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Timmy Failure Kindle Edition

4.5 out of 5 stars 193 customer reviews

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Good Night, Baddies
Good Night, Baddies
From Jack E. Levin, author of "Malice Toward None," a charming picture book about a boy's beloved dog Spot. Hardcover | Kindle book | See more for ages 6-8

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 3-8-Timmy Failure's new surname is completely apt. His original family name was "Fayleure," he explains, "but somebody changed it." And that bit of shallow self-assessment is just about the only accurate thing Timmy relates about himself for the rest of this highly illustrated comic novel as he unreliably narrates a boastful "historical record" of his adventures as the self-described founder, president, and CEO of the best detective agency in town, probably the state, perhaps the nation, Total Failure, Inc. Total is actually the name of Timmy's partner, a 1500-pound polar bear whose main talent seems to be eating trash. He's also "assisted," at times, by a sheepish and studious sidekick, Rollo Tookus, who often picks up on clues that soar completely past Timmy's selective attention as he, instead, focuses on demeaning Rollo for his supposed incompetence at every turn. And, of course, every master Investigator needs an evil nemesis, and Timmy's is Corrina Corrina, who looks like she might have been collaboratively created by Charles Schulz and Edward Gorey. While the book is not quite a graphic novel, Pastis, creator of the syndicated comic strip Pearls Before Swine, peppers nearly every page of this comic romp with at least one intentionally amateurish black-and-white illustration, enhancing the laughs along the way as Timmy misses even the most obvious clues in Clouseauesque fashion. Middle grade readers will appreciate all the silly sleuthing and absurd details, and older readers-including parents who come along for the ride-will find a satisfying layer of more sophisticated humor, too.-Jeffrey Hastings, Highlander Way Middle School, Howell, MIα(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

Eleven-year-old Timmy Failure would have you believe that he is the best detective in town, destined to head a multibillion-dollar agency. But he is no Encyclopedia Brown. The fact that his partner is an imaginary 1,200-pound polar bear named Total—hence the agency’s moniker “Total Failure”—is an indication of Timmy’s rich inner life. In reality, Timmy is bored at school by teachers who don’t get him and is in a whole heap of trouble for using his mother’s Segway, which was then stolen. Cartoonist Pastis’ book is in the same vein as Diary of a Wimpy Kid (2007), but his brand of humor is less slapstick and much darker. Timmy’s delusional self-confidence seems almost pathetic at times, as the reader realizes that he is very socially inept. Fortunately for Timmy, there are some adults in his life who really do care for him, and with the right balance of indulgence and firmness, they keep him on track. Younger readers attracted by the cartoons might not connect with Timmy’s offbeat humor, but older readers should be simultaneously amused and touched by this quirky antihero. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: This may be Pastis’ first book for young people, but he is a New York Times best-selling adult author. Impressive promotional plans include an author tour, promotional items, and extensive consumer advertising. Grades 4-7. --Kara Dean

Product Details

  • File Size: 25089 KB
  • Print Length: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Candlewick (February 26, 2013)
  • Publication Date: February 26, 2013
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #41,087 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Okay, so let me begin by mentioning my age and my interest in reading this book. I'm 24 and about a year off from being the greatest elementary teacher the world has ever seen! This past year or so I've been reading books to stock my classroom library with for my students to read. Also, to note, I've just become an avid reader and the only books of interest at the moment are the ones I will one day have available for my students. Okay, now for the review.

I absolutely refuse to sugarcoat this review but this book was three parts incredible and twelve parts amazing. The characters were enjoyable, the writing was clever and comical, and the storyline was stellar. This was a book that anyone with a good sense of humor will enjoy at any age. One of the more cohesive aspects, to me, was the dialogue. I found it overwhelmingly believable, even if Timmy sometimes spoke to an intellectual level that would normally seem a little out of reach for his age--it was his character that made it believable and subsequently hilarious.

Even though the main rivalry in the book seems a bit one-sided, Timmy more than makes up for it by his most astute observations. He also makes up for the antics of his polar bear partner who seems to get in the way more often than he helps. Timmy Failure is quickly on his path to greatness, though he would probably argue he's already most of the way there.

In all honesty, this book made me laugh out loud on a consistent basis. I simply could not put it down. And it's because of all these reasons that Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made is the most exciting series I've ever cracked into and even though I do not know when book No. 2 will be written/made available to the general public, it will be all I desire until I can have it.
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Format: Hardcover
This is the debut novel from Stephan Pastis, creator of the amazing comic strip Pearls Before Swine. While his comic might not be all ages material this book sure is. The characters are fun and well written with an engaging plot. Timmy Failure ( yes that's his name) is an ambitious boy who wants to run a detective agency to get money to help his mother but has competition from his rivals ( and other reasons). He gets some help from his partner, a polar bear named Total in forming Total Failure. With a name like that what can go wrong?

From the very first line the book draws you in and makes you fall in love with its universe and the writing only gets stronger from there. This has been described as the next diary of a wimpy kid and as a cross between diary and calvin and hobbes and the influence of the latter on Pastis is undeniable as seen in the protagonist, who has many qualities shared by Calvin ( He has noted the influence himself several times in the past). Personally I think the book is its own thing and can stand on its own merits.

While there are quite a few plot threads that seem to get dropped without much explanation, readers will still be satisfied. While this is a kids book officially, it is really for all ages as adults will appreciate some parts that kids might not.

Timmy is a protagonist who is an outsider of sorts but comments on the adult world in a way that anyone who is frustrated can relate to. The unreliable narrator in fiction is not always done well but Pastis nails it here.

All in all a great novel for kids nine and up and for adults and teens as well.

Happy reading!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The kids in my class like this book a lot. There is actually a waiting list in my classroom posted on the board so the kids know who will be reading my one copy next.

As for the book itself, the plot is insane, the pictures are mediocre, and the main character is an absolute weirdo. He's a smart kid with no concept of reality (is the polar bear real, or is it like Hobbes?) as he goes from one misadventure to the next.

There are some absolutely hilarious bits mixed in with some absolutely awkward ones, but for me the bottom line is that some of my reluctant readers have really embraced the story and are loving the book.
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Format: Hardcover
Call it the attack of the syndicated cartoonists. For whatever reason, in the year 2013 we are seeing droves of escapees from the comic strip pages leaping from the burning remains of the newspaper industry into the slightly less volatile world of books for kids. How different could it be, right? As a result you’ve The Odd Squad by Michael Fry (Over the Hedge) and Zits Chillax by Jerry Scott (Zits). Even editorial cartoonists are getting in on the act with Pulitzer prize winner Matt Davies and his picture book Ben Rides On. In the old days it was usually animators, greeting card designers, and Magic the Gathering illustrators who joined the children’s book fray. But now with graphic novels getting better than ever and libraries willing to buy the bloody things, the world has been made safe for cartoonists too. Into this state of affairs comes Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made. It is, without a doubt, the best of the cartoonist fare (author Stephan Pastis is the man behind the strip Pearls Before Swine), completely and utterly understanding its genre, its pacing, and the importance of leveling humor with down-to-earth human problems. Funnier than it deserves to be, here’s the book to hand the kind who has been told to read something with an unreliable narrator. Trust me, you’ll be the kid’s best friend if you give them this.

Meet Detective Failure. No, not really. Instead, meet Timmy Failure, just a normal kid with dreams so big they make Walter Mitty’s fantasies look like idle fancies. Living with just his single mom and his sidekick Total (a 1,500 pound polar bear but that’s neither here nor there), Timmy spends his days solving crimes for the other kids in his class. He may not be very good at it but it’s a living.
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