hence the nickname. His face looked like the surface of the moon.

He had the brain of a toilet brush. Mum, Dad and I were in complete agreement about this. Becky, however, thought he was God’s Gift to Women. Why she fancied him, I haven’t a clue. Perhaps he was the only person who could stand her armpits.

The bike rumbled to a halt ten storeys below and I experienced a moment of utter madness. Without thinking, I peeled off half my sandwich, leaned out and let go. I realized almost immediately that I had done a very, very stupid thing. If it hit them I would be murdered.

The slice wobbled and flipped and veered left and veered right. Craterface turned off the engine, got off the bike, removed his helmet and looked up towards the flat. I felt sick.

The slice hit him in the face and stuck, jammy side down. For a couple of seconds Craterface just stood there, absolutely motionless, the slice of bread sitting there like a face pack. Becky was standing beside him, looking up at me. She was not a happy bunny.

Now, normally you can’t hear much from the balcony, on account of the traffic. But when Craterface tore the sandwich off and roared, I think they probably heard him in Japan.

He stormed towards the doors but Becky grabbed his wrist and dragged him to a halt. She wasn’t worried about me. She’d have quite liked him to kill me. Just not in the flat. Because that would get her into trouble.

Craterface finally saw sense. He waved his fist and shouted, ‘You’re dead, scum!’ climbed onto the Moto Guzzi and thundered away in a gust of dirty grey fumes.

Becky turned and strode towards the door. I looked down at the rest of my sandwich and realized that I no longer felt very hungry. There was no one in the car park now so I dropped this half too, and watched it wobble and flip and veer and land neatly beside the first slice.

At which point the balcony door was kicked open. I said, ‘It was an accident,’ but Becky screamed, ‘You little toad!’ and hit me really hard on the side of the head, which hurt quite a lot.

For a couple of seconds everything went double. I could see two Beckys and two balconies and two rubber plants. I didn’t cry, because if I cried Becky would call me a baby, which was worse than being hit. So I hung onto the rail until the pain died down and there was only one Becky again.

‘What did you do that for?’ I asked. ‘It didn’t land on you. It landed on Craterface.’

She narrowed her eyes. ‘You are so lucky he didn’t come up here and hit you himself.’

She was right, really. Craterface had a black belt in kung fu. He could kill people with his ears.

‘And another thing,’ she hissed. ‘His name is Terry.’

‘Actually, I’ve heard his name is Florian. He just pretends to be called Terry.’ I stepped backwards to avoid the second punch but it never came. Instead, Becky went very quiet, leaned against the railing and nodded slowly. ‘That reminds me,’ she said, in a sinisterly pleasant way. ‘There’s something I’ve been meaning to tell you.’


‘Amy and I were in the staff room the other day, talking to Mrs Cottingham.’ Becky took a packet of cigarettes from the pocket of her leather jacket and lit one very slowly, as if she were in a black and white film.

‘Smoking’s bad for you,’ I said.

‘Shut your ugly mouth and listen.’ She sucked in a lungful of smoke. ‘We overheard Mr Kidd talking about you.’

‘What was he saying?’

‘Bad things, Jimbo. Bad things.’ This had to be a wind-up. But she wasn’t smiling. And it didn’t sound like a wind-up.

‘What bad things?’ I pulled nervously at the rubber plant and one of the leaves came off in my hand.

‘That you’re lazy. That you’re a nuisance.’

‘You’re lying.’ I slid the leaf of the rubber plant down the back of the deckchair.

‘According to Mr Kidd your work is rubbish. According to Mr Kidd – and this is the really good bit – they’re thinking of sending you to that school in Fenham. You know, that special place for kids with problems.’ She blew a smoke ring.

‘That’s not true.’ I felt giddy. ‘They can’t do that.’

‘Apparently they can.’ She nodded. ‘Jodie’s brother got sent there.’ She stubbed out her cigarette in one of the plant pots and flicked it over the railing. ‘Jodie said it’s like a zoo. You know, bars on the windows, kids howling all the time.’

The glass door slid open and Mum stepped out onto the balcony holding one of her shoes in her hand.

‘Hello, you two,’ she said, wiping the sole of the shoe with a wet cloth. ‘Honestly, the mess on this estate. I just trod on a half-eaten sandwich, of all things.’

I turned round so that Mum couldn’t see my face, and as I did so I saw, in the distance, Dad’s helicopter clip the top of a tree, burst into flames, spiral downwards and land in the gravel of the dog toilet, scaring the living daylights out of a large Dalmatian.

Dad threw the control box to the ground and lay facedown on the grass, hammering it with his fists.

From the Hardcover edition.

Meet the Author

MARK HADDON is an author, illustrator and screenwriter who has written fifteen books for children, and has won two BAFTAs. His bestselling novel, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, won seventeen literary prizes, including the Whitbread Award, and is an international bestseller.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Boom! 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 43 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is only in spanish which i can read some of, but not all. This might be the greateast book ever, but people who dont speak spanish will never know. SAD :(
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Im a girl i have black hair and pale skin. I wanna bef.ucked hard.
John Dewey More than 1 year ago
i love boom! it is one of my favorite books!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hahaa good for you genesis great story bro
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not Trinity. Trinity, post again.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
F..ucks lauren hard
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Im here
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
YO! NEXT PART AT RESULT TWO! ---- My boyfriend Nico Di Angelo has been off doing something for Hades. I have always felt that Hades had a grudge on me. My skin is paler than usual because it's winter and my lips are clear and white as ice. A thin and delicate, cold hand appears on my shoulder. A soft voice echoes in my mind. "Sophie." It says in a soft whisper. It sounds warm and comfortable. I turn and see Nico. My mouth curves into a smile. "Nico. Hey." I mutter. My voice cracks whe I say his name. We usually ge along and stay in silence, but he broke it." Have you heard what Chiron was talking to Rachel about? Something about survival games. And uh. . . A fire arena? "He asked. I knitted my eyebrows. "Uh. . No." I said. A sour taste filled my mouth, which happens when I'm depressed. ---NEXT PART AT RESULT TWO! FEEDBACK AT MAYBE REULT ONE!-DTOTFA
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A slender light grey she cat with green eyes walks in. She looks at Bombstar happily and asks "may i join?"
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
No in rp never mind
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Lol i just love how this rating this is used for telling others about the book but most of us are using it to have a boyfriend Also i havevblond hair with some brown heigh lights that r natural and i love to surf and snowboard and i am a very smart and nice girl and i pay soccer lacrosse basketball and volleyball and i say i am one of the best pyer on thos sport teams and even my coaches say that lastly i love boys who r athletic and smart and who r hottttttt so call me maybe
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
im Robert + i like u
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Had to force myself through it. I was a fan of his previous books, but this was just too unreal and childish.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
How about... realm all resluts.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Sorry at hiss first result
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Next result
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A pretty grey and white she with a leaf filled with herbs in her mouth walked up to Mockingjay. She ipened the leaf to reveal borage rassberry leaves and a stick. "Eat the rassberry leaves and bite the stick when the pain comes. Once all the kits are born eat the borage." The she-cat fades from sight.