Melding the entirely true and the wildly fictional, Dead End in Norvelt is a novel about an incredible two months for a kid named Jack Gantos, whose plans for vacation excitement are shot down when he is "grounded for life" by his feuding parents, and whose nose spews bad blood at every little shock he gets. But plenty of excitement (and shocks) are coming Jack's way once his mom loans him out to help a fiesty old neighbor with a most unusual chore—typewriting obituaries filled with stories about the people who founded his utopian town. As one obituary leads to another, Jack is launced on a strange adventure involving molten wax, Eleanor Roosevelt, twisted promises, a homemade airplane, Girl Scout cookies, a man on a trike, a dancing plague, voices from the past, Hells Angels . . . and possibly murder. Endlessly surprising, this sly, sharp-edged narrative is the author at his very best, making readers laugh out loud at the most unexpected things in a dead-funny depiction of growing up in a slightly off-kilter place where the past is present, the present is confusing, and the future is completely up in the air.
I wasn't sure what to think of this book at first. It was kind of boring. But as it went along and I settled into the book I liked it more and more. It really did turn out good. The main character Jack is brave and a thinker and most of the time logical. He is a likable character. He encounters many obstacles with wit and humor.
The secondary characters are likable as well.
The story is read by the author and although he does fairly well he isn't as experienced as most narrators i have listened to and it sometimes shows. The storyline is solid and flows nicely from one situation to the next. It is well written and executed well.
This story reminds me of the movie The Christmas story. In Its a story of innocence and curiosity and growing up.
I would recommend this story to anyone that wants to experience a cute and funny story, Anyone that wants a story that is an easy to follow witty and well written story. I will be looking for more from this author.
Reviewer Rating: 4 Stars
~Thanks to Esther at Macmillion Audio for the donation of this audio book to the Read for your Future book program!~