Murdering Mr. Monte: A Merry Little Tale of Sex and Violence

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"HIGHLY ENTERTAINING...SIT BACK IN THE BUBBLES AND ENJOY."
—The Philadelphia Inquirer
Brenda Kovner, a Washington columnist, advice dispenser, and amateur psychologist, doesn't consider herself intrusive, just extremely interested in helping. If she knows the answer, she can't shut up—even if no one's listening.
Since Brenda knows what's best—for everyone—she secretly decides she must murder her son Wally's prospective father-in-law, before he can get to Wally. She has a ...
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Overview

"HIGHLY ENTERTAINING...SIT BACK IN THE BUBBLES AND ENJOY."
—The Philadelphia Inquirer
Brenda Kovner, a Washington columnist, advice dispenser, and amateur psychologist, doesn't consider herself intrusive, just extremely interested in helping. If she knows the answer, she can't shut up—even if no one's listening.
Since Brenda knows what's best—for everyone—she secretly decides she must murder her son Wally's prospective father-in-law, before he can get to Wally. She has a foolproof plan. In fact, she has a million of them. But first she's got a few kinky desires of her own to satisfy (.
"Viorst keeps us laughing....A serious look at family and cultural issues while still a farce, narrated by a needling Machiavellian who keeps winning us over."
—San Francisco Chronicle
"A wry look at the follies of superficial urbanites...Enjoy."
—The Washington Post Book World
"Acerbic and extremely funny...Done with the arch, sardonic flavor familiar to readers of Ms. Viorst."
—The Baltimore Sun

A collection of poems that examines a wide variety of feelings and experiences from a child's point of view.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Fans of Viorst's If I Were in Charge of the World will welcome this confection of light verse. Indicative of the child-centered approach, the category ``Stuff You Should Know'' includes the poem ``Item of Information'': ``Just in case/ You were wondering what a disgrace is:/ It's, when you're in public,/ Scratching in private places.'' A poem in the ``Questions'' section asks, ``Who decided that vegetables are something a growing child needs?'' Other sections contain built-up knock-knock jokes or revamped fairy tales (e.g., Beauty laments that, once the spell was broken, ``everyone thinks he's the beauty and I'm the beast''). Less fanciful than his full-color illustrations for Viorst's The Alphabet from Z to A, Hull's pen-and-ink drawings fill the pages with birds, unicorns, flowers and moons, but they do not reflect the variety of topics Viorst addresses. These poems skim the surface, breaking no new ground, but children will be entertained by their breezy simplicity and humor. Ages 7-up. (Apr.)
Children's Literature - Rae Valabek
This collection of poetry is arranged by topics that do interest children. The type of material ranges from knock-knock jokes and fairy tales to "stuff you should know." Judith Viorst's poems are reminiscent of Shel Silverstein's Light in the Attic and Jack Pretlustky's New Kid on the Block. The fairy tale poems retell fairy tales sometimes with an unusual twist. The title comes from a knock-knock poem called "Sad Underwear" which includes this line, "When everything is sad it even includes my underwear." Everyday feelings of children are captured in this book. This collection of poems would be a good choice for reading aloud and an would also serve as an excellent introduction to the poetry genre.
School Library Journal
Gr 3-6-From ``The Seventh Swimming Lesson,'' in which Sally finally puts her face in the water, to a practical version of ``Sleeping Beauty,'' this is an inspired book of verse guaranteed to the tickle the humerus again and again. Yet, poignancy is present, too. The jolly fat boy isn't mirthful when he's alone, and ``What Dads Do'' is so amusingly correct that readers will not be prepared for the final line, ``I wish I still had one.'' All in all, these 70-odd poems will challenge, charm, and delight any child-or adult-who chooses to read them. A great many of the verses would be perfect for reading aloud and for transforming into wonderful choral-reading arrangements. Both humorous and dreamlike pen-and-ink illustrations are scattered throughout. Run out in your skivvies, if necessary, to secure a copy of this fine book. It will make children laugh themselves silly.-Amy Adler, Toledo-Lucas County Public Library, OH
Mary Harris Veeder
The title and wry tone of this book of poems will touch middle-school sensibilities. Some poems are clearly from an upper-middle-class world ("I'm Freaking! I'm Freaking! My Mom's Gone Antiquing" ), and there are more meditative poems than might be expected. In one, the miller's daughter from the fairy tale "Rumpelstiltskin" wonders, late in her life, if she could have saved the Rumpelstiltskin from being torn apart by his rage. However, there's really no "deep meaning" to debate: children will simply like the snap and clarity of the poems and have fun with the language Viorst uses.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780449223550
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 11/30/1994
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: REPRINT
  • Pages: 343
  • Product dimensions: 4.17 (w) x 6.87 (h) x 0.98 (d)

Meet the Author

Judith Viorst

Judith Viorst was born and brought up in New Jersey, graduated from Rutgers University, moved to Greenwich Village, and has lived in Washington, D.C., since 1960, when she married Milton Viorst, a political writer. They have three sons—Anthony and Nick (who are lawyers) and Alexander (who does community-development lending for a bank) and seven grandchildren—Miranda, Brandeis, Olivia, Nathaniel, Benjamin, Isaac, and Toby.

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