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Snotty Saves the Day: The History of Arcadia Paperback – April 19, 2011


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Product Details

  • Series: The History of Arcadia (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Exterminating Angel Press (April 19, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1935259075
  • ISBN-13: 978-1935259077
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 5.8 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,620,736 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Praise for The History of Arcadia Series

“Innovative form and spellbinding content . . . Davies’s fast-paced and mesmerizing [Snotty Saves the Day], which propels its reader from one breathtaking adventure to the next, is a novel of ideas for children and adults. . . . Much like Snotty Saves the Day, Lily the Silent is also a political allegory that asks its reader to reflect on gender roles, popular culture, and dominant ideologies. . . . Stories, as Tod Davies’s History of Arcadia novels ultimately suggest, serve as a civilization’s backbone, and it is therefore in stories too that we can discover the potential for fundamental change and a better society.” —Marvels & Tales

“Look inside this world and find wonder.” —KATE BERNHEIMER, editor of My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me and author of The Girl Who Wouldn’t Brush Her Hair

“Blending the magic of fairy tales with the great existential mysteries, Tod Davies leads us into a phantasmagorical world that resurrects the complex lore of times past with vibrant narrative energy.” —MARIA TATAR, author of The Annotated Brothers Grimm and other volumes, and chair of the Program in Folklore and Mythology at Harvard University. ??

Praise for Lily the Silent, the second novel in The History of Arcadia series

“Tod Davies is a multitalented writer . . . In this book, Lily lives happily in Arcadia until an invasion from Megalopolis turns everything upside-down. She escapes slavery through a kind prince of Megalopolis and goes on an eventful journey to retrieve a key that could save her people.” —The Oregonian

“Davies’s absorbing salute to the necessity and power of storytelling promises many grand adventures while hinting that there is really only one.” —Publishers Weekly

“A fairy tale told in lush but specific language, that reminds seasoned readers to seize their destiny.” —Library Journal

“In the grand tradition of fairy tales everywhere, Lily the Silent is the story of a reluctant heroine, feckless prince, and the wickedest of queens. . . . With Mike Madrid’s illustrations throughout (appropriately compared to Arthur Rackham’s), this title shows how comfortably fairy tales can encompass the fits and foibles of current times. It reads fast and furious and promotes love and friendship, all while making sure readers never forget to keep a solid head on their shoulders.” —Bookslut

“Tod Davies follows up her novel Snotty Saves the Day with the equally impressive Lily the Silent, the second installment in her The History of Arcadia series. This modern fairy tale smartly explores the power of storytelling in our lives, and is a rewarding book for both adults and children.” —Largehearted Boy

Praise for Snotty Saves the Day, the first novel in The History of Arcadia series

“Fascinating . . . A quirky, intelligent, and imaginative read for mid-teens and up.” —ForeWord Reviews

“Ms. Davies blends folklore, fairy tales, fantasy, and even oral tradition—and does so brilliantly . . . Snotty Saves the Day is a book for mature or precocious teens, for fantasy and tale-within-a-tale lovers, and for thoughtful adults who seek the wonder and optimism so badly needed in today’s times.” —New York Journal of Books

“A fun and unique tale, sure to entertain readers both young and old.” —Midwest Book Review

“[An] amusing debut . . . dressed up with footnotes, scholarly introductions and a bibliography, as well as lovely line drawings by Gary Zaboly, Snotty’s story seeks to prove that fairy tales rank with quantum mechanics in their ability to establish parallel worlds.” —Publishers Weekly

“A smart, funny, and thought-provoking read for readers of all ages, Snotty Saves the Day has me eagerly awaiting its sequel.” —Largehearted Boy

“The most audacious and unusual book I have read this year. Framed in a “we found this on our doorstep” ala Spiderwick sort of way, it is ostensibly forwarded to the publisher by a professor from the land of Arcadia. . . . If you are intrigued by how [fairy tales] are manipulated with such ease by pop culture mavens and movie makers . . . you will find the cheekiness of Davies’ story to be wildly appealing.” —Bookslut

“Awesome . . . There’s plenty of humor in the book. . . . And the best is the truth—what Is, as the book calls it—Snotty discovers about himself. He doesn’t just see the error of his old ways; he re-becomes an entirely different person. And that possibility, that ability—that we all might re-become what we were born to be—raises a wonder, a “sympathy with the idea of ‘changing the world’” that beats louder than does a superficially bleeding heart.” —Nervous Breakdown

“Like Susanna Clark’s magnificent Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell . . . and many works by Nicholson Baker, Snotty Saves the Day features fictional footnotes that add another layer to the novel. . . . Davies touches on . . . very Big Ideas. But these themes are wrapped in wonders . . . What could have been simply “messagey” is a romp, and an original one at that. . . . Give it to a smart, precocious young person in your life, read it yourself, and see what kind of interesting conversation develops.” —Bookconscious

“An imaginative book that will make readers think twice.” —JACK ZIPES, author of Why Fairy Tales Stick

About the Author

Tod Davies is the author of Snotty Saves the Day and Lily the Silent, both from The History of Arcadia series, and the cooking memoirs Jam Today: A Diary of Cooking With What You’ve Got and Jam Today Too: The Revolution Will Not Be Catered. Unsurprisingly, her attitude toward literature is the same as her attitude toward cooking—it’s all about working with what you have to find new ways of looking and new ways of being, and in doing so, to rediscover the best of our humanity. Davies lives with her husband and their two dogs, in the alpine valley of Colestin, Oregon, and at the foot of the Rocky Mountains, in Boulder, Colorado.

More About the Author

TOD DAVIES is the author of Jam Today: A Diary of Cooking With What You've Got, and Snotty Saves the Day: The History of Arcadia. Inspired by the work she did with teenagers in England, Snotty Saves the Day is her first book of fiction. Unsurprisingly, her attitude toward literature is the same as her attitude toward cooking--it's all about working with what you have to find new ways of looking and new ways of being, and in doing so, to rediscover the best of our humanity and work toward a better world. Davies now lives with her husband Alex, and her two dogs, in the alpine valley of Colestin, Oregon, surrounded by a mountain forest where the manuscript of Snotty Saves the Day was discovered under an old fir tree in the snow.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Sergio on May 16, 2011
Format: Paperback
A not so subtle parable of how the weak can overcome the powerful and how we create our own reality by the beliefs we hold within and the stories we tell ourselves. This is a breezy read, quite fun, which challenges the citizen of the modern, capitalist, industrialized world to consider 1) what has been lost in exchange for power and modern goods/conveniences, and 2) how we might reconsider and retrieve some of what has been given up. "Snotty" combines the familiar and comfortable with the raw and disconcerting. You'll find echoes of Homer, C.S. Lewis, the New Testament, Lewis Carroll, Descartes, L. Frank Baum, as well as quite familiar bits that you can't quite put your finger on, but you know they are a part of you.

Among many points made sometimes too vociferously, Tod suggests that we give up real control when we pursue what our culture defines as power; we give up real happiness and contentedness when we pursue what our culture defines as wealth. Snotty Saves the Day suggests that the meek may well inherit the Earth, but until then, they must fight over and over again to hold on to a piece of it. There should not be anything new here for the critical thinker, but it is an enjoyable, somewhat un-threatening story form in which to make these points; certainly worth the relatively short investment of time to read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Brian Griffith on June 12, 2011
Format: Paperback
Davies distills a whole imaginary culture's folklore (along with its body of literary criticism) down to one manuscript from Arcadia. The tale is packed with figures of popular myth, some familiar, and others invented on the spot. As for style, it's gotta be a blend of Lewis Carroll, George Orwell, and maybe some others such as Doris Lessing and Dr. Seuss. It's a bona fide work of creative mythology, and Joseph Campbell would approve.
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Format: Paperback
This allegorical fable was allegedly left leaning against a tree near the "editor's" home. It has been annotated by a scholar of fairy tales in the allegedly fictional world of Arcadia. The theme seems to be that fairy tales are true and this particular tale explains the origin of the land it comes from. (Some fans of Heinlein's World as Myth series already take this conclusion for granted...) Snotty is an unlikable young narrator, which makes his transformation all the more memorable. A lot of philosophy and morality is crammed into the short book, and it turned rather religious toward the end (in a similar way as The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe), which I was not a fan of. Up until then, I was planning to rate the book much higher. I appreciated the premise and support most of the messages imparted,and the language is almost British, which I liked as well. Recommended for fans of C. S. Lewis and the like.
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Imagine if your name were Snotty. What kind of a kid would you be? In Tod Davies's fictional world Snotty is an "ugly boy," inside and out. Snotty's from Megalopolis, and he's the kind of city kid who "knows nature when he sees it" and doesn't much like it. The title Snotty Saves the Day tells you what happens--or does it? What exactly does Snotty save when he falls down a hole and ends up in Arcadia?

The ostensible fairy tale has a parallel story--told in introductions and in footnotes written by imaginary scholars in the land of Arcadia, whose great Queen was Sophia the Wise. In the main story, Snotty becomes Sun God of the Garden Gnomes and, later, leads an army of Teddy Bears against them. He is tempted by devilish Luc and saved when Lily (later to become the first queen of Arcadia) appears. The story-in-footnotes--told through Arcadia's Professor Devindra Vale provides a running commentary on the traditional mythic themes in Arcadia and Megalopis (bad smells, dog messengers, sun gods, the loss of a finger, the turning of treasure-to-trash, selective blindness, and transformation of frightening creatures into helpful ones). The story-in-footnotes teases us with the history of Arcadia and Megalopis and the main story even asks questions about the meaning of meaning. It's like Lewis Carroll with footnotes by Jonathan Swift. Snotty Saves the Day is, like all good fairy tales, an optimistic book for children of all ages. It's also an origin story, steeped in real cultural myths. -- Ed Battistella, from LiteraryAshland.org
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This is a wonderfully well written, intelligent novella that manages to be scary, comforting, challenging and oddly therapeutic -- all at the same time. Tod Davies moves effortlessly and fluently from one reality to another, with nary a jolt or jostle. Nicely done, and definitely worth reading! Bravo!
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