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The Other Normals Hardcover – September 25, 2012


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Balzer + Bray; First Edition edition (September 25, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062079905
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062079909
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.2 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,158,613 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 7-10-Perry Eckert loves to read Creatures and Caverns rule books and make up characters, but he doesn't play with anyone. That changes when he meets Sam and creates a new character that is a ferrule-a humanoid with red skin, yellow hair, and a tail. When Perry begins to cut classes to play with Sam, his parents decide to send him to Camp Washiska Lake where he will have to interact with "regular" kids and be without his beloved game. Not long after arriving, Perry meets an actual ferrule and travels to the World of the Other Normals. The ferrule, Mortin Enaw, and his intern, Ada Ember, explain to him that our world and theirs correspond to each other so that actions in one affect the other. Mortin studies these correspondences and has determined that if Perry kisses a certain girl at his camp, then the princess of his world will be rescued from a giant snake/insect creature. Adventures ensue in the other world involving police with octopus tentacles instead of legs and frog-headed courtesans but, in the end, it is at the summer camp where events come to a head. Vizzini has created a likable geek in Perry and an interesting alternate world that could easily be the setting for more adventures. This book will be enjoyed by readers open to something that straddles the line between fantasy and science fiction.-Eric Norton, McMillan Memorial Library, Wisconsin Rapids, WIα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

In this uproarious fantasy, the fate of the world rests on a simple kiss—only, for “Mini Pecker” Perry Eckert, kissing a girl is far from simple. Stuck at summer camp because his parents think his obsession with role-playing games is stunting his growth, Perry chances upon a real-life version of a creature from his game and discovers the World of the Other Normals. It’s just like his RPG so Perry feels at home, but he is disappointed when the quest they assign him is in the world he would prefer to leave behind. In order to free a kidnapped princess in their world, Perry must kiss her correspondent in his, an unattainable girl named Anna. To succeed, Perry has to develop an entirely new set of skills—social skills. Despite the occasional strain on credulity, Perry is lovably awkward, and his goofy eagerness is offset by his bitingly funny observations. The fantasy world—full of creatures, monsters, and battles—will appeal to genre fans, but Vizzini’s true strength is in authentically depicting the skills needed to survive growing up, puberty and all. Grades 9-12. --Krista Hutley

Customer Reviews

The ending was quite surprising.
Dark Faerie Tales
This book was great because it took a new look at the action and adventure genre.
Julie Cord
I really liked that because it felt like the book was divided in sections.
Juhina & Farah @ Maji Bookshelf

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Karielle @ Books à la Mode TOP 1000 REVIEWER on September 25, 2012
Format: Hardcover
The Other Normals by Ned Vizzini
Release Date: September 25th, 2012
Publisher: Balzer + Bray (HarperCollins)
Page Count: 387
Source: Complimentary ARC provided by author in exchange for an honest and unbiased review

I've been a Ned Vizzini fan since way way back. I recall purchasing a first edition hardcover copy of Be More Chill at a school book fair the moment it hit the shelves; reveling in his next release, It's Kind of a Funny Story; and the pride/nostalgia/elation I felt when I discovered the latter had been turned into a movie.

So I was a little more than excited to try his newest, The Other Normals, which is for a slightly different audience, but regardless full of his typical teen angst (see what I did there?) and literally laugh-out-loud-able humor. Many thanks to Ned for the ARC!

The book could read middle grade because of the high-fantasy elements that teenagers might rather roll their eyes at, as well as Perry's inexplicable dorkiness -- though it is the essence of his character, which I absolutely loved -- but the content is more mature: a bit of mild swearing, sexuality, and just plain giggle-worthy inappropriateness... giggle-worthingly inappropriate for middle-grade boys, that is (penis jokes, anyone?). Nothing offensive to me obviously, but I can imagine some parents disapproving. On the other hand, it's extremely child-friendly. The Other Normals is the kind of book you want your children to stay away from, but whose story you don't want them to miss out on. Honestly, if you're a parent reading this, just be a cool mom/dad and hand it over to your kid. So what if they learn more than a few ways to name the male genitalia? The deep recesses of a teenage boy's mind are bound to contain far more incriminating thoughts.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By JB on October 1, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I must be a 15 year old boy at heart because I think this book is freaking awesome. It's funny, amazingly sharp, and very enjoyably satirical about RPG's, summer camp, ethnic and gender and cool vs nerd tensions (like when a friend is forced to ignore you due to the threat to their own social status), and also the ridiculous demands of plot whether in fantasy or for-the-sake-of-argument realistic worlds. Great moments: the sign outside Camp Washiska stating "No Lawyers Beyond This Point", and the behavior of creatures in a fantasy world strongly resembling our own: "Centaurs, perhaps, would catch us, but the centaurs are as amused as everyone else, watching with the same detached glee that people do when there's a fire in Manhattan or a car accident or a homeless person yelling at a rich woman for no reason."
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Addison Crowell on February 11, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
This book was amazing. It is a great book for kids who like video games and fantasy stuff, had stuff about strange summer camps,and a lot of stuff about gender. It was extremely funny, especially when Perry took his pants off. I had to admit it had a lot of swears and stuff in it. I would probably recommend this for kids 11+. Kids who play RPG games would definitely get more out of this then other people. It was well paced and had a good story. I'm a gamer myself and its nice to see people writing a book about a awkward kid.

I really liked this author's book, I have been segregated a group of kids who love video games and fantasy stuff,and I will probably look up to this book in the future. It was funny to meet his RPG idol in another world! He's very similar to me as my parents always force me to go to summer camps, and always insult my fantasy hobbies. It also had a lot of "crude" humor (coming in naked to the world of other normals,racism, and penis jokes". This was probably one of the best gaming and RPG books ever. However I would have to rate this a 4 because of swears and stuff... I freaking' loved it because of everything else.(;
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By CTMom on November 25, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Much of this book was entertaining, but other parts seemed to be a bit forced. Perry was an fun main character, but he was supposed to be 15. He acted, however more like he was 12 or 13 & I found that really distracting. He's at his best, and seems more his age, though when he's transported into the world of Other Normals- a world seemingly ripped from the role-playing game that he loves and would spend all his time playing if only the grownups in his life would leave him alone.

I think kids who are interested in RPGs will get a lot more out of this story than most other readers. It's certainly a creative story, but it stumbled a bit for me in the way it reinvented itself as it went along.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By John Kwok HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on October 12, 2012
Format: Hardcover
One of our finest American chroniclers of adolescent angst in nonfiction and fiction, Ned Vizzini, has written one of the most compellingly readable and imaginative works of fiction published this year that, I promise, will thrill children of all ages; "The Other Normals". It is a bold, brash, quite imaginative, look at adolescent male bonding and blossoming sexual interest between the sexes masquerading as a cleverly plotted sword and sorcery fantasy that is light years removed from J. K. Rowling's "Harry Potter" series. Fans of Lev Grossman's "The Magicians" and "The Magician King" will find much to admire in Vizzini's fantasy debut, from his realistic depiction of adolescent life in the Brooklyn, New York neighborhood of Bensonhurst and the relatively remote Camp Washiska Lake to the parallel Earth inhabited by the "Other Normals"; a world that resembles a crazy patchwork quilt of Lewis Carroll's Wonderland, J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle Earth and C. S. Lewis' Narnia that is still uniquely Vizzini's own and among the finest recent examples I have encountered of memorable world-building in fantasy and science fiction literature. However, one doesn't need to admire any of Lev Grossman's excellent fantasy literature to realize that Vizzini's creation is, to quote Lev Grossman, "wildly imaginative, incredibly funny, and weirdly wise".Read more ›
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