Timmy Failure
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Timmy Failure (Timmy Failure #1)

3.67 of 5 stars 3.67  ·  rating details  ·  1,458 ratings  ·  399 reviews
Meet "detective" Timmy Failure, star of the kids’ comedy of the year. Created by New York Times best-selling cartoonist Stephan Pastis. Take Timmy Failure — the clueless, comically self-confident CEO of the best detective agency in town, perhaps even the nation. Add his impressively lazy business partner, a very large polar bear named Total. Throw in the Failuremobile — Ti...more
Kindle Edition, 304 pages
Published February 26th 2013 by Candlewick (first published January 1st 2013)
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Barb Middleton
In English classes, teachers often have lessons where students examine the reliability of a character's voice. Some tell the truth and some don't. Huckleberry Finn is an "unreliable narrator" who even says outright that sometimes he tells the truth, sometimes he lies, and sometimes he stretches the truth. Take a look at Holden Caulfield in "Catcher and the Rye," another top-notch unreliable narrator spewing contradictory statements and hyperboles in most of his dialogue. Some unreliable narrator...more
Sarah
Ah, Timmy Failure. I'm a little confused about how I feel about this book. It's hysterical, well written, introduces some new vocabulary (to myself, in addition to the middle-grade readers this book is aimed at), and shows glimpses at more serious real-life issues (single motherhood, economical issues, struggles in school). At the same time though, there's some mean name calling, hatred towards a little girl with no real reason (a little girl we find out is dealing with some family issues of her...more
Jackie "the Librarian"
Timmy Failure lost me. This looked like it should be funny, but I just didn't like it very much. The cartoony line art was appealing, and the idea of a clueless boy detective with a polar bear sidekick sounded like it had lots of potential.
The problem was, I just didn't like Timmy. Not only was he clueless and irresponsible, he was kind of a jerk to his classmates.
I did like his relationship with his mother and the new teacher, and there I could see a glimmer of appeal. Timmy is so utterly in...more
Adina
What I love about Timmy Failure is that you can read it on two levels. On the one hand, it's hilarious. Timmy's delusions of grandeur and boundless faith in himself make for a lot of funny situations. But the adult reader, and probably quite a few sophisticated kids, will also see Timmy struggling to make a very imperfect world into the one he'd rather have, and will be happy when things turn out well for Timmy despite his best efforts.
Mike
I've heard Timmy Failure described as the "the next Diary of a Wimpy Kid." I love statements like that. They get the best eye-rolls. But wait, check out the first lines.

"It's harder to drive a polar bear into somebody's living room than you'd think. You need a living room window that's big enough to fit a car. You need a car that's big enough to fit a polar bear. And you need a bolar bear that's big enough to not point out your errors."

I know what you're thinking. How will the rest of a book fro...more
Betsy
Call it the attack of the syndicated cartoonists. For whatever reason, in the year 2013 we are seeing droves of escapees from the comic strip pages leaping from the burning remains of the newspaper industry into the slightly less volatile world of books for kids. How different could it be, right? As a result you’ve The Odd Squad by Michael Fry (Over the Hedge) and Zits Chillax by Jerry Scott (Zits). Even editorial cartoonists are getting in on the act with Pulitzer prize winner Matt Davies and h...more
Kristi
So, what I liked:

Pastis describes boys to a tee. Page 7: Drawing of Mom wagging finger and saying "Never. Ever. Ever." To which Timmy says, "I thought that was vague. So I use it."

That had me rolling.

What I didn't like:

Timmy reminds me of Greg from DIARY OF A WIMPY KID. They're both jerks. They treat their friends rotten and they're completely selfish and unambitious. This is not an accurate, or even a likable, portrayal of boys.

Also, I kept waiting for the big reveal, that Timmy has Asperger'...more
Adam
It's no Milo: Sticky Notes and Brain Freeze, but it's pretty good. The main character is equally as inept and self-centered as Wimpy Kid, but not nearly as rude or whiny. He comes off as more just...oblivious and bumbling.

Definitely some recognizable humor and style from Pearls Before Swine.

I reviewed this on the TMC Guys Read Blog at http://guysread.wordpress.com/2013/03...
Ms. Yingling
Timmy lives with his mother and his polar bear, Total, and is obsessed with his budding detective agency, Total Failure. (His last name is Failure.) He hopes to grow his business so that it makes a lot of money so that his mother can stop stressing about bills, but he is not getting many jobs since the evil Corinna Corinna is undercutting his business, aided by her father's vast wealth. Timmy has some helpful people in his life, like the playground aide, Dondi, his mother, and his friends Rollo...more
babyhippoface
Rating Decision Crisis: 2 stars, or 3? Started slow, Timmy too much like Wimpy Kid/AwfulHumanBeing Greg Heffley, but improved, slowly....

Did warrant a few chuckles, though; Timmy's statement that Corrina Corrina "has the ethics of a donkey" made me laugh out loud, as did his understanding that Flo the Librarian was reading more books about killing innocent creatures when he sees him reading my favorite book of all-time, To Kill a Mockingbird. Another truly funny moment comes when Timmy sees the...more
Liam
This book is about a middle school student named Timmy Failure, and although his business is small now, he thinks eventually he will own the most successful detective business on the earth; but for now he's stuck operating out of his mother's closet. Case after case, Timmy is becoming a better detective, that is until his competition, Corrina Corrina, starts stealing his cases... and his segway. Even though he's failing in school, his mom got a new boyfriend, and his best friend is being tutored...more
Paul  Hankins
From the creator of PEARLS BEFORE SWINE, this one reads like The Wimpy Kid meets Calvin and Hobbs meets I AM A GENIUS OF INCREDIBLE EVIL AND I WANT TO BE YOUR CLASS PRESIDENT.

This one has some layers that do not get as fully developed (single mother, family economics, new relationships) as say a similar title, MILO: STICKY NOTES AND BRAIN FREEZES (loss, grief, single parent homes), but I think the target audience for this title will not mind this so much with the bumbling antics of Timmy, Rollo,...more
Nicole
Timmy Failure: Mistakes were Made (Book 1) by Stephan Pastis
Candlewick, 2013
294 pages
Fantasy/Humorous
Recommended for grades 4-6

Timmy Failure thinks himself to be a topnotch detective that is destined to run a multi-billion dollar detective agency. The irony here is that Timmy does live up to his name, no matter how much he tries to assure readers he isn't a failure, by missing the blatantly obvious answers to all his cases.
When Timmy borrows his mother's Segway and loses it, he is determined to...more
Amanda Harris
Timmy Failure along with his best friend, a polar bear named Total...who seems to me is an imaginary friend, team up to open a detective agency called, "Total Failure". Timmy is a big fat zero when solving cases and seems to be misunderstood by everyone around him. Was the name foretelling of the agency's future or what??

Timmy finds himself in all kinds of sticky situations and to make matters worse, he continues to lie about things that just aren't worth lying about. Just when you think Timmy'...more
Julie
This has 26 holds at our library, and I wanted to see if it was a good suggestion for Wimpy Kid lovers. It sort of is.

The art is great, and I suspect the title and cover are a big reason for the high holds. It's definitely the style of Wimpy Kid, with the characters being possibly closer to upper-elementary age.

However. Even though I thought it was often funny, I don't think kids are going to find it as funny. For example, will they get title headings like, "Orange juice. Shaken. Not stirred"...more
mg
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Cathy Hall
It was hard, giving Stephan Pastis three stars. Because seriously, I love, love, LOVE the guy's cartoon strip. And even more, because there were parts in TIMMY FAILURE:MISTAKES WERE MADE where I laughed out loud. But more often, there were whole chapters where I thought the humor was too sophisticated for third graders. And even fourth graders. I think 8, 9, and 10 year olds are the target audience for this book--and I know plenty of smart 8, 9, and 10 year olds. Heck, I birthed a couple kids li...more
Brenda
I liked the character of Timmy but am curious how much others will enjoy him. Maybe it's his over confidence in his detective skills or his bumbling nature, he just isn't really as good at crime solving as he thinks he is. Yet, maybe that is his charm. Timmy does land himself in some interesting predicaments and I can see children enjoying how he gets out of them. Timmy's 1500 pound sidekick business partner, Total the polar bear was hard to imagine wandering around solving cases with him but t...more
Jacoba
Timmy Failure: Mistakes Were Made by Stephan Pastis (2013)
Genre: Fiction
Format: eBook
Plot summary:Resolving to earn so much money that his mother will no longer stress out over the bills, eleven-year-old Timmy Failure launches a detective business with a lazy polar bear partner named Total but finds their enterprise "Total Failure, Inc." challenged by a college-bound spy and a four-foot-tall girl whom Timmy refuses to acknowledge.
Considerations or precautions for readers advisory (strong languag...more
Stephanie
This book was...interesting. The kid is so imaginative! I would say this book is perfect for 7 to 8 year olds...specifically boys.

I kept thinking that they were going to point out that the Polar Bear was actually a stuffed animal...go Calvin and Hobbes style with it, but they never did. Surprised me!
Chris
I'm a sucker for a flawed, unreliable narrator, love understated, deadpan humor, and believe self-delusion is an unavoidable fact of life that should be embraced by all good stories, so it would seem that Timmy Failure has a winning formula for me since it has all three of these in abundance. Unfortunately, the humor never quite connected with my funny bone. I think it had something to do with how obviously hard Pastis works to make sure readers notice Timmy's failings and feel superior in respo...more
Charlou Lunsford
Timmy Failure is a detective. He thinks he is very successful. His partner is a polar bear named Total. Yep, it is the Total Failure Detective Agency. A girl nemesis, a missing Segway, and troubles at school all seem to be insurmountable problems. But not for long.
Why I picked it up - It's one of those Wimpy Kid read a-likes.
Why I finished it - It was funny though possibly a different funny for kids. This book seemed to want to cover a lot, maybe too much, and much seemed glossed over perhaps...more
The Styling Librarian
Ok, I'll admit it. I was concerned about my eyes. I thought they'd be strained after rolling them throughout this reading. I know this is a book that will be welcomed and treasured by many of my students. I personally became frustrated over and over again even though I enjoyed the book overall. Not so keen on reading books with characters calling one another idiot... I also found some of the language a little too high cognitively to accept in comparison to his academic performance. *I know he pr...more
Dijon Chiasson
Yes, Timmy Failure, mistakes WERE made. The first mistake was your very existence. Does the world really need another one of those Wimpy Kid knockoffs?

The second mistake was making you a bumbling arrogant character that no reader could possibly root for.

The third mistake was immediately allowing the reader to solve the mystery but still forcing us to wait for Timmy to solve it, in the name of comedy.

There were no real stakes, no real characters, no originality, but there WAS a lazy polar bear de...more
Kate
Timmy Failure is a boy detective who thinks that he solves cases with healthy doses of "greatness"... but no one else sees it that way. With each case he tackles, Timmy works with all his might to prove his theories, and he's convinced he's right - and tries to convince the reader, too.

For the right kid, this book could work really well. It draws comparisons to Diary of a Wimpy Kid with its hybrid middle grade/graphic novel format, but its humor is absurdist rather than sardonic/self-deprecating...more
Ана Хелс
Ако някой каже , че това е невинна, весела, забавна детска книжка, значи е гледал само картинките. Защото текстът е всичко друго, но не и лек, неангажиращ и изпълващ с надежда, поне за тези читатели, които могат да виждат и между редовете. Кой е Тими Провала? Едно нещастно хлапе, израстващо със самотна майка, с малко финанси, възможности и амбиции, създаващо си свой собствен илюзорен свят , в който се бори за личната си значимост, не точно тъпо дете, но с проблеми с ученето – я дислексия, я синд...more
Libby Ames
Timmy Failure and his pet polar bear Total make up the staff of Total Failure, Inc., a detective agency dedicated to solving crimes. They can tell you who stole your Halloween candy, who toilet papered your house, and maybe even why your pet hamster died…or can they. Timmy’s extensive vocabulary contrasted with his clueless view of the world, created a humorous story filled with blunders galore. Although there is some name calling, I find this a good substitute for kids interested in books like...more
Rebecca
Ohhh, I laughed my socks off with this one! Timmy Failure is both a queer sorta genius and the most clueless kid ever invented. Pastis read author Raymond Chandler before he began writing Timmy in order to "get those little staccato sentences down." He nailed it. He didn't get to use the word "dame" although he says in an interview, "if I could've, I would've" but he does get to write "G-men" and swill chocolate milk (they're all out of scotch).

So who is this Timmy I'm rambling about? I'm not su...more
Lois
I bought this because the title cracked me up. I'm well aware that a lot of writers seem to be piggy-backing on the concept of Diary of A Wimpy Kid because it has become (rightly) so popular. A lot of them can't match the humour of Wimpy Kid, and although this book couldn't quite either, it came really, really close.

Timmy has a hilarious wide-eyed stare. I don't like the art as much as Wimpy Kid, but Timmy's face does instantly crack me up. I do like the supporting character set up of the 'best...more
Cliff
Stephan Pastis made a fan of me with his pun-filled, slightly-twisted sense of humor showcased daily in his Pearls Before Swine comic. So, when I discovered he had written two children's books in the mold of the "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" books, I figured that I'd enjoy those as well.

And that was true...to a point. The main issue I've had with Jeff Kinney's series of books is that Kinney's Greg Heffley is unapologetically narcissistic. With Timmy Failure, Pastis creates a similar character, but one...more
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Timmy Failure Mistakes Were Made 4 21 Feb 18, 2014 07:46PM  
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Stephan Pastis was born in 1968 and raised in San Marino, California, a suburb of Los Angeles. He graduated from the University of California at Berkeley in 1989 with a degree in political science. Although he had always wanted to be a syndicated cartoonist, Pastis realized that the odds of syndication were slim, so he entered UCLA Law School in 1990 and became an attorney instead. He practiced la...more
More about Stephan Pastis...
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