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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

Critic Reviews

"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 Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    214
  • 4 Stars
    43
  • 3 Stars
    17
  • 2 Stars
    6
  • 1 Stars
    3

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    144
  • 4 Stars
    39
  • 3 Stars
    10
  • 2 Stars
    6
  • 1 Stars
    2

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    155
  • 4 Stars
    31
  • 3 Stars
    7
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    5
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    3
Sort by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

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!

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

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.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

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.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Steven
  • Mountain View, CA, USA
  • 04-23-12

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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

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

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

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

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

listened twice... that good

enjoyed listening on long drive to Oregon from SoCal. listened again on the way home

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Kelly
  • BONSALL, CA, United States
  • 04-03-18

This book kept my 6, 8, and 9 year old fascinated

Please do audible books of the whole series. I kept a class of rambunctious 8th graders entertained for a month reading “The Great Brain goes To The Academy”

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

So funny

Would you consider the audio edition of The Great Brain to be better than the print version?

I aways loved people reading to me and I love funny books so this audio book was the best.

What did you like best about this story?

I love how it takes place in the old days

What do you think the narrator could have done better?

really nothing

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

yes

Any additional comments?

this book was just awesome

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

One of my favorites!

I love it. Made me long to be back in a small town in America again.
I'm 44 and enjoyed it is much as my kids did.