Something Rotten by Alan Gratz, Paperback | Barnes & Noble
Something Rotten

Something Rotten

4.4 7
by Alan Gratz
     
 

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Denmark, Tennessee, stinks. The smell hits Horatio Wilkes the moment he pulls into town to visit his best friend, Hamilton Prince. And it's not just the paper plant and the polluted river that's stinking up Denmark: Hamilton's father has been poisoned and the killer is still at large. Why? Because nobody believes that Rex Prince was murdered. Nobody except

Overview

Denmark, Tennessee, stinks. The smell hits Horatio Wilkes the moment he pulls into town to visit his best friend, Hamilton Prince. And it's not just the paper plant and the polluted river that's stinking up Denmark: Hamilton's father has been poisoned and the killer is still at large. Why? Because nobody believes that Rex Prince was murdered. Nobody except Horatio and Hamilton. Now they need to find the killer, but it won't be easy. It seems like everyone in Denmark is a suspect. Motive, means, opportunity? they all have them. But who among them has committed murder most foul?

Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal

Gr 10 Up
This contemporary reworking of Hamlet is told through the voice of quick-witted Horatio Wilkes, who is visiting his boarding-school friend Hamilton Prince. Hamilton's father has been knocked off, and Horatio resolves to solve the crime. Denmark, TN, serves as the mill-town backdrop to the story, and the winking nods to Shakespeare's characters-including Olivia, Roscoe, and Gilbert-are mildly fun to observe. The author tries to remake the protagonist as a sexy Everyman who passes easily through town and into the good graces of its inhabitants, but it feels forced and unrealistic. Women can't resist the teen, apparently, and they all exist merely as a foil for his cadlike ways. When he tires of leering at Olivia and moves on, she has nothing else to do but wait until the end of the novel to kiss him. The fun quotient quickly dissolves for a conceit that had potential.
—John LeightonCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Kirkus Reviews
Gratz is cornering the niche market of novels containing dissimilar topics. Here he combines Hamlet and hardboiled detective pulp. During a vacation from their academy, Horatio Wilkes accompanies his buddy Hamilton Prince to Denmark, Tenn. Just two months after his father passed away under suspicious circumstances, Hamilton's Uncle Claude has married Hamilton's mother. Claude now controls the Elsinore Paper Plant, a multibillion dollar company blatantly polluting the Copenhagen River. Horatio, with a knack for investigating, is determined to expose Claude's corruption while Hamilton, dismayed by what he believes is his mother's betrayal, drowns himself in alcohol. Ultimately, Horatio relies on environmentalist protester Olivia to reveal secrets about Elsinore. The many parallels to Hamlet are interesting, but Gratz wisely avoids producing a carbon copy of the tragedy. Horatio admirably plays the loyal friend but has a cocky voice that is too self-assured and as a teen rings unauthentic. However, this well-crafted mystery has appeal for readers familiar with both Raymond Chandler's novels and Shakespeare's masterpiece. (Fiction. YA)

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780142412978
Publisher:
Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date:
01/08/2009
Series:
Horatio Wilkes Series
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
224
Sales rank:
603,671
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 6.90(h) x 0.70(d)
Age Range:
12 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Alan Gratz was born and raised in Knoxville, Tennessee. After a carefree but humid childhood, he attended the University of Tennessee, where he earned a College Scholars degree with a specialization in creative writing and later a Master's degree in English education. In addition to writing plays, magazine articles, and a few episodes of A&E's City Confidential, Alan has taught catapult building to middle schoolers, written more than 6,000 radio commercials, and lectured as a Czech university. Currently, Alan lives with his wife Wendi and daughter Jo in the high country of western North Carolina, where he enjoys reading, eating pizza, and, perhaps not too surprisingly, watching baseball.

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