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The Love Curse of the Rumbaughs Audible – Unabridged

3.4 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Audible Audio Edition
  • Listening Length: 4 hours and 45 minutes
  • Program Type: Audiobook
  • Version: Unabridged
  • Publisher: Listening Library
  • Audible.com Release Date: May 18, 2006
  • Whispersync for Voice: Ready
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000FTCJJG
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank:

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Ivy was born with the only kind of love she ever wanted, a mother's love. She doesn't know who her father is and has no desire to find out (though Ivy's mother reveals the truth on her sixteenth birthday). But Ivy's mother does let slip that Ivy has inherited the love curse. The curse entails obsessive love of a mother accompanied by constant worry that she will die. Ivy also develops an unusual hobby: taxidermy. She is aided with this pastime by her quirky neighbors, the Rumbaugh twins, who run the pharmacy across the street. The Love Curse of the Rumbaughs chronicles Ivy's battle between overcoming the curse and letting it consume her, and uncovering the secrets of the Rumbaugh twins.

The Love Curse of the Rumbaughs was a bizarre and unusual book. The novel presented different viewpoints on free will, love, and the concept of "superior genetics" which I found interesting. But the book took the taxidermy hobby and obsessive love of a mother a bit too far. Also, the time skipped around, which I found confusing. Overall the book peaked my curiosity but was somewhat morbid; it was interesting but not an attention grabber for me. I would recommend this book be read only by young adults or older due to some of the content.

Reviewed by a student reviewer for Flamingnet Book Reviews.
[...]
Preteen, teen, and young adult book reviews and recommendations.
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By Jennie on September 19, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I was torn on how many stars to give this book. On one hand, this tale of too much mother-love, taxidermy and eugenic theory is extremely well written and oddly compelling.

On the other hand, it is so well written that it's exteremly creepy to a point where reading it just made my skin crawl.

Ivy's always enjoyed spending time in the local pharmacy run by the Rumbaugh twins, but that fateful Easter Sunday when she stumbles across their dead mother, stuffed and mounted in the basement near her play area, everything changes. That is when she is drawn into a long-running family curse of mother-love. From then on, she switches between worrying about the inevitable death of her own mother and how this curse is effecting her life and if there is any possible escape.

A dark, creepy tale that's done so well that it should probably be saved for older readers.
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Format: Hardcover
It's hard to imagine this book, marketed for a teen audience, ever having wide appeal with its target audience. The language is too rich and possesses a gothic lilt. The story is Faulkner's A Rose for Emily meets the Bates Motel. We have a small town with a family secret.

Whenever a story shows characters who are into taxidermy, I know we're going to find that the dearly departed probably haven't...departed, that is. This story didn't let me down. Stuffed mothers appear around ever corner, building up to the most macabre ending I've ever come across. I wanted Ivy, the story's protagonist, to rise above the Rumbaugh curse of extraordinary mother love, but she didn't. Throughout the story, her mother urged her to leave the small town where they lived and go off to college. The Love Curse of the Rumbaughs demonstrates that family weirdness doesn't just go away, it adapts.
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Format: Paperback
Having picked this book at random for my YA Literature class, I can honestly say I was QUITE surprised by it.

First, it is very well written and will probably appeal to readers familiar with the gothic tradition. Faulkner's A Rose for Emily comes particularly to mind when reading this novel, though Gantos takes his to a more disturbing level (yes, really).

Second, because it is so well-written, the novel is pretty unsettling. Consequently, I would recommend this book for older readers, probably 10th grade or so. 9th graders may enjoy the book, but I think the younger ages run the risk of not fully appreciating the gothic elements of Gantos's novel. Additionally, there are some pretty heavy themes being developed here (definition of free will, nature vs. nurture, borderline incestual scenes), ones that younger readers may run the risk of overlooking.

Some readers may complain that the timeline is difficult to follow; however, I had no difficulty with it, for what that is worth.
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Format: Paperback
Let me just start by saying this book is weird. If you are the type that likes your stories odd, quirky, or just out of the norm, this book is for you. And although this book was in the teen collection, I imagine adults would enjoy it, too. The work is reminiscent of a F. Scott Fitzgerald tale. It's not set in the 1920s, but there is the same feel of magical realism and of characters that don't fit in normal society. It also reminded me of Sherwood Anderson's Winesburg, OH, because it deals with life in a small town. Sometimes these small, seemingly quaint towns hold the deepest secrets.

The difficulty I have is giving a plot summary. It's one of those books that is really hard to describe. Rather than try to describe the plot, I will just tell you how the book starts. We meet Ivy, our protagonist, when she is seven years old. She tells us that she lives in a small town and that she is often in a drug store where the Rumbaugh twins live and work. We aren't sure why she spends so much time there, yet, but she is there often enough that the twins have a playroom for her. One day, she goes down to the playroom and she sees the twins' mother--the twins' mother, who happens to be dead--The twins' mother who happens to be dead and stuffed through taxidermy. Yes, that's right, just like Norman Bates. Although the twins deny it and say she's a stuffed bear, Ivy can't get this image out of her mind.

She is frightened and fascinated by what she sees. That's when she finds out about the curse of the Rumbaughs, who love their mothers to the point of obsession. What Ivy sees that day will connect her to the twins for the rest of her life.

Now, although this book is creepy, there's no murder or incest, so it's a far cry from Pyscho.
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