Oddballs

( 1 )

Overview

The author of such reliably offbeat sf thrillers as Strange Attractors (1990) radically changes pace for ten hilarious, semi- autobiographical stories. With affection and a splendid sense of comic timing, Sleator drags forth incidents from his family closet's darkest recesses—the time young Tycho was hypnotized and then made to drink from the toilet; an indignant skit that laid bare the failings of certain parents, to their vast amusement; rough-and-tumble car games; and deliciously horrifying pranks played on ...

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Overview

The author of such reliably offbeat sf thrillers as Strange Attractors (1990) radically changes pace for ten hilarious, semi- autobiographical stories. With affection and a splendid sense of comic timing, Sleator drags forth incidents from his family closet's darkest recesses—the time young Tycho was hypnotized and then made to drink from the toilet; an indignant skit that laid bare the failings of certain parents, to their vast amusement; rough-and-tumble car games; and deliciously horrifying pranks played on unsuspecting passersby. Vivid characterizations (sister Vicky ''had always enjoyed making dolls fight with each other; when the dolls wore out, she ripped off their arms and legs. Now she is a nurse'') always balance foibles with saving graces; embarrassment is eased by laughter, while painful circumstances always come right in the end. Sleator shows how, in a loosely run household presided over by indulgent working parents, he and his three siblings developed confident, independent spirits. Though he admits to making up a few things, his dedication is telling – ''To my family: Please forgive me!''

– Kirkus Reviews

A collection of stories based on experiences from the author's youth and peopled with an unusual assortment of family and friends.

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Editorial Reviews

The ALAN Review - Donald R. Gallo
Although the LC categories on the copyright page list this book as fiction, William Sleator's own comments indicate that most of the incidents recounted in these ten stories are true, with a little embellishing, of course. Fans of Sleator's novels won't learn anything about his penchant for science fiction here. But they will see lots of evidence of his creativity and that of his siblings, parents, and friends as he describes their loony adventures from childhood through adolescence, including Tycho's toilet training, Vicky's purple hair, Jack's self-taught hypnotizing skills, Halloween seances, zany skits, and what they called Pitiful Encounters acted out on streetcars. Even though Sleator's family was/is somewhat bizarre, his accounts will likely help readers recall some of their own similar childhood adventures while enjoying Sleator's humorous and wacky tales.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780140374384
  • Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
  • Publication date: 6/28/1995
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 144
  • Sales rank: 446,812
  • Age range: 11 - 14 Years
  • Lexile: 1010L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 4.38 (w) x 7.13 (h) x 0.38 (d)

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 25, 2003

    Entertaining

    This is a story about a boy named Bill, and his very, odd family. Though the author writes this as a fiction story, he claims almost every word is true. Throughout the book he introduces us to his wacky household. Vicky, the only sister, who enjoys fooling peolpe. Danny and Tycho, the two little brothers who, are always suprising you at the funniest of times. Last but not least, the flexable parents, who keep everything running smoothly. This is one funny and well writen book!

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