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The Mudhen Acts Naturally Hardcover – 1954

3.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Hardcover, 1954
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 184 pages
  • Publisher: Longmans, Green and Co.; 1st edition (1954)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0007E1Q2U
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.6 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,475,909 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By Thomas L. Burns on March 11, 2005
This novel is the third in the series by Allen. The first two novels are compilations (mostly) of his _Boys Life_ short stories from the '30's and '40's, and they are marvelous! The Mudhen was the original high-school nerd, elevated in _The Mudhen_ and _The Mudhen and the Walrus_ to heroic status. Those novels were republished in the 1950's and '60's as TAB/ Scholastic "book club" versions and are generally available for a few dollars. I recommend them highly.

_The Mudhen Acts Naturally_ was written later -- and published in only a Longmans hardcover version. It is very rare, and typically commands a premium price. It is also highly sentimental and poorly written compared to the first two novels. It reflects Allen's increasing depression over his physical disabilities. (A newly introduced character, a teacher at the school, is permanently bedridden). Worst, the non-political, non-conformist Mudhen has now become political -- a conventional anti-communist on one hand and a "bleeding-heart" liberal self-consciously bent on helping his disabled teacher on the other. (Forgive me. I'm a bleeding-heart liberal myself, but the Mud has become downright sappy about it.) Allen has turned sentimental and political in one bold stroke, and the effect is disappointing.

Having said all that, if you love the Mudhen, the novel is still worth a read. Then go back and look at the first two novels, and hand them to your kids. They just might get a kick out of them. It's a shame to watch Allen's work disappear into obscurity.

An important final proviso: Sellers of the first two books will often use this page to advertize their TAB/ Scholastic versions of the first two novels.
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