- 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:
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The Love Curse of the Rumbaughs Audible – Unabridged
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Story theme is way out there and highly predictable. I only enjoyed it because my hometown is depicted in the story.Published 3 months ago by grammyellie
Hauntingly bizarre and beautiful, and easily one of the most unique books I've had the great pleasure of reading. Read morePublished 19 months ago by J. McHugh
This is by far the most disturbing book I've read in a long time. It is certainly NOT appropriate for young readers. Read morePublished on July 27, 2014 by A. J. Bender
Interesting if you are from Mt. Pleasant, PA. Nice to look for the places described. Would have liked to know what happened further in their lives.Published on May 9, 2014 by Kathleen Sweitzer
I'm not a person who re-reads books. I've lost count of the number of times I've read this one.
I found this book in my junior high library and fell in love with it. Read more
Really, stuffing your mother like a specimen in a taxidermist's shop so you can always keep her with you? Have we run out of things to write about? Read morePublished on February 16, 2013 by Ronald T. Roseborough
i enjoyed this story....its not too long, or deep but it was amusing and the characters were interesting and entertaining...Published on December 21, 2012 by Kindle Customer
Lightweight but fun novel. No real depth of meaning here, but that's okay.
It's an enjoyable read and somewhat surprising at times. Excellently crafted. Read more
This is very different from Jack Gantos' other work. It's definitely for older teen and adults, and I suspect younger readers just wouldn't understand it. Read morePublished on August 2, 2012 by Trocadero