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The Great Brain | [John D. Fitzgerald]

The Great Brain

Ten-year-old Tom D. Fitzgerald is known to everyone as The Great Brain. J.D., The Great Brain's sometimes confounded but always-admiring younger brother, tells his story. Such people as Mr. Standish, the mean schoolmaster, regret the day they came up against The Great Brain. But others, like the Jensen kids lost in Skeleton Cave, Basil, the Greek kid, or Andy, who has lost his leg and his friends, know that Tom's great brain never fails to find a way home.
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Publisher's Summary

Ten-year-old Tom D. Fitzgerald is known to everyone as The Great Brain. J.D., The Great Brain's sometimes confounded but always-admiring younger brother, tells his story. Such people as Mr. Standish, the mean schoolmaster, regret the day they came up against The Great Brain. But others, like the Jensen kids lost in Skeleton Cave, Basil, the Greek kid, or Andy, who has lost his leg and his friends, know that Tom's great brain never fails to find a way home.

©1967 John D. Fitzgerald; (P)2002 Random House, Inc., Listening Library, an imprint of the Random House Audio Publishing Group

What the Critics Say

"The strength of [Tom McLarty's] narration comes from his storyteller's ability to build each adventure with suspense, warmth, humor, youthful indignation, and the matter-of-fact tone that Tom maintains through each crisis." (AudioFile) "A lively, funny and not infrequently touching book written with flair." (Saturday Review)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (87 )
5 star
 (52)
4 star
 (20)
3 star
 (12)
2 star
 (3)
1 star
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Overall
4.4 (35 )
5 star
 (21)
4 star
 (9)
3 star
 (4)
2 star
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1 star
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Story
4.3 (35 )
5 star
 (20)
4 star
 (9)
3 star
 (4)
2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Amazon Customer 07-19-04 Member Since 2004

    techchick94

    HELPFUL VOTES
    12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    43
    4
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    FOLLOWING
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    Overall
    "Clever and thought-provoking"

    Great story, with lots of moral dilemmas that provoke discussion. Enjoyed the stories and hearing about what life was like in Utah in the early 1900s. Would definitely recommend for children of "all" ages, especially those with elementary school aged youngsters!

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    S. Nelson Brigham City, Ut USA 01-25-09
    S. Nelson Brigham City, Ut USA 01-25-09 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    86
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Great choice for adults, too!!"

    This is an amazingly darling book geared for the younger crowd, but highly entertaining for the adult,too. I've read the whole series to my boys when they were 6 and 9 years old and then again to my two little girls. We've giggled,cried and laughed ourselves silly through each "business adventure" Tom D. managed to come up with. Although Tom's little brother J.D. is the innocent teller of these tales, Tom is the instigator of much mischief and genious and...trouble!! The book is cute and adorable,innocent and so very informative of the late 1800's/early 1900's. It has a good moral to each story and keeps you coming back for more. Can't go wrong here! Hope to see the remaining six books on audio soon,too.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Walter Goleta, CA, United States 01-17-12
    Walter Goleta, CA, United States 01-17-12 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
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    16
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "Highly entertaining -"
    If you could sum up The Great Brain in three words, what would they be?

    and wonderfully immersive turn of the century (19th/20th!) stories that I loved when I was a boy. I hope that the rest of the books turn up on Audible soon, my children are 11 and 8, and we only have a few years of interest left, I am afraid. At least, until they are parents.

    Other reviewers have given great descriptions of the historical setting, so I won't bother to repeat that.

    We listened to this audiobook on a road trip with my children and they made me sit in the driveway when we finally got home (for 10 minutes) to hear the end of a particularly suspenseful chapter. Good stuff - thrills, history, and laughs, what more can one ask for?


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Liz Chapel Hill, NC, United States 04-13-05
    Liz Chapel Hill, NC, United States 04-13-05 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    70
    11
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    FOLLOWING
    1
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    Overall
    "Great listening"

    This book was a delight for our whole family (kids 8 and 10). It sparked interesting discussions on a variety of topics. The reader really made the book come to life and the story was compelling.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Valli Hazlet, NJ, USA 04-28-04
    Valli Hazlet, NJ, USA 04-28-04 Member Since 2001
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    35
    1
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    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "The Great Brain"

    Made for a very pleasant car ride for the grandchildren. Provoked quite a bit of interesting conversation after.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Steven Mountain View, CA, USA 04-23-12
    Steven Mountain View, CA, USA 04-23-12 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The magic of childhood"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    This book is part of my series of books I remember reading as a kid, and now am rereading to view them from a different perspective. I find facinating that while the story I loved as a kid, the story that captures the essence of childhood play and wonder, is as I remembered it, as an adult I can still enjoy it, while also taking intellectual interest in how life was different back at the turn of the (last) century. We take so many things (like toilets) for granted that it gives us a new perspective to see life without them, or see them as new and marvelous. I find the change in perspective helps me find the magic in that which is around me.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Wanted to? I did! Long drive, good book....


    Any additional comments?

    Waiting for the rest of the series.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    William SALEM, OREGON, United States 07-04-12
    William SALEM, OREGON, United States 07-04-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    23
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    78
    63
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    FOLLOWING
    4
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    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Outstanding telling of a great book"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Great Brain to be better than the print version?

    I love them both... When I read the book, the characters are presented in my mind the way I read them. Listening to this audio book, the narrator helps portray the characters. I like both versions a lot.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Tom (the "Great Brain" and conniving older brother and companion of the narrator character). Tom is clever, smart and it is interesting to see what he would try next.


    Which character – as performed by Ron McLarty – was your favorite?

    John or Tom


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Walter Rogers, AR, United States 06-11-12
    Walter Rogers, AR, United States 06-11-12 Member Since 2011
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I love this book"
    What did you love best about The Great Brain?

    This has been one of my favorite book series. I really hope they make the rest into audiobooks. The narrator did a great job with bringing the characters to life, so if they do make the rest then please use the same narrator.


    What about Ron McLarty’s performance did you like?

    He really brought the characters to life.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stiv United States 04-23-12
    Stiv United States 04-23-12 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    0
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The magic of childhood"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    This book is part of my series of books I remember reading as a kid, and now am rereading to view them from a different perspective. I find facinating that while the story I loved as a kid, the story that captures the essence of childhood play and wonder, is as I remembered it, as an adult I can still enjoy it, while also taking intellectual interest in how life was different back at the turn of the (last) century. We take so many things (like toilets) for granted that it gives us a new perspective to see life without them, or see them as new and marvelous. I find the change in perspective helps me find the magic in that which is around me.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Wanted to? I did! Long drive, good book....


    Any additional comments?

    Waiting for the rest of the series.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Sugar Hill, GA, USA 03-06-05
    David Sugar Hill, GA, USA 03-06-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Overall
    "Not for 7& Unders!!!!"

    This book should not be listed as for 7 & unders. It covered many subjects that were not appropriate for small children, including a character who wants to commit suicide!!!!

    5 of 10 people found this review helpful
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