Friday, January 29, 2016

Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made (Stephan Pastis)

Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made
(The Timmy Failure series, Book 1)
Stephan Pastis
Candlewick Press
Fiction, YA Humor
***+ (Okay/Good)

DESCRIPTION: Young Timmy Failure may look like any ordinary grade-schooler (albeit one with a distinctive scarf), but he's actually the greatest detective in the city, and possibly the world. With Total, a polar bear who came looking for food after his habitat melted and wound up becoming a junior partner, he runs his detective agency out of his mother's closet. Sure, his grades and social life suffer, but one cannot be bothered with minor annoyances like homework and schoolbooks and making friends when one has a multimillion-dollar business to build. Then the Failuremobile - better known as Mom's Segway - goes missing, leading to Timmy's biggest case as he discovers a dangerous rival stalking his every move.

REVIEW: With similar twisted humor to Pastis's Pearls Before Swine comic strip (including many illustrations by "Timmy"), this looked like a fun little adventure. Timmy's imagination inflates ordinary occurrences into conspiracies worthy of Fox Mulder and the X-Files, while completely ignoring more obvious (and sometimes troubling) problems. There's more going on than he's aware of, hints that the reader (especially the adult reader) picks up on. Mostly, the plot involves Timmy creating his own problems, then exacerbating them through repeated misunderstandings and blunders and grandiose would-be schemes... a formula that grows a little stale when it becomes clear that Timmy's talents are as imaginary as half (or significantly more) of his deductions. It has some fun moments and truly hilarious illustrations, with plenty of messed-up characters and downright bizarre situations. I don't see myself following the series further, though.

You Might Also Enjoy:
Chomp (Carl Hiaasen) - My Review
Pearls Before Swine: BLTs Taste So Darn Good... (Stephan Pastis) - My Review
A Christmas Story: The Book That Inspired The Hilarious Classic Film (Jean Shepherd) - My Review

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