28 May 2010

HECK: WHERE THE BAD KIDS GO.

A giveaway prize of my choice received with thanks from GMR at SATISFACTION FOR INSATIABLE READERS . Having read all about this novel on several blogs, I so wanted to enjoy it but sadly didn't.


When Milton and Marlo Fauster die in a marshmallow-bear explosion, they get sent straight to Heck, an otherworldy reform school. Milton can understand why his kleptomaniac sister is here, but Milton is - or was - a model citizen. Has a mistake been made?

Not according to Bea 'Elsa' Bubb, the Principal of Darkness. She doesn't make mistakes. Or tolerate them. She personally sees to it that Heck - whether it be at home ec class with Lizzie Borden, ethics with Richard Nixon, or gym with Blackbeard the pirate - is especially; well, heckish for the Fausters. But the principal just might have underrated Milton's smarts and Marlo's nerve. Will the two find a way to escape? Or are they stuck here for all eternity, or until they turn eighteen, whichever comes first?

.... From the outer back cover.

FIRST SENTENCE (From the foreword): As many believe, there is a place above and a place below.

MEMORABLE MOMENT: The only unbland things about her were her eyes - dark and dangerous as an abandoned well - and the fact that she was cutting out a dress pattern with an ax.
All throughout the reading of this book, I couldn't help but feel that the author was somhow trying to step into the shoes of the late Roald Dahl - something he failed at totally. Perhaps it was the characters, many of whom seemed to fall into that kind of 'revolting but with redeeming features that made them rather lovable' that Dahl was so good at or maybe it was the way the other, truly revolting, characters (adults on the whole) all seemed to get their 'just rewards'.
But you know to me the main problem with Heck is that the author just couldn't quite decide what age group he was aiming for and as a result the book seemed to be somewhat a mish-mash.

I think the whole would work well as an animated film where you can get away with relying so heavily on pitching things at both an adult as well as a children's audience but with a novel this just doesn't work.

Too full 'toilet' humour for my liking and relying way too much on puns, I managed an occassional smile reading this novel but never a laugh. Not nearly as clever or as funny as the author seems to think it is, I couldn't help but be disappointed.

19 comments:

MOLLYC said...

Well, I won't read this one. I have a list of books to read that is as long as my arm. I am torn about the "Dragon Tattoo" book. Some say it is wonderful, some say it will give me nightmares. I am still trying to decide if I can read it without having emotional damage. xo

Vivienne said...

Now I have a feeling one of my girls might enjoy this one. She loves toliet humour. She absolutely adored the Ugenia Lavender books and they were full of it.

NabilaHazirah said...

i think i've got to try this,it sounds fun!

xx

Jen said...

So why was he sent to Heck?

....Petty Witter said...

That would be telling Jen but I can say that it involves his sister.

Alexia561 said...

Sorry you didn't enjoy this one, as I liked it. Didn't care for the second book though, so didn't even finish reading it. Hope your next book is a better fit! :)

Martha said...

Thank you for the review, I appreciate your time and insight.
Re.your comment about our son's project-
Thank you!
He did a model of a landing craft used on beaches. I need to post a picture, there is a funny ending to all this nonsense about no weapons in war.
It was good actually to take time off to "putter" around the house and get things taken care of.
Thanks again, my best to you and your hubby, Martha

Dorte H said...

A pity you didn´t like it. I agree that it is annoying when writers have not made up their mind who are their target groups.

Aine Butler-Smith said...

Sorry I've been away from commnents, life got hectic. Looks like one to stay away from, thank you (as always) for your honest review.

Jennifer McLean said...

I love reading good children's books too, glad to see your review, Tracy. I'll take this one off my amazon list. How's hubby doing? ...and you?
Hugs,
Jenn

Artystitches said...

Thank you for visiting my blog, i have added you.

Naomi

@naomisbookreviews.blogspot.com

....Petty Witter said...

Don't let me put you off - all with different tastes I know lots of bloggers who have enjoyed this book.

We are both fine Jenn, thanks for asking.

Delighted to have met you Naomi.

Ordinary Reader said...

Thanks for stopping by Ordinary Reader. Have a great weekend!

~Niki~ said...

thanks for hopping to my blog! hugs ~niki

themethatisme said...

Doing well Jennifer thank you.

themethatisme said...

Doing well Jennifer thank you.

Oddyoddyo13 said...

Well, heck, THAT doesn't sound very entertaining. :)

Kelly said...

Mmmmm... I don't think this one appeals to me.

Jenners said...

Sounds like a book made for juvenile boys!