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The Night Tourist Hardcover – September 18, 2007


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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Ninth-grade classics-prodigy Jack Perdu is a loner, but his lonely life soon changes after he is struck by a car and suddenly thrust into the underworld beneath New York—the world of the dead. The story can be somewhat difficult to follow, with references to Greek myths and other classics and with the underworld setting, but Rannels expertly guides listeners with a well-timed performance, convincing character representations, and an easy reading style. The underworld is filled with a wide range of characters, including Dylan Thomas and Tennessee Williams, and Rannels masterfully portrays the characters in dialects ranging from Irish to New York. The recording begins with haunting chimes and concludes with a gentle piano melody, indicative of the hopeful ending. Grades 6-9. --Anna Rich --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"It was just after dusk when the accident happened." This alluring first sentence grabs readers' attention, and the compelling story line will hold that interest. Marsh's story focuses on ninth-grader Jack Perdu, a prodigy of classic mythology. Absorbed in a book, Jack fails to see the car that knocks him down. He's physically okay, but after the accident he sees ghostly beings. In New York City's subway, he meets Euri, a spectral girl who leads him eight stories below Grand Central Station, and together they enter the residence of hundreds of ghosts. The spirits, several dead for more than 200 years, are suspicious of Jack, because to them he appears to be alive. Is Jack actually dead? If so, will he be able to locate his mother who disappeared years before? Both Jack and readers will simultaneously unravel the mystery surrounding the author's surreal setting as he learns how to enter and exit this supernatural world. Teenagers knowledgeable about mythology and appreciative of sophisticated wordplay will especially enjoy this intricate read. -- Kirkus Reviews, September 1, 2007
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 10 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 760L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Disney-Hyperion; First Edition edition (September 18, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 142310689X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1423106890
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,568,585 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

* Author of middle grade and YA fiction.
* Grew up just outside of New York City, an only child, a Scorpio, a bookworm.
* Majored in English at Yale, in hopes of becoming a poet.
* No poet jobs in the Help Wanteds so...
* Taught English at her own high school (only occasionally mistaken for a student).
* Spent almost a decade as a journalist, including as a feature writer for Rolling Stone and an editor at The New Republic.
* Began writing middle grade and YA fiction as a Washington transplant homesick for her childhood in New York.
* Won the Edgar award for Best Juvenile Mystery for "The Night Tourist"
* Religion: lapsed astrologist (inspiration for the forthcoming, "Jepp, Who Defied the Stars" October 2012!)

Customer Reviews

The modern embellishments to the plot are predictable, but still satisfying.
Pop Bop
This novel is basically a retelling of the Orpheus myth, with some very interesting modern twists.
John Thornton
Most solid middle school readers (and older people like me) will find the book worth reading.
Teacherrates

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Joe Mathews on October 15, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This is a terrific ghost story for the advanced young reader. This adult enjoyed it, too, though he's easily frightened and found some parts a little scary. The Night Tourist is also a page turner, with brains and action. Marsh will have you flying over and under New York City. (And if there are any Latin-studying nerds out there, please take note: this is a book you can't miss).
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Robert K. Griffith on September 27, 2007
Format: Hardcover
The Night Tourist is a must-read for sixth, seventh, and eighth graders, their teachers, librarians, reading specialists, and anyone who enjoys excellent young adult fiction.
It is the adventure of Jack Perdu, a smart ninth grader who lives with his father on the campus of Yale University. Due to a near-fatal auto accident, his father sends him to Manhattan, a place he hasn't been since his mother's death eight years earlier, to see an unusual doctor.
Later, in Grand Central Station, Jack meets Euri, a peculiar girl who takes him on a search for his mother through New York's ghostly underworld beneath the subway system, a metaphor for the Greek underworld. Much magical action also takes place in the night sky above the modern-day landscape of Manhattan.
The Night Tourist is an intelligently crafted work of fiction. Marsh writes with a deep understanding of adolescents. The author is masterful in her development of a bonding friendship between Jack and Euri. At times, the reader will smile or even laugh out loud at the touches of humor and word play. Unexpected plot twists and suspenseful action keep the reader intrigued right up to the last page. A sequel is a must.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Reader J on September 19, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This Orpheus-inspired YA urban fantasy set in the New York City Underworld is distinguished by witty writing, an abundance of suspense and fun, and the occasional dead poet. By turns funny and poignant, it deals gracefully and honestly with issues of death (and life) without ever condescending to the reader. You will be transported into the world of these vividly drawn characters and settings; New Yorkers will enjoy an extra laugh or two, and those who've never been will be captivated by a clever and loving insider's look devoid of the standard NYC cliches.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Lyda Phillips on September 19, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This deft take on the Orpheus myth is both funny and sad, the best kind of novel. Katherine Marsh's sly wit shines through Jack's heroic quest to the New York Underworld, a Greek-style afterlife inhabited by the ghosts of every person who ever died in the City--from Dylan Thomas to Jack's own mother. His guide? A Eurydice in prep school uniform and armed with a serious attitude. The resolution--or lack thereof--of Jack's quest begs for a sequel.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Caitlin Ruthman on October 28, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Katherine Marsh has written a gem! The Night Tourist is filled with action, thoughful musings, touching moments, and intriguing tidbits about New York City and Greek mythology. At times it reminded me of From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankwiler-- a childhood favorite that still conjurs up a feeling of amusement and delight for me. I have no doubt that The Night Tourist will do the same for kids today.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Kindle Customer on November 4, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Jack Perdu, is a Classics prodigy who lives with his father on the Yale university campus. Jack keeps to himself. One winter day after a near fatal accident, Jack's life is changed forever.

His father sends him to see a myterious doctor in New York City, a place Jack hasn't been to since his mother's death. At Grand Station Terminal he meets Euri, a girl who offers to show him the train station's hidden places. Eight flights down he stumbles across the 61st floor, which he finds is home to New York's ghostly underworld. Jack wonders if he can find his mother again. But secrets are revealed which include what really happened to his mother and the truth of Euri's past.

Katherine Marsh does a great job combining mythology with a mysterious underworld. Her take on the Orpheus is unique too. I was glued from the first page. I'd recommend this book to those who like a good ghostly read without the usual cliches.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Pop Bop TOP 500 REVIEWER on April 26, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I like and admire the Percy Jackson books, and I think that Rick Riordan has a very young-reader-friendly writing style. But, while the books are very enjoyable, they don't demand much more of the reader than that he follow the story.
The Night Tourist is the next step. It is a modern retelling of the Orpheus story, with both subtle parallels and more explicit references to help guide the young reader. The hero, Jack, is a more fully realized character than you usually find in fantasy. The modern embellishments to the plot are predictable, but still satisfying. There is broad humor, but also some sly witty references that I think add another layer of reading satisfaction. So,the book entertains, educates, challenges and satisfies. And it's reasonably priced. What's not to like?
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By The Fiction Vixen on November 30, 2007
Format: Hardcover
My English professor assigned this book for my class which is centered on Childhood in Urban Space. She told us it was a kid's book written for people 13 and older, but as I read the book I felt that the avergage teen would not understand the literary allusions to such works as Dante's Inferno and the Orpheus myth. If teens were to read this book on their own they will be thoroughly confused. Unless they understand Greek mythology and have a background in Medieval Literature they will not be able to fully appreciate this amazing novel.

Jack is a 14-year-old Classics prodigy, who takes a trip to the underworld beneath NYC and meets dead-girl Euri (as in Eurydice) while trying to find his mother who had "died" 8 years earlier. The search leads him to poets Dylan Thomas and Allen Guinsberg and a viewing of a play written posthumously by Tennessee Williams. It was a thouroughly engaging novel, and is recommended for anyone who is willing to spend the time to research the literary allusions.
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