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The Nine Lives of Alexander Baddenfield Hardcover – October 3, 2013
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From School Library Journal
Top Customer Reviews
"Being dead is cool!" He touches the third rail and says "That was mad cool! How can I die next?" He then falls from a great height "and smashed skull-first into a brick wall," is killed by a python and then gored by a bull. "This, his fifth death, was *horrible*. The bull took a victory lap around the stadium as Alexander remained skewered in agony." And it continues, complete with illustrations!
I'm a huge fan of the Madeline series and love Sophie Blackall's "Missed Connections" illustrations but this book bears no resemblance to either the author or artist's previous work and it certainly isn't suitable for kids (even those 10 and above) as it promotes suicide and glorifies death (versus the fun-sounding "outrageous feats" described in the Amazon write-up). And yes, there's a moral at the end of this story, but it takes too long to get there and is waaay too gruesome leading up to it.
Not sure who in the publishing house thought this was a good idea, but a children's narrative that talks about how "cool" it is to touch the third rail or throw yourself off a tall building is just asking for trouble. Thanks but no thanks.
The Baddenfield family (and all of it's branches across the world) has earned a reputation for villainy. From buying Manhattan from the Indians for a handful of trinkets to chopping down the Washingtons' cherry tree and blackmailing young George to take the fall, at the root of every evil deed or disaster the world has known has been a Baddenfield. The one redeeming factor in the history of this ill-fated clan is their tendency to die young, with their deaths reeking of poetic justice. Alexander Baddenfield is the last remaining Baddenfield the world over, orphaned at a young age on a hunting expedition/family reunion that wiped out the entire rest of the clan in a series of poetically just accidents. Alexander is raised by his caretaker, Winterbottom, himself the last in line of a long family who have through the ages tried (and failed) to prevent their Baddenfield masters from meeting their untimely demises. Winterbottom is determined to finally beat the family curse, and so has spent years keeping Alexander away from anything remotely dangerous. Until, that is, Alexander one day has a "Great Idea" and sets out to find a doctor who can transplant the eight extra lives from his cat into Alexander himself.Read more ›
Alexander is raised and taken care of by Winterbottom, who is also the last in line of a family who - throughout history - have tried and failed miserably, to look after their Baddenfield masters and attempting to prevent their untimely deaths. Now Winterbottom is adamant about beating that family curse, and is therefore paranoid about absolutely everything, creating all sorts of rules that young Alexander is to follow and doing all that he can to keep Alexander away from danger. But then Alexander, who has always been fearless especially of his own death, has the absurd idea of transferring all his cat's 9 lives onto him, so he won't ever need to worry about dying again.
Alexander being the Baddenfield that he is, however, abuses his lives, and ends up dying in the most horrid and gruesome ways. Upon his last life, he becomes more paranoid than Winterbottom ever was, so paranoid that he coups himself up in his home and refuses to eat, drink or do anything but lie down in his room. He becomes so frail and his immune system so weak, that he ends up dying from an allergy he developed to his cat who was with him in the room.
Poetic justice? I believe so.
I did not particularly enjoy this book. And I did not particularly like it at all. I read it in 2 hours, because it is a fast and short read, but in truth, there was very little that kept me going besides my own determination to want to finish the book. I do like some factors in it, I did appreciate the lessons the book attempted to give, and for that I gave it 2 stars.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I love this book it's my 2 time reading this book and I did a book report on it and it's so cutePublished 18 months ago by Nicole Grigsby
I read The Nine Lives of Alexander Baddenfield after reading the amazon reviews. This book is a quick, easy read that would appeal to children who do not like to read because it is... Read morePublished on May 14, 2014 by Chloe
My eleven year old had this book recommended to him, by a friend, for a school report. He got a kick out of it, and an A on the report - also made a sock puppet of the character.Published on April 17, 2014 by kanester
This book is aimed at middle school grade age children, and is one of those books that every child should be allowed to enjoy and revel in at least once in their lives. Read morePublished on December 19, 2013 by Cate's Book Nut Hut
The Nine Lives of Alexander Baddenfield should not be compared to Madeline books because it is a completely different genre. It is an entertaining read for 3rd grade and up.Published on November 13, 2013 by Lydia