Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Down the Mysterly River” as Want to Read:
Down the Mysterly River
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Down the Mysterly River

by
3.71 of 5 stars 3.71  ·  rating details  ·  737 ratings  ·  199 reviews
They were four unlikely friends, united by a common enemy. As odd a collection of fugitives as there ever was: A wolf who is not a wolf; a badger who is also an ex-army veteran; the brave sheriff of a lost forest realm; and a big, ugly, stinky, yellow monster. Together they're on the run from the dreaded Blue Cutters, who seem bent on their destruction. To escape the Cutte ...more
Kindle Edition, 336 pages
Published (first published September 13th 2011)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Down the Mysterly River, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Down the Mysterly River

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,562)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Eric
Jul 10, 2014 Eric rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone young enough at heart to appreciate a good fairy tale
Recommended to Eric by: Saw the author speak at a book festival
Sometimes book labeling really frustrates me, and this is definitely one of those cases. This book is listed as a children's book -- not even as a young adult book -- but it is so much deeper than, for example, a Lemony Snicket children's book. Although it's an easy read that can and should be enjoyed by children, it can be enjoyed on an entirely different level by adults (I can't say more without revealing the big mystery of the book). I'm glad I ignored the children's book label and picked up ...more
Shaun Duke
Fantasies for young readers are almost always a joy to read. I'm no sure what it is about such books. Maybe it's to do with the whimsical style -- of which Down the Mysterly River has plenty -- or the adventures -- ditto. Or maybe there's something else I haven't discovered yet. In any case, Willingham's children's fantasy, Down the Mysterly River, is an exciting adventure story with a wonderful mixture of fairy tale and detective mystery. Too bad I don't have kids to read this book to...

Expert
...more
TheBookSmugglers
Originally Reviewed on The Book Smugglers: http://thebooksmugglers.com/2011/08/j...

REVIEW

First Impressions:

Ana: Bill Willingham is the writer of the comic book series Fables which has been going strong for years and although I have not read every single volume of the comics, I did read quite a few and enjoyed what I read a great lot. When I learned about Down The Mysterly River which is his first incursion into MG writing, it was all I could do not to drool all over myself. Needless to say, ex
...more
Bayla
Buzzwords: Mystery, Adventure, Boys and talking animals, logic, the ethics of changing others, (view spoiler)
Max the Wolf, Boy Scout and mystery-solver extraordinare, is in a strange new place, and has no idea how he got there. Then he meets Banderbrock the badger, McTavish the cat, and Walden the bear, all of whom speak and who are equally at sea as to how they’ve gotten to this place. And t
...more
Sarah
Complete with lovely chapter header illustrations, "Down the Mysterly River" has the look and feel of a good old fashioned fairy-tale and it absolutely lives up to that first impression. Totally original, yet paying homage to classics like "The Wizard of Oz" and "The Incredible Journey", it has all the elements of a classic. With a boy lost in the forest, talking animals and an epic quest, there's loads of adventure. There are enough grizzly battles to satisfy tween readers and an ending which w ...more
Justin
I admit, I got turned off right after the dedication, where Willingham gives a surprisingly vehement endorsement of the Boy Scouts of America. It's worded just carefully enough to support plausible deniability of it being interpreted as “never mind the liberals, boys, you go on and exclude gay people all you want.” Which, of course, led to a brief foray into researching Willingham’s politics, and that's exactly the sort of dangerous nonsense that forever ruined Orson Scott Card’s work for me. Si ...more
Cecelia
Hi, my name is Cecelia, and I just fell in love with a book for 10 year-old boys. Hi, Cecelia. Wait, WHAT?! Yes, that's right. Bill Willingham's Down the Mysterly River has crazy powers of amazing. This book? Would have been my brothers' favorite thing on the planet when they were younger. I'm not even joking. It would have gone in the camouflage backpack right alongside the machete, walkie-talkies, and beef jerky. But it was published NOW, so I, city-dweller, older person and girl that I am, ha ...more
Kristen
Short & Sweet:
I've always been a huge fan of Bill Willingham, and when I heard he was writing a middle grade novel, I could not help but pick it up as soon as I could. The plot is so intriguing. Max finds himself in a world that he does not know and has no idea why he is there. He meets up with some animals that can talk, which he takes in stride and then bands with them when they are attacked by hunters with blue swords that change the animals they cut into in a strange way. I loved the way
...more
Tyler
I am shocked at how much I loved this book in the end. It actually blew me away.

I enjoyed it from beginning to end, but in the last quarter, I grew to absolutely love it.

Suffice it to say: Well done, Mr. Willingham. I didn't see it coming, but I suspected something was up.

See my full review here: http://wp.me/pNegP-1dp
Jennifer Lauren Collins
I've got incredibly mixed feelings about this one, much as I was looking forward to reading it.

This should have been just up my alley, and story-wise, it certainly is. Fantasy adventure, talking animals, suspense...whether adult or young adult, this sounds like just my sort of story. And I loved the story, and many of the characters. And, yet...

The main character drove me a bit crazy, and was far too much of a know-it-all for me to enjoy following his adventure. Even though his character made a
...more
Deanna
Max the Wolf, Boy Scout and amateur detective, suddenly finds himself in a strange land, populated by talking animals, and even talking trees. He has very limited memory of his past life and no idea how he got to where he is. And he is being ruthlessly pursued by a group known as the Blue Cutters, who carry devastating weapons of blue metal. He makes some new and unlikely friends as he searches for safety from the Cutters, and learns some interesting things about himself along the way, too.

This
...more
Vicky
Really good! And a twist I totally didn't see coming that made it even more awesome! Highly recommend for kids, too!
Debbie
This was the last book of the epic roadtrip. I have owned this for a long while - it was one of the first books I'd ever bought at Audible, back when I had mistakenly thought I'd enjoy listening to books as much as reading them. Spoiler: I don't, but I like them for long car trips or for multi-tasking when I'm playing with yarn.

I actually only got a bit past halfway through the book before reaching home. I immediately bought the ebook after walking through the front door and continued reading.
...more
Dan Gemeinhart
This is an example of truly masterly world-building, and a story that, once it got its claws in me, held me fast until the end. It was a grand adventure, gripping and moving and transportive, and one that I'm glad I experienced.
However - and there is a however - this book had a few flaws that kept it from getting five stars from me. The opening was slow, confusing, and kind of alienating. An obscure opening can really pay off (once you hit that "ah-ha" moment of clarity), but the unveiling here
...more
Kellee
Complete review at: http://www.teachmentortexts.com/2011/...

Summary: Max calls himself Max the Wolf because he is the leader of his Wolf Patrol of Boy Scouts. He's never been lost. There's not a mystery he can't solve. However, Max is stumped about his current situation. He woke up in the middle of a forest with no memory of how he got there. On top of that, he has met two interesting characters: Branderbock the Badger, McTavish the Cat, and Walden the Bear. Both on a normal basis would be not t
...more
Cait
I quite liked this middle grade story from Bill Willingham. Max the Wolf (who is not so much a wolf as a 13 year old boy scout) suddenly find himself in a large forest, with no memory of how he arrived there. Indeed, he has no memories outside of those that involve mysteries he solved in the past. He quickly encounters a few companions in the form of talking animals (another clue he is someone strange) and they begin a journey to find out why they have arrived in this forest, at all times avoidi ...more
Shanella
When Max the Wolf - who isn’t really a wolf, but a boy - finds himself in a strange forest with talking animals he is surprised, to say the least.

When Max and his new friends run into some strange men who seem to know them and who are trying to capture them, they are a bit confused. In this strange new world these fugitives band together to escape detection and to figure out the mystery of where they are, and why they are where they are.

This story, though aimed for middle-graders, will charm al
...more
Erica
Just finished it, and I'm seriously impressed. This book is very...meta in its approach, and quite frankly a bit of a mindscrew.

The protagonist is a Boy Scout nicknamed Max the Wolf, who finds himself in unfamiliar woods with no recollection of how he got there. He has vague memories of his home and family, and several mysteries he has apparently solved, but that's it. He meets up with a few other lost souls-Walden the Bear, Banderbrock the Badger, and McTavish the Monster (who is actually a cat
...more
Alyssa (Books Take You Places)
Originally reviewed here: http://www.bookstakeyouplaces.blogspo...

Max “the Wolf” finds himself walking alone in the middle of a forest with no memory of what has befallen him. He is wearing his scout uniform so he assumes that he has been separated from his group and is merely lost in the woods in a familiar place. Soon after he comes across a few talking animals, Banderbrock, who is a warrior and a badger, MacTavish the Monster, a barn cat with a serious attitude problem, and Walden a sweet she
...more
Angie
Max the Wolf (not a real wolf) wakes up in the woods with no memory of how he got there. But he is in his Boy Scout uniform so he must have gotten lost on a Scouting trip. He loves solving mysteries so he decides to use his skills to figure out how he got to Heroes Woods and how he can get home. Then he meets Banderbrock a warrior badger who can talk; this forces him to reevaluate...maybe he is dead or dreaming. Soon the small band of warriors is joined by McTavish the Monster (a fierce barn cat ...more
Lindsay (Everyday Is An Adventure)
The first thing that struck me about this book was the cover - it is absolutely beautiful, and it clearly will catch readers' attention...it caught mine.

This book is fantasy to the max and I loved every minute of it. Max was a top notch character and I loved following him throughout this book. He would not have been half as entertaining without his two friends Walden and McTavish, who in my opinion add so much humor to this book that it is hard to put it down. I found myself laughing out loud at
...more
Chris Freeman
Down the Mysterly River has strong elements of both The Hobbit and the Narnia books but, at the same time, manages to be rather different than both of these YA fantasy classics. "YA" may even be too strong a characterization for this novel, in fact. The prose, while pleasant and well-written, seems actually to be geared toward readers in the 10-12 year old range. However, while the reading level is basic, the several instances of real violence (some unwillingly carried out by a 12 year old boy) ...more
Katie
Review format taken from my Children's Literature class at College of Saint Mary.

Summary of Elements:
Down the Mysterly River by Bill Willingham is an outstanding piece of children's literature. The overall tone of the book is darker than many works for young readers but had a very thrilling aspect to it that kept me reading long after I ought to have gone to bed. The `heroes' quest' is the prominent motif in this book and used to great effect. As the author shows marvelously with McTavish the M
...more
Hilary
When Max the Wolf finds himself in the middle of the woods one afternoon he has no idea how he got there or where he is. Since Max is a master at orienteering, he finds this strange. Even during all his boyscout trips, he never once can remember being lost. Then, even more peculiar, he stumbles upon a talking badger. He is sure he must be dreaming, at first, but the badger thinks that they have both died and are in the afterlife. The two set out together and are not on the road for long before t ...more
Lisa Nocita
Down the Mysterly River begins as a rousing tale of adventure, survival, and fantasy. The cast of characters features an erudite, older-than-his-years boy scout, a wise, battle-aged badger, a feisty and curmudgeonly tom cat, and an affable bear, all of whom can talk. The four meet when they rather inexplicably find themselves in a strange new world. Max, known as Max the Wolf among his scout friends, fears he has somehow managed to become lost while hiking until he almost stumbles over Banderbro ...more
Ramie
Max "The Wolf" has two real loves: Boy Scouts and a good mystery. Both of these loves will be put to the test when he suddenly finds himself in a mysterious land full of woods where the animals not only speak but tell fantastic tales. This alone would make for big mystery since Max has no memory of how he got there, in fact many of his memories of his life before the mysterious woods seem a bit muddled. Oh, but then there's the group of people with blue swords who seem to want to cut he and his ...more
Bluerose's  Heart
Max the Wolf, who is actually a 12-13 year old boy, not a wolf, wakes up in a strange world one day. He has no recollection of his immediate past and has no idea how he ended up where he's found himself. He quickly meets Banderbrock(a badger), McTavish(a cranky and very mean barncat), and Walden(a black bear who was a sheriff in the past). They learn that the "Blue Cutters" are after them to cut out parts of them that make them unique. Down the Mysterly River is about their journey to safety.

I c
...more
Scott Foley
Though Down the Mysterly River is written primarily for middle-graders, the fact that it is scribed by Bill Willingham proved irresistible. You may know Willingham as the creator and author of the Vertigo series entitled Fables. He won me over long ago, and I don't mind admitting that I'll give anything he writes a chance.

Down the Mysterly River proved an enjoyable read, even for an old man such as me. It is the story of Max the Wolf, a twelve-year-old Boy Scout who awakens upon an otherworldly
...more
Angela
And the second 5-star book for the year goes to a book written for 10-year-old boys. I have nothing to say for myself.
So, I think if you took the talking animals and humor and English Boys Novel aspects of Narnia, removed the Jesus-lion, and inserted some of the dark violence and purgatorial aspects from the video game Limbo, it would give you something close to this book. It's definitely darker and less simple than the average Boys Novel, but has so many of the same aspects that I keep wanting
...more
Stephanie Jobe
Max the Wolf is not actually a wolf but rather a boy scout and young detective. He finds himself in an unfamiliar woods with no idea of how he got there, there are others like himself but they are animals that talk and in Max’s world that just doesn’t happen. So he must deduce what this strange place is and why there are people with blue swords chasing him and his new friends.

I honestly don’t know what to think of this book. I enjoyed it in a very casual way. It never got me super duper excited.
...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 85 86 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Juniper Berry
  • Goblin Secrets (Zombay, #1)
  • Deadweather and Sunrise (The Chronicles of Egg, #1)
  • The Wizard of Dark Street  (Oona Crate Mystery, #1)
  • The Rise and Fall of Mount Majestic
  • The Golden Twine
  • The Hero's Guide to Being an Outlaw (The League of Princes, #3)
  • How to Catch a Bogle (Bogle #1)
  • The Storm Makers
  • A Hero For WondLa (WondLa, #2)
  • Gabriel Finley and the Raven's Riddle
  • Malcolm at Midnight
  • Guys Read: Thriller (Guys Read, #2)
  • Neversink
  • The Cabinet of Earths (Maya and Valko, #1)
  • The Mostly True Story of Jack
  • The Aviary
  • The Robe of Skulls (Tales from the Five Kingdoms, #1)
12444
In the late 1970s to early 1980s he drew fantasy ink pictures for the Dungeons & Dragons Basic and Expert game rulebooks. He first gained attention for his 1980s comic book series Elementals published by Comico, which he both wrote and drew. However, for reasons unknown, the series had trouble maintaining an original schedule, and Willingham's position in the industry remained spotty for many ...more
More about Bill Willingham...
Fables, Vol. 1: Legends in Exile (Fables, #1) Fables, Vol. 4: March of the Wooden Soldiers (Fables, #4) Fables, Vol. 2: Animal Farm (Fables, #2) Fables, Vol. 3: Storybook Love (Fables, #3) Fables, Vol. 6: Homelands (Fables, #6)

Share This Book