Once again blending multiple story strands that transcend time and place, Grasshopper Jungle author Andrew Smith tells the story of 15-year-old Ariel, a refugee from the Middle East who is the sole survivor of an attack on his small village.
Now living with an adoptive family in Sunday, West Virginia, Ariel's story of his summer at a boys' camp for tech detox is juxtaposed against those of a schizophrenic bomber and the diaries of a failed arctic expedition from the late 19th century. Oh, and there's also a depressed bionic reincarnated crow.
©2015 Andrew Smith (P)2015 Listening Library
The narrator is excellent! One of the best I have ever heard. The story is unique-multiple narratives coming together fluidly in the conclusion. Tons of colorful characters. The hilarious dialogue effectively captures adolescent boys at summer camp. The only thing I didn't like was a bizarre boy on boy rape scene (think Kite Runner but way more graphic) that, to me, seemed gratuitous and was absolutely unneeded for the sake of the plot.
Andrew Smith has done an amazing job interweaving time, character, and story. This has to be my favorite book yet. And, it doesn't hurt that MacLeod Andrews is an absolutely amazing narrator: each voice is clearly distinct, his tonality and timber are a pleasure.
The sock puppet scene is absolutely brilliant.
Former Executive Producer for Adventures in Scifi Publishing.
Andrew Smith is my go-to author for hilarious and weird stories of youthful characters discovering how they can make a difference and find strength in their identity. The Alex Crow did a great job in combining Andrew's gifts with a new kind of story. The main character is a young boy who faced extreme hardship in his home country before coming to America as a refugee. He and his adopted brother attend a boys camp and develop a strong relationship as they uncover a mystery that delves deep into scifi without being too complicated as to bog down the story. If jokes about masturbation are not your cup of tea, this may not be a fit for you, but if you can laugh about the five digit multiplication tables and other innuendo phrases that adopted brother Max comes up with, then you'll find this hilarious. Grasshopper Jungle is still my favorite of Smith's, but this one does a great job of continuing my adoration of his stories. The narration is top notch, taking the story and making it alive through the characters' voices and timing.
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