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The Mysterious Edge of the Heroic World Hardcover – September 25, 2007
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From School Library Journal
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
More About the Author
After completing her degree at Carnegie Mellon University, Ms. Konigsburg did graduate work in organic chemistry at the University of Pittsburgh. For several years she taught science at a private girls' school. When the third of her three children started kindergarten, she began to write. She now lives on the beach in North Florida.
Top Customer Reviews
Sixth grader Amedeo Kaplan has just moved to St. Malo, Florida from New York and he's in a bit of a rut.Read more ›
As you have probably read in the previous reviews, this novel addresses the art that was stolen during the Holocaust. In some places it becomes a primer on "Degenerate Art" and on the Nazi persecution of Jews, homosexuals, Roma (gypsies) and other non-Aryan "undesirables." (There are generalizations about the Germans in World War II, some of which certain readers may find disturbing, though they come from the mouth of a character--Leilani Vanderwaal--who has survived the German occupation of Holland, and whose point of view--stated simply and almost eerily without drama--is entirely understandable.)
"Mysterious Edge" is redolent with literary resonance: names like Fortinbras, Epiphany, Amadeo, and even Lancaster (remember the War of the Roses and how the House of Tudor established itself?) dance along with everyday life in a small, heat-stifled Florida town, giving the narrative a quirky depth. Even the name of the town, St.Malo, recalls the real St. Malo, the walled French town that became notorious as the home of privateers and pirates, reminding us in yet another way of theft, murder and betrayal.
Konigsburg's novel is filled with coincidences, but not the kind that seem contrived--the kind that seem destined, at least to this reader, who has experienced numerous odd coincidences over the course of her life.Read more ›
I want to recommend this book for those who love art, history, feminism, and truth. Not only for kids but also for grown-ups. The greatest book I've ever read. Definitely.
The story is slow and the characters are inconsistent, but the sections related to lost and stolen art by the Nazis were interesting to read. I enjoyed the fictionalized (of course) stories of the young men in an art shop on Prinsengracht in Amsterdam trying to save the loss of great art the Nazis had condemned as "degenerate art". I can imagine such fictionalized accounts of this type of activity probably aren't too far from truth.
In terms of the characters I didn't like the development of the two young teen boys. At one moment they were talking like one might expect a teen to speak, for example, poor grammar. Then a bit later they were discussing great works of art like they were well educated, sophisticated adults. It just grated on me.
The story really didn't get interesting in terms of the discovery of lost art and solving the mystery of its origin until about the final 1/4 of the book. A lot of what came before that seemed to be fluffy filler.
Finally, though it's billed as a "teen" book I can't imagine many teens would spend their time with this one. It's just my sense that the slow storyline won't hold their attention. This book would be thrown by the wayside in favor of something more stimulating to the senses.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
At ⅔ of the way through, I'm giving up. Irritating characters who don't behave or talk in realistic ways. Read morePublished 17 days ago by Amazon Customer
Brilliant writing! I love an author who is so good at their work, that I cannot skim a word. This a appropriate for teens but also for adults.Published 16 months ago by Amazon Customer
She's repeating herself. Then everyone cries at the end. Not her best work, which is of course very good indeed.Published on December 2, 2013 by Gotta pay yer dues if ya wanna sing the blues**
This book was not what I was expecting. The back of the book on CD related a "clue to the past" and a "house that holds many secrets". Read morePublished on July 5, 2011 by Just my advice
Once again, a rather sophisticated children's novel. I found it hard to put down. It has much in common with From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Read morePublished on October 20, 2009 by A. Teacher
This book is about a new and strong friendship formed between two twelve year old boys, Amedeo and William, when helping William's mother, who owns an Estate Sales Company. Read morePublished on May 26, 2009
Wow...where to begin? A mother and her son do estate sales for a living. A young neighbor, who happens to be an artist's son and a godchild of an art gallery owner, becomes... Read morePublished on February 18, 2009 by devotedmomof7
I loved this book. It was great! At the beginning the plot was a little boring, but keep reading, it gets so much more exciting. Read morePublished on January 13, 2008
I found this book to be interesting, but at times a little flow challenged.
It is a well disguised WWII book. Read more