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100 Cupboards: Book 1 of the 100 Cupboards Hardcover – Bargain Price, December 26, 2007

4.3 out of 5 stars 184 customer reviews
Book 1 of 3 in the 100 Cupboards Series

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Hardcover, Bargain Price, December 26, 2007
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Editorial Reviews


“Well crafted and gratifying.”—School Library Journal

“A highly imaginative tale.”—Kirkus Reviews

About the Author

N. D. Wilson is a Fellow of Literature at New Saint Andrews College, where he teaches classical rhetoric to freshmen. He is also the managing editor for Credenda/Agenda magazine, a small Trinitarian cultural journal. He lives in Moscow, Idaho with his wife and four children.

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Product Details

  • Series: The 100 Cupboards
  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers; Complete Numbers Starting with 1, 1st Ed edition (December 26, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375838813
  • ASIN: B002KE5VBW
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 1 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (184 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,234,583 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
100 Cupboards is the second novel by N.D. Wilson (his first being Leepike Ridge) and I must say that it is many, many things: deliciously dark, insightful, suspensful, and filled with magic.

Henry York's parents have been kidnapped biking in South America, and so he is sent off to live with his aunt, uncle, and three girl cousins on their farm in Kansas. Henry is not a farm child; he's never had soda, thrown a baseball (or owned a ballglove), and he's never used a knife, not even a pocket one.

All the characters are delightfully odd, as any good Wilson character should be, from his Aunt Dotty (overprotective, the opposite of classy, and frugal) to his Uncle Frank, who I was never sure we were supposed to fully like. On the one hand, Frank is described as being "thin, and not just physically. They meant thin everywhere and in every way," and sells tumbleweeds for 700 dollars a pop on the internet, and on the other, he shows Henry a better way to live, to love soda, baseball, and knives. The three cousins, Anastasia, Henrietta, and Pennylope, reminded me very strongly of the interactions between the girls in Little Women, which was a very fun connection to make. I think an exploration of the three Henrys in the book would be interesting as well; Henry the town, Henry the main character, and Henrietta the cousin.

100 Cupboards I think is much, much better than Leepike Ridge, and I am an unabashed *fan* of Leepike. Leepike is a very good book, but I think 100 Cupboards surpasses it on a number of levels. There is an added complexity to the world of 100 Cupboards, a sense of Lewisian profundity here. 100 Cupboards too, I think, is more subtle than Leepike. The humor in the book, while still providing laugh-out-loud moments, is not nearly as pronounced is specific scenes.
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Format: Hardcover
I may have plunked down the money for "100 Cupboards," but my brother won the first-dibs tug of war. I had to work. In my absence, he devoured Nate Wilson's newest contribution to the literary world, and could barely refrain from inundating me with spoilers the moment I got home. However, I finished my review first. Ha.

So many fantasy books are like baby pools--they get your feet wet, but that's about all. "Cupboards" promises depth, dives below the surface, and delivers.

Twelve-year-old Henry York enters a world of tumbleweed, baseball and caffeine when his parents are kidnapped and he is sent to stay with relatives in Kansas. There, he meets Uncle Frank, Aunt Dotty, his three cousins, Penelope, Henrietta and Anastasia, and discovers something mysterious about the wall behind his bed: it contains portals to other worlds.

Random example of why I keep reading Wilson: "There were only two people alive who would recognize the wood in that door. One was a man living in a run-down apartment in a bad part of Orlando. He would have recognized it and then tried to find something strong to drink, because he wanted very much to believe that his childhood had not actually happened."

Life in Kansas is ordinary, and some readers might feel that Wilson takes too long introducing elements of fantasy. They forget--we all do--just how magical ordinary life really is when you come to think of it. We've trained ourselves to believe that excitement = haunted ballrooms, evil queens, bloody daggers, and missing damsels. While the story eventually delivers all the above, "100 Cupboards" spends quite a bit of time unfurling its petals, reminding readers that every moment of life is miraculous, not just full bloom.

And there's plenty to keep looking forward to.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
100 Cupboards is an interesting, generally well-written fantasy novel for younger readers. The cover of the book states that the targeted audience is 8-12 year olds, but I question the suitability of the book for this age group.

I really enjoyed the book and found it a gripping read, but reluctantly give it three stars rather than four because of some concerns I have about aspects of the enterprise.

To start with my positive impressions, I liked the creative premise of author N.D. Wilson's story. Twelve year old Henry is sent to live with his uncle, aunt and three girl cousins in a small town in Kansas. He discovers behind the plaster in his attic bedroom ninety nine cupboards (augmented later by cupboard number 100 in another room) that turn out to be connections or doorways to other worlds. He finds himself in a terrifying and exciting adventure that finally draws in the entire household.

Part of a projected series, the book ends on an open note with chapter one of the next volume included to whet one's appetite for more. It is always difficult to write good fantasy (and science fiction), in that it takes unusual talent combined with hard work to create an imaginary world or setting that is compelling, sweeping and convincing. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis and George MacDonald are the masters in my opinion, for various and many reasons. But all shared a depth of historical, literary and religious knowledge that is difficult to replicate in our times, no matter how serious one's intentions and aspirations. I would hope that Mr. Wilson would pay heed to their example, at least in the relationship between erudition and imagination. At this point, the jury is still out for me as to whether Wilson's world in the subsequent volumes will be of interest or not.
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