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M.T. Anderson's Thrilling Tales - Whales On Stilts Hardcover – 2005


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 188 pages
  • Publisher: Harcourt, Inc.; 1ST edition (2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0152053409
  • ISBN-13: 978-0152053406
  • Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 5.4 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #269,699 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

M. T. Anderson is the author of The Game of Sunken Places, Burger Wuss, Thirsty, and Feed, which was a finalist for the National Book Award, a Boston Globe-Horn Book Honor Book and the winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Young Adult Fiction. He lives in Boston, Massachusetts.

Customer Reviews

It reminded me of a comic book from the thirties, or earlier.
Betty L. Dravis
With chapter titles like, "What You Can Learn From Larry's Teeth," and a quick, witty writing style, you can't help but laugh and read on.
Amazon Customer
I am giving this book five stars because it made me smile and laugh so much, so often.
Misao Misako

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

41 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on December 8, 2004
Format: Hardcover
A got an advanced reader's copy to review through a library program, and at first I was turned off by how "little-kidish" (short, small, and double spaced), but within moments, I couldn't put it down. You don't have to be a young kid to enjoy this - in fact, the older (and, I'm assuming, wiser) you are, the more allusions you're likely to catch.

With chapter titles like, "What You Can Learn From Larry's Teeth," and a quick, witty writing style, you can't help but laugh and read on. Although it is soon obvious how the ending will turn out, it doesn't seem to matter while you're reading it; the reason why Whales on Stilts! stands out from other books is not its complex plot, but its halirity.

Don't miss it... or the whales will crush your home and shoot lasers from their eyes at you.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Fluffy Sausage on May 24, 2005
Format: Hardcover
A got an advanced reader's copy to review through a library program, and at first I was turned off by how "little-kidish" (short, small, and double spaced), but within moments, I couldn't put it down. You don't have to be a young kid to enjoy this - in fact, the older (and, I'm assuming, wiser) you are, the more allusions you're likely to catch.

With chapter titles like, "What You Can Learn From Larry's Teeth," and a quick, witty writing style, you can't help but laugh and read on. Although it is soon obvious how the ending will turn out, it doesn't seem to matter while you're reading it; the reason why Whales on Stilts! stands out from other books is not its complex plot, but its halirity.

Don't miss it... or the whales will crush your home and shoot lasers from their eyes at you.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Elena on May 5, 2005
Format: Hardcover
"On Career Day Lily visited her dad's work with him and discovered he worked for a mad scientist who wanted to rule the earth through destruction and desolation." Lily Gefelty has always considered herself a little drab next to her friends Katie Mulligan and Jasper Dash, who each have their own adventure book series. But when Lily uncovers a plot to take over the world at her fathers workplace in the clearly labeled Abandoned Warehouse, it's her turn to step into the limelight and save the planet. Cleverly masked as "a midsize company devoted to expanding cetacean pedestrian opportunities," the goings on in the Abandoned Warehouse are not what they seem (er, actually...). Lily and her friends discover that Mr. Gefelty's boss, Larry, is really a whale-human hybrid intent on destroying the world using whales, stilts, lazers, and mind control. And it's up to Lily to stop him.

At first glance, you may think that "Whales on Stilts" is a silly, cheesy story geared towards ten-year-olds. You'd be right. However, "Whales on Stilts" goes so far beyond cheesy that it's positively hilarious for readers of any age, ten on up. If Douglas Adams had made a foray into juvenile fiction, this uproarious book may have been the result. Lily is so normal that she's the perfect main character to put into such a ridiculously overdone book. The other characters are uniquely strange in their own rights. The plot is straightforward and wouldn't be interesting at all in other circumstances, but the story is so stuffed with hilarity that the obvious and cliche plot is perfect. The best part of the book, in my opinion, actually occurs after the ending - an "educational" section written by one Ann Mowbray Dixon-Clarke, who seems to have a bit of trouble writing objectively ("1.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By ryansmom93 on July 21, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I had to read this book for myself after my eleven year old son was reading it and laughing through the entire thing. I found the book amusing and interesting. Perfect for my son and his age group. Parts in the story were educational. I enjoyed it and we are waiting for the next book to come out in August.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By LonestarReader VINE VOICE on September 13, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I so admire a great opening:

"On Career Day Lily visited her dad's work with him and discovered he worked for a mad scientist who wanted to rule the earth through destruction and desolation. Up until then life hadn't been very interesting for Lily."

Lily Gefelty is the only one who seems to understand that her father's weird boss, Larry is planning to take over the world using whales on stilts with lasers in their eyes. She is helped by her friend Katie Mulligan, a Nancy Drew/Buffy type whose real life adventures are serialized in Horror Hollow Books (Goosebumps/Fear Street) and Jasper Dash, Boy Technonaut (Tom Swift à la Orphan Annie selling Ovaltine, only here it is Gargletine) who sports vintage clothing and turns of phrase from a bygone era.

In the great tradition of children's books, the parents are hilariously clueless. Her father does not think it odd that Larry, the boss, wears a sack over his features, has a flipper-like hand, dumps green brine over his head and openly admits his plan for world domination might interfere with the Gefelty family vacation plans.

The story is over-the-top fun, bizarre, strange yet traditional and conventional with behind the scenes publishing humor...
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15 of 20 people found the following review helpful By E. R. Bird HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on December 4, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Some people feel completely frustrated when they've found that a good author has written a bad book. Maybe so. Still, I feel that far worse and far more frustrating is the good author who writes a so-so book. Have you ever experienced this? You're reading a mediocre title that once in a while contains a bright flash of brilliance. And as you are reading you slowly come to the conclusion that these flashes of brilliance could be far more frequent and the writing far less inane if the doggone writer had just put some EFFORT into what he or she was writing. M.T. Anderson is the fabulous author of "Feed" and "The Game of Sunken Places". Usually he writes for the young adult crowd (though he has earned high marks for non-fiction children's titles like "Strange Mr. Satie" and "Handel Who Knew What He Liked"). Here he skews for a younger crowd and inadvertently (I like to give him the benefit of the doubt here) has written a book that reads like a knock-off of "A Series of Unfortunate Events" crossed with several different kids v. villain genres. Anderson gets so doggone wrapped up in his own cleverness that his book veers in five different directions and suffers as a result. What we have here is a title that could have been very very good had its author been able to reconcile its goofiness with its storytelling. Instead, we've the ultimate frustration. A good author with a palpably mediocre title to his name.

Lily is a normal kid and has never had a lot of excitement in her life. That all changes on Career Day when Lily discover that her dad's boss is... well, evil. Nice and all. But evil.
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