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Alcatraz versus the Evil Librarians (Alcatraz, No. 1) Mass Market Paperback – November 1, 2008
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Top Customer Reviews
Alcatraz Versus The Evil Librarians is the most cleverly written book I have ever had the pleasure of reading. The precisely written narration is what I enjoyed the most. Each chapter, Alcatraz (the narrator) breaks away from the story, to talk to the reader from the voice of the author. These little sections are filled with really clever tidbits that on many occasions had me laughing out loud.
The story itself is entertaining as well. True to Sanderson's form, some of the characters have a special magical "talent" that they use in very creative ways. These talents are attributes that we might not normally see as an advantage, such as always arriving late, and tripping and falling in very dramatic ways. Sanderson also does a great job sheding new light on the world we live in by comparing it to a more advanced society where light bulbs are inferior to open flames (since lights can't set things on fire) and stairs are more advanced than elevators (because you get a work out climbing them).
This is a book that I think any kid will love, with the parents enjoying it equally as much.
On his thirteenth birthday he gets a strange--and very old--package in the mail from his father (where is he? is he dead? is he alive? we don't know?) claiming that it contains Alcatraz's inheritance: a bag of sand. Mystified and sad, he decides to make himself some comfort food but accidentally catches the kitchen drapes on fire.
Then everything hits the fan: the sand is stolen, a man claiming to be his grandfather shows up, his foster mother wants to kick him out of the house, and a man with a gun threatens his life. Not a great way to spend a birthday, if you ask me.
But, oh, what hilarity ensues. What's great about Sanderson's stuff is that it's beyond the typical fantasy-epic-journey type story like you'd find in Paolini or MacHale. Almost the entire story takes place at the downtown library, where things aren't always what they seem. And nothing is off-limits: Sanderson makes fun of everything and it's just plain funny. Exceedingly silly, but funny for kids and grown-ups.
The characters are fun, and even the antagonists turn out to be complex people. Alcatraz in particular is an interesting character who struggles with his accident-prone nature, until he learns it's a 'Talent' (his grandfather's Talent is arriving late to things...it's so funny, but it works!). He's convinced he's a bad kid, but it gets harder for us to believe it as the story progresses, and even he seems to change his mind a little near the end.Read more ›
This review goes in line with that of the Alcatraz series, more specifically the attitude of a Smedry. You see, they are trouble makers, and are prone to getting themselves into life threatening situations. They have an uncharacteristic attitude when dealing with any situation. The more danger, the more excited they are. Through thick and thin, Smedry's are rarely to be found with a sour mood. They are bubbly, charismatic, bold, audacious, and have a knack for getting themselves into trouble. Wait, I said that did I not? Gack! You see, I imitating a number of characters found in this book. Granpa Smedry, Alcatraz, talking dinosaurs. Yes, you read correctly, talking dinosaurs with a British accent, and as we know, those Brits are refined, calm, and well-mannered; dinosaurs are no exception! They really know how to cause trouble for Librarians, like eating the entire C section of the Science Fiction shelf and moving six books out of their proper places. Okay, so maybe they are useless as Bastille said... The only thing worse than talking dinosaurs are talking rocks, but I tell you, the dinosaurs are a treat! To round off this paragraph, I leave you this quote from Grandpa Smedry if you think I am making any of this up:
I am a Smedry, and we do ridiculous, unexpected, eccentric things like this all the time.
The Alcatraz series is a tremendously fun read. My friend that recommended Mistorn and Elantris did not bother giving these books a shot because of their young adult emphasis, despite being a lover of Sanderson's work. Aspiring Asimovs, what a horrible reason! Lots of fun, many laugh out loud moments, tons of humor and wit, with a great story to boot!Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Alcatraz is a seemingly average kid with a gift for causing destruction wherever he goes. This has led to him moving from foster home to foster home, until an old man shows up... Read morePublished 3 days ago by SciFiChick
Although it’s obviously written for young readers, it was still entertaining for adults. The story was fast paced and very humorous. Read morePublished 4 days ago by Kyle G
My husband and I love Brandon Sanderson and his YA is fantastic. Our 7 year old son devoured this. It's a really fun story and he can't wait to read the others.Published 25 days ago by HollyD
I bought this to supplement the recreational reading material in my classroom. The kids loved it.Published 1 month ago by Christy and Tim
This is a fun book. The writing style is definitely an acquired taste, and quite different from most of what Sanderson writes. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Robert
Alcatraz turned out to be quite different than I was expecting. The beginning startled me a little bit with the main character (Alcatraz) as the author, telling me that he wasn't... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Heidi Grange
Well, I got this book hardcover for 3, no, 4 reasons...
1) Brandon Sanderson
2) Nice cover art: Just look at it!
3) The dust jacket. OK, now bear with me... Read more