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100 Cupboards: Book 1 of the 100 Cupboards Hardcover – Bargain Price, December 26, 2007
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“A highly imaginative tale.”—Kirkus Reviews
About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
Henry York's parents have been kidnapped biking in South America, and so he is sent off to live with his aunt, uncle, and three girl cousins on their farm in Kansas. Henry is not a farm child; he's never had soda, thrown a baseball (or owned a ballglove), and he's never used a knife, not even a pocket one.
All the characters are delightfully odd, as any good Wilson character should be, from his Aunt Dotty (overprotective, the opposite of classy, and frugal) to his Uncle Frank, who I was never sure we were supposed to fully like. On the one hand, Frank is described as being "thin, and not just physically. They meant thin everywhere and in every way," and sells tumbleweeds for 700 dollars a pop on the internet, and on the other, he shows Henry a better way to live, to love soda, baseball, and knives. The three cousins, Anastasia, Henrietta, and Pennylope, reminded me very strongly of the interactions between the girls in Little Women, which was a very fun connection to make. I think an exploration of the three Henrys in the book would be interesting as well; Henry the town, Henry the main character, and Henrietta the cousin.
100 Cupboards I think is much, much better than Leepike Ridge, and I am an unabashed *fan* of Leepike. Leepike is a very good book, but I think 100 Cupboards surpasses it on a number of levels. There is an added complexity to the world of 100 Cupboards, a sense of Lewisian profundity here. 100 Cupboards too, I think, is more subtle than Leepike. The humor in the book, while still providing laugh-out-loud moments, is not nearly as pronounced is specific scenes.Read more ›
So many fantasy books are like baby pools--they get your feet wet, but that's about all. "Cupboards" promises depth, dives below the surface, and delivers.
Twelve-year-old Henry York enters a world of tumbleweed, baseball and caffeine when his parents are kidnapped and he is sent to stay with relatives in Kansas. There, he meets Uncle Frank, Aunt Dotty, his three cousins, Penelope, Henrietta and Anastasia, and discovers something mysterious about the wall behind his bed: it contains portals to other worlds.
Random example of why I keep reading Wilson: "There were only two people alive who would recognize the wood in that door. One was a man living in a run-down apartment in a bad part of Orlando. He would have recognized it and then tried to find something strong to drink, because he wanted very much to believe that his childhood had not actually happened."
Life in Kansas is ordinary, and some readers might feel that Wilson takes too long introducing elements of fantasy. They forget--we all do--just how magical ordinary life really is when you come to think of it. We've trained ourselves to believe that excitement = haunted ballrooms, evil queens, bloody daggers, and missing damsels. While the story eventually delivers all the above, "100 Cupboards" spends quite a bit of time unfurling its petals, reminding readers that every moment of life is miraculous, not just full bloom.
And there's plenty to keep looking forward to.Read more ›
I really enjoyed the book and found it a gripping read, but reluctantly give it three stars rather than four because of some concerns I have about aspects of the enterprise.
To start with my positive impressions, I liked the creative premise of author N.D. Wilson's story. Twelve year old Henry is sent to live with his uncle, aunt and three girl cousins in a small town in Kansas. He discovers behind the plaster in his attic bedroom ninety nine cupboards (augmented later by cupboard number 100 in another room) that turn out to be connections or doorways to other worlds. He finds himself in a terrifying and exciting adventure that finally draws in the entire household.
Part of a projected series, the book ends on an open note with chapter one of the next volume included to whet one's appetite for more. It is always difficult to write good fantasy (and science fiction), in that it takes unusual talent combined with hard work to create an imaginary world or setting that is compelling, sweeping and convincing. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis and George MacDonald are the masters in my opinion, for various and many reasons. But all shared a depth of historical, literary and religious knowledge that is difficult to replicate in our times, no matter how serious one's intentions and aspirations. I would hope that Mr. Wilson would pay heed to their example, at least in the relationship between erudition and imagination. At this point, the jury is still out for me as to whether Wilson's world in the subsequent volumes will be of interest or not.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
“They (the books) are scary, because the world is scary. This is a scary place. If you want to raise weaklings and who fold the first time they meet an obstacle then give them hero... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Greg & Sara Masarik
Fun and intriguing book to read whether you are 11 or decades older. Mystery and Fantasy genres.Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
Hands down one of the best children's books I've read, and I've read a lot. The concept is brilliantly imaginative, the characters are delightfully quirky, and the story is told in... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Barb Lawrence
Oh my gosh guys. Just, wow. Thank you N.D Wilson! This is a great science fiction trip to OTHER WORLDS. Henry and his cousin, Henrietta find a wall of secret doors in the attic. Read morePublished 3 months ago by JM
Beautiful story with wonderfully painted word pictures and a challenge to dream and explore! Can't wait to read the next one.Published 3 months ago by Brandon Hecht
Everything N.D.Wilson writes is magic, but this one may be the best magic of all.Published 3 months ago by JLHutton