Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Horton Halfpott

Angleberger, Tom. Horton Halfpott, or The Fiedish Mystery of Smugwick Manor, or, The Loosening of M'Lady Luggertuck's Corset.

Horton is a servant boy in the Victorian Luggertuck household. Usually, the household is a horrible place, with not enough food and constant mistreatment, but when Lady Luggertuck's corset is loosened, she is not nearly as crabby and the temperment of the household improves... temporarily. Then, the Lump, a large and ungainly but valuable diamond, is stolen, and other things go missing as well. Horton and the other servant boys, all with names like Bump, Blight and Blemish, start an investigation targeting the evil Luther (son of the household), and Horton embarks on a dalliance with the lovely and wealthy Celia Sylvan-Smythe. A plethora of goofy names, references to other odd, nonexistent stories (see "M'Lady Luggertuvck's Pariasian Shopping Spree"), and silly circumstances will delight addicts of Lemony Snicket.

Strengths: Like The Strange Caseof the Origami Yoda, this is a well-written, goofy, engaging book for younger students.
Weaknesses: Remember, I couldn't stand Snicket, so this was hard for me to get through. The names and Victorian setting, which may delight students, irritated me. I was so hoping for something more along the lines of Origami Yoda, because there is much more demand for funny, modern, realistic fiction in my library. I am alone in this opinion; every other review I've read was positively glowing in including:

Writing on the Sidewalk; The Happy Nappy Bookselller; Book Nook Club (or Ken Reads); Mackin Books in Bloom; Shelf-Employed and The Hate Mongering Tart (who has a nice interview).


  1. Hmmmm ... I've never read any Lemony Snicket. I've looked at the books, picked them up, and even gone so far as tucking one under my arm to buy it.

    I wound up taking home Robert Flanagan's "Ranger's Apprentice," instead.

    I wonder if that makes a difference in how I saw things.

    Anyway, it's good that not everyone agrees. If everyone has the same opinion, then there's not much point in having more than one voice, right?

    Thanks for stopping by my blog!

  2. I didn't like it - I didn't like Snicket either. I didn't review it b/c I couldn't stand to read the whole thing. Did you know there's a sequel to Origami Yoda coming out I think in August? Darth Paper or something (-:

  3. Anonymous1:15 PM EDT

    Hee hee! Well, at least Darth Paper is right around the corner!
    Thanks for giving it a try!


  4. I'm sorry Tom-- I really DO like your other books. I was traumatized by Lemony Snicket, so anything -esque gives me a hard time. And I have TWO copies of Darth Paper on my list for fall purchase.

  5. I did worry about not liking Horton Halfpot for the same reason. I didn't like Snicket Only read the first two books.

    But the humor in Horton Halfpott never crossed the too much line in my head.

    Darth Paper sounds cool.