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The Love Curse of the Rumbaughs

3.23 of 5 stars 3.23  ·  rating details  ·  605 ratings  ·  168 reviews
On an unseasonably warm Easter Sunday, a young girl named
Ivy discovers a chilling secret in the basement of the Rumbaugh
pharmacy across the street from the hotel where she lives with
her mother. The discovery reveals a disturbing side to the
eccentric lives of family friends Abner and Adolph Rumbaugh,
known throughout their small western Pennsylvania town
simply as the Twins....more
Hardcover, 192 pages
Published April 18th 2006 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,074)
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karen
Jun 13, 2010 karen rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to karen by: montambo
seriously?

montambo recommended this book to me because i fear twins and their freakish abilities and the way they want to use mind control on us all. this book didn't make me change my mind w/r/t their potential for evil. at all. *

but for a teen audience, this? it opens with a wallace stevens quote, "in the presence of extraordinary actuality, consciousness takes the place of imagination"

already, this ain't no twilight.

and from there it goes into eugenics and mengele and taxidermy-as-love and m...more
Mariel
Mar 29, 2011 Mariel rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Kinga
Recommended to Mariel by: karen
We didn't like this. Two stars: one from me, one from Lauren. Did I mention I read this twice because I read it telepathically with my twin sister, Lauren? Then Lauren read it twice because she was reading it with me. Her read count of two doubled my read count. It adds up. It really wasn't good enough to read that many times.

I'm mind reading Lauren right now. She says that this is one of those books where the narrator bashes you over the head with what they want to tell you. I say, "It's seen...more
Melki
So be sweet and kind to mother
Now and then have a chat
Buy her candy or some flowers
Or a brand new hat
But maybe you had better let it go at that...
*

Creepy twins, taxidermy, smotherly-love, eugenics...this book should provide nightmare-fodder for all ages!

(view spoiler)...more
Jesse
An extremely twisted story. The whole idea of taxidermy on humans is rather repulsive by common moral standards. But when maternal love is thrown into the picture, some may see this practice as nothing less than normal. Oh, and there is also the idea of eliminating men from the gene pool altogether....
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
What a peculiar book! I didn't think I would like it, as I don't care for his Rotten Ralph books (even though I have my own Rotten Ralph!). However, it held me right to the end just because it was such a strange plot with such an odd bunch of characters.
Kricket
turns out that i am not interested in mother-love OR taxidermy.
Tonchi
Los Rumbaughs tienen una maldición: quieren demasiado a sus madres, si, así como lo leen, su maldición es esa, no la quieren en un sentido de complejo de edipo, nada de incesto y cosas enfermas de esas, bueno, solo cosas enfermas diferentes como el querer disecar a sus madres para tenerlas siempre con ellos.

El libro empieza con Ivy, una niña de 7 años que vive con su madre, la cual descubre en el sótano de la farmacia de los gemelos Rumbaugh la figura disecada de la madre de ellos, de ahí empiez...more
Brandy
What is The Love Curse of the Rumbaughs? As a book, it's sort of what would happen if an old VC Andrews plot fell into the hands of a good writer and a better editor, and the 300 pages of gratuitous sex were removed. As a concept, the Love Curse is an excessive, obsessive mother-love, an Oedipal complex passed down through the generations. It's a dark, gothic story, involving taxidermy, identical twin brothers, their mother (from whom they can't bear to be parted), a young girl, and her mother....more
Luna
One day young Ivy discovers Mother Rumbaughs in the cellar of The Twins. First thinking the still figure is a life-sized doll Ivy is fascinated, once she realises it is actually the late Mother Rumbaughs she runs screaming from the cellar and into her arms of her mother. And thus the Rumbaughs curse is unlocked in Ivy.

The Love Curse of the Rumbaughs is twisted, complex and disturbing. Ivy’s story is a tale of nature vs. nurture. Her mother is convinced her nurture is enough to undo a curse which...more
Sesana
The love curse of the title is an obsessive mother-love that leaves Oedipus in the dust. A truly bizarre book, and one that is very difficult to rate. It is indeed very well-written, and it surely succeeds at what it attempts to do. I certainly couldn't put it down. But is it enjoyable? It's dark, very dark. And it's made even more unsettling by the narrator's matter-of-fact tone. I actually felt hugely relieved that the book was over and there was no more left for me to read. I did however, sta...more
Beth
A truly superb book. One of my favourites. Literary without being pretentious, interesting without being contrived, gothic without being repulsive. This book was deeply creepy, eerie and fascinating. The characters were amazingly well-drawn. The entire book held together as a coherent whole. It was very intelligent and empathic. I loved that Gantos stayed away from the typical teen cliches - there is no romance here (except of the twisted familial kind), no boyfriends and no ridiculous subplots....more
Brooke
Well... man. I don't really know how to rate this. It was soooo good and yet... ick! So freakin' strange and grody!!! Amazing. Morbid. Well-written and totally grotesque. I'm still reeling and trying to process this amazing book that left my on the verge of dry-heaving and nightmares. Wow. Well, it certainly elicited a response... a STRONG response. I mean, heck, Jack Gantos is and AMAZING author and the book was undoubtedly a terrifically written book, but the content was INTENSE.

However, it al...more
Lucia
Sep 06, 2007 Lucia rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who like dead people and weirdos
I was warned before I stuck the first CD in the player, that this was going to be a weird one. I just hope I haven't scarred my unborn child.

So it is very weird. YES! But Jack Gantos is a wonderful author and he manages to tell the story of freaky love obsession in a way that can still be poetic at times, just right before something even more strange happens. It certainly gives a whole new understanding to the term, "head on a stick."

I will be going back to Joey Pigza books, however.
Brittany
Apr 02, 2014 Brittany rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Brittany by: Sarah Poirier
Shelves: young-adult
Ivy discovers something very strange in the basements of the Pharmacy across the street from where she lives. She isn't sure what to do with the information and it unsettles her. Her mother tells her it has to do with the Rumbaugh's love curse and Ivy might have the curse too.

This was a very peculiar book and I'm not entirely sure if there are an young adults that I could recommend this too. There's love curses, taxidermy and plenty of other weird stuff packed in to this book. I feel like I miss...more
Laura Gardner
I had to add a new shelf for this book: WEIRD. Ivy has a love curse and is completely obsessed with her mother. She's prepared to do whatever it takes to protect and preserve her mother for all time. The Rumbaugh twins are her guide in this as they also had the love curse. I listened to this while driving and frequently made "ewwww!" faces. Not for those with weak stomachs. But I liked it anyway!
Kate
Aug 24, 2007 Kate rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people with the Oedipus Complex, or who love their mother to scary amounts
Shelves: youngadult
How to describe this book....strange, twisted, sadistic, icky, scary, bizarre...etc.etc.
I don't know what Jack Gantos was on when he wrote this, but it has got to be the freakiest book I have ever read! Besides all that it is extremely well written and delves into some pretty interesting ideas. Yikes! I won't forget this one any time soon.
Steven
Mar 12, 2007 Steven rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone
This book is the best modern gothic tale since ever! It is written in the genre of YA Lit, but I would recomend it to any adult as well. There are creepy elements similar to Anthony Perkins Psycho and Arsenic and Old Lace. Humorous OMG!
Amy
This book was so bizarre. I only read it because of a book discussion group I participated in. Then we heard the author speak. He was hilarious and told us that parts of the story were actually TRUE!
Jennifer
Like a car wreck. You want to look away, but you just cant.
Nancy Lockett
One straaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaange book!
Shaundell
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kit★
This is really more like 2.5 Stars, because it was ok, and I sorta liked it, enough to keep reading it anyways, but I don't feel I liked it enough to give it the 3 Stars 'Liked It' designation, so I'll leave it with the 2 Stars 'It Was Ok'. I realize I am not the target YA audience for the book, but I don't think that has anything to do with it, as I've read and loved many a YA and/or kids' book. The premise of this story was interesting, the back-cover blurb is what made me pick it up (at a lib...more
Miss Ruth
"Love is a terrible and a wonderful thing."

On my way home, I passed by a book sale and saw a copy of this book with a price that has been repeatedly marked down. Since it was so cheap, I decided to get it. I went home and read it in one sitting.

This book is twisted, a little sick, and contained all the necessary elements to make it fit for Gothic literature.

(1) elements of paranoia which brings sensation of being persecuted by the unknown, (2) elements of barbarism or an idea that relates to the...more
Heather
The Love Curse of the Rumbaughs is about a girl named Ivy and her extreme love for her mother that starts to get a little strange when an unexpected event happens to her on Easter Sunday when she is seven. This story is told through the point of view of Ivy and how she perceives the twins who own the pharmacy across the street from the hotel her and her mother live in. Her mother tells her that she will tell her who her father is even though Ivy could care less and feels like it would make the r...more
babyhippoface
Beyond "goth" and into the world of the bizarrely perverse. Twin adult men who take turns sleeping with their mother's taxidermied head. A girl who cuts off her dead mother's hands, taxidermies them, and sticks them in her coat pockets so she can walk down the street and hold her mother's hand anytime she wants. Do I really need to go on?

Ooookay. In a perverse story of the Oedipus Complex taken to a higher level, a young girl named Ivy discovers she has inherited the “Love Curse of the Rumbaughs...more
Mary
Weird and morbid and probably not good for a 2-6th grader. It was love of mothers, who they loved so and too much that they taxidermied them, when they died. Yauckks and gore, and what a horrible thought. I sure missed my Mom, but beautiful memories are what should be remembered. Too awful of a thought and then to say it was in the blood and they could not remedy their lives. Too much for a young mind to handle. If this was written in jest, too bad it was just a gruesome story.
Marcia
Oh dear God....this was one creepy, twisted book. There was so much in here that unsettled me and the fact that it was written by an author I love very much---who is coming to my school in just a few weeks---makes it even more unsettling. Parts of this book made me squirm and read it with one eye closed because I did not want to fully visualize what was being described. What kind of adult mind comes up with a tale this dark? I will tell you nothing of this story, except that it is rare for taxid...more
Amelia
ummm...so far this book is a little bizarre. I don't know if I'd like it more if I read it, or that I find it disconcerting because of the reader. I am more than 1/2 through the book (disc 3 of 4) and we're just getting to the meat of the story. I'm withholding complete judgment until I finish, but I don't know if I'd recommend this book yet, based on what I have listened to so far... Or maybe I just thinks it's weird/disturbing how much the characters love/obsess over their mothers. wow.

and now...more
Debbie
Let me preface this review by saying that this book was very well written and raised some interesting questions about genetics, family, and free will. That said, it wasn't for me. If you appreciate a creepy, gothic tale, it might be for you.

Ivy is raised by her single mother in a small town. She doesn't have any desire to make friends her own age. Instead, she stays very close to her adored mother, venturing over to the pharmacy across the street when her mother is at work. Two albino twin broth...more
Nancyc
May 09, 2008 Nancyc rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Nancyc by: Esta
Shelves: ya
It’s hard to imagine this book, marketed for a teen audience, ever having wide appeal with its target audience. The language is too rich and possesses a gothic lilt. The story is Faulkner’s A Rose for Emily meets the Bates Motel. We have a small town with a family secret.

Whenever a story shows characters who are into taxidermy, I know we’re going to find that the dearly departed probably haven’t…departed, that is. This story didn’t let me down. Stuffed mothers appear around ever corner, building...more
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Jack Gantos is an American author of children's books renowned for his portrayal of fictional Joey Pigza, a boy with ADHD. Gantos has won a number of awards, including the Newbery Honor, the Printz Honor, and the Sibert Honor from the American Library Association, and he has been a finalist for the National Book Award. His newest book, The Love Curse of the Rumbaughs (2006), deals with twins, euge...more
More about Jack Gantos...
Dead End in Norvelt Joey Pigza Swallowed the Key (Joey Pigza, #1) Hole in My Life Joey Pigza Loses Control (Joey Pigza, #2) From Norvelt to Nowhere

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“At the time I didn't realize their lie was a defense against the fear they had of losing their mother. I was still too young to understand that most lies were not about stealing or fighting or cheating but were just ways by which a person shrinks their whole world down to a size they can keep protected in the palm of one hand.” 4 likes
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