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Pardon Me, You're Stepping On My Eyeball!
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Pardon Me, You're Stepping On My Eyeball!

3.76  ·  Rating Details ·  1,419 Ratings  ·  47 Reviews
Fifteen-year-old "Marsh" Mellow thinks the whole world hates him. Then he meets Edna Shinglebox, a classmate who looks as freaky and depressed as he is. Even though Marsh writes hate letters, carries around a raccoon in his coat pocket, and insults Edna constantly, Edna still likes him. After embarking on an incredible adventure that takes them halfway across the country, ...more
Unknown Binding, 262 pages
Published January 1st 1976 by HarperCollins Publishers
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Dec 03, 2009 Sarah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: don-t-judge-me
Ah, young adult literature! My Paul Zindel phase coincided with my Nirvana's Nevermind phase so that the two will forever be linked in my mind. In a way, the partnership is fitting. The grunge movement had something of the 70's and the books of Paul Zindel were imbued with the turmoil and alienation that would be a driving force in 90's music. Both capitalized on my burgeoning teen angst. (I must have been about 13 at the time).

This was my favorite of Zindel's books. Certain scenes were so vivid
Jan 10, 2017 Jenny rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another surprising bookstore find. I'm glad I'm reading this at 30 and not at 15. I think I would have liked it then, but I would've understood it in a different way, probably more intuitively but less concretely.
The main characters, Louis (Marsh) Mellow and Edna Shinglebox, get to know each other during GTE at their high school on Staten Island. GTE stands for group therapy experience and is led by Mr. Meitzer, the school's obese counselor. Both Marsh and Edna struggle to make friends and to b
Heather Fryling
Feb 12, 2014 Heather Fryling rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Forget keeping up appearances. These kids burned down the glass house. I'm not sure if Paul Zindell intended Marsh and Edna's story as a cautionary tale or a romance, but I took it as a romance when I first read Pardon Me You're Stepping on My Eyeball back in high school. And I don't think that was a good thing. People who are real can appear crazy, because they're not sucking in, plucking, polishing, and posturing to fit into everyone's expectations. I like being around real people. But there a ...more
Feb 24, 2011 Emily rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Edna Shinglebox and Louis “Marsh” Mellow are disaffected youth in the mid-1970s. When they are enrolled in a group therapy class at school they come to know each other and maybe help with each other’s emotional problems.
Everything in this book is bizarre, from Marsh’s stories about his and his father’s exploits with women to Edna’s visit to a local psychic. The descriptions are wacky and vivid and very representative of the time period and the youth scene. Marsh and Edna are fully-realized char
Jun 09, 2017 Swankivy rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I don't know what to say. I'm so confused by this book. I mean, when it ends, some kind of catharsis has clearly occurred: we have Marsh finally accepting that his dad is dead and Edna, uh, acknowledging that she . . . wants romantic attention from Marsh for some ungodly reason despite how he's abused her, shamed her, treated her like crap, pressured her to drink, embarrassed her in public repeatedly on multiple occasions, manipulated her, lied to her on purpose, and almost killed her. I mean, w ...more
Shawn Leslie Dixon
Dec 09, 2014 Shawn Leslie Dixon rated it really liked it
This thing was probably brimming with life lessons... ignore them if you notice them and you've got a fun story that races its way through an absurd mental blockade and a young girl playing along all too readily (it's dastardly that the assault she took barely registered in the story line... I suppose those were different times. I enjoyed everything else).
The characters were all kinds of silly fun, especially the school psychologist.
There's no way to get bored with a story featuring so many pecu
Mar 30, 2012 Maddy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of my favourite YA books - a surprisingly thorough and well-felt examination of strength and honesty. I remember being somewhat shocked when the protagonist learns to stand up for herself, overdoes it and is cruel, and then has to go back and fix things. That's a pretty nuanced understanding of "being honest". Anyway, a funny, heartfelt book that I reread a lot in my teenage years.

This was the first Zindel I read, and I later found many of his books are very similar in tone and theme. This r
Jul 07, 2011 Robert rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
Nobody wrote about teen freak outcasts better than Paul Zindel and this is one of his best YA novels, alternately very funny and sad, with a tremendously appealing heroine in Edna Shinglebox – you can’t help rooting for Edna to make it through her often grotesque trials and tribulations with her wacked-out parents, her extremely troubled sort-of love interest, “Marsh” Mellow, and the typical teen traumas of high school, self-loathing, etc. I was genuinely moved by the ending, where both Edna and ...more
Read it as a teen; read again as an adult. Good both times. If a teacher wants to have students experience character perspective, and reliability of narrator, this would be GREAT. Teens: if you have a friend who seems be different, read it. Reminds me of Chris Crutcher books with out the athleticism.
Jan 31, 2013 Mary rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed reading this book. It's so weird and it kept me guessing, and the ending was really sweet. What I liked about it was that the characters were unhappy, just like most teenagers, but it wasn't so depressing that you felt unhappy to read it. It also has a cute title.
Jun 07, 2007 Karen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
More freak-meets-freak goodness from Paul Zindel. This one features a raccoon, effed parents, and a road trip, if I'm remembering correctly. RIP, Paul Zindel. I wish I could somehow track you down and sing you a heartfelt rendition of "To Sir With Love."
Maya Rock
Jul 17, 2007 Maya Rock rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In my vague recollection of this there are serious father issues in this book. This for me was Paul Zindel's best book, maybe the one that packed the most emotional punch, although not my favorite one.

Memorable for firecrackers.

Inspires the "fatherissues" shelf
Feb 09, 2008 Sandy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, kids-ya
I read this as a sophomore in high school. As someone who was always a bit of a misfit, this book really felt like it was written for me. It's full of strange, dysfunctional characters and it will always have a special place in my heart.
Paula Weir
Nov 02, 2012 Paula Weir rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved this book. Many years since I read it, so much so would love to read it again. Just an excellent concept, great coming of age tale and you can't knock that title. Not for the xFactor generation.
Mar 10, 2008 Daizie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
THe first book I read from Paul Zindel, leading me to devour all of his books! This is tied as my favorite up there with My darling My hamburger! Loved it! I read it in high school, and some how taught me to love myself and all my quirkiness and that was over 25 years ago! A must read for teens!
Jan 16, 2016 Lise rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A funny book for young adults about alienation, lying and honesty.
Texx Norman
Nov 20, 2010 Texx Norman rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am 60 years old but from time to time I still read YA novels. This is a good one.
V.S. Carnes
Jan 27, 2011 V.S. Carnes rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved the appellations used to describe the adults in this book! Sure, I read it when I was a teenager, but I'll admit I've re-read it more than oncce since I've grown up.
Nov 01, 2011 Becky rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Loved it as a kid. Checked it out because of title but didn't get it until I was older. I still read it every few years or so. It is so dated, but the characterization is great.
Jacquelyn Hall
Mar 18, 2015 Jacquelyn Hall rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I will always re-read!
Nov 27, 2007 Jessica rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Still my favorite teen angst novel.
Julie Decker
Jun 09, 2017 Julie Decker rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Marsh and Edna are two misfits who learn about each other because of shared group therapy at school. Both feeling unsupported at home by their woefully incapable parents, they explore their relationship with lies, mental illness, social interaction, trust, and each other. But when Marsh seems to need more from Edna than she's willing to give on an issue regarding his father, tension reigns between them. Resolution may require drastic measures.

Given the largely positive response this book has in
Stella Brians
Sep 12, 2016 Stella Brians rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I cannot say enough good things about this book. I absolutely loved it! Paul Zindel has always been a favorite of mine, although I have not read him in years. This is the story of two troubled teens; Marsh and Edna. They strike up an unusual (and rather forced at first) friendship/relationship. Marsh comes from a broken home, with a mother who is crazy and a father who is in a mental institution and writes him letters. He has a pet raccoon (which is so cool) and makes up wild stories about mostl ...more
Samacha Sam
Paul Zindel’s riveting yet bizarre book, Pardon Me, You're Stepping On My Eyeball! is about these two high school students who are socially awkward end up becoming friends. Edna Shinglebox and Marsh Mellow both end up in the same GTE class with other people because they both have problems but Edna doesn't think she needs to be in there. Marsh ends up showing letters from his father who is in a nuthouse to Edna and will soon have a lobotomy. Marsh begs Edna to help save him but she doesn't care. ...more
Sep 22, 2007 Mycala rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: they-lost-me, 2017
It's true. You really can't go back.

I fell in love with Paul Zindel in junior high. I read all of his books. Granted, this was not my favorite of them, but I loved everything I read of his. I was feeling nostalgic and thought I'd go back in time a bit and reread some of his stuff. You know, it's been so long and I thought it would bring back fond memories and...

Yeah, no. It didn't do that. This book worked for me when I was 13 but it's not working for me now. So onward. The Pigman will always h
Stephanie Sharp
Jan 01, 2017 Stephanie Sharp rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I first read this book when I was 12! This (along with Slaughterhouse Five) was the book that was responsible for turning me onto reading! I remember getting completely lost in it and finishing it in one sitting. My parents took me to see The Effect Of Gamma Rays On Man In The Moon Marigolds, and I was hooked on this author. It's too bad today's YA novels aren't written with such wit and sensitivity. I re-read this book in my mid 40's and it still stood the test of time!
Feb 05, 2012 Amanda rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Too much meaningless detail, not enough plot. I mean, who needs pages and pages about who's in attendance at a party and what they're wearing? I like that the two main characters are so incredibly flawed and strange, but that's really the only thing about this book that's enjoyable. I doubt I'll remember anything about this in a few weeks' time.
Andrea Conarro
This is one with a title I can't forget which I plucked from the shelves at grandma's house. I used to stock up when we would visit--just go upstairs and rummage through the old books of my aunts and uncles. I think this was one I read sometime in the middle school years--weird coming-of-age type book.
Sep 08, 2012 Lori rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have read this book so many times even as an adult. In fact, I have read almost all of Paul Zindel's books. I think if I hadn't discovered him as an author I most likely would have not made it through my formative years alive. I don't believe in god, but god bless you anyway mr Zindel.
Stace Leza
Jun 17, 2011 Stace Leza marked it as the-best-children-literature  ·  review of another edition
learning to manoeveur those late turbulent teen years is a challenge but zindel is very adept at getting it all down in paper: all the mess and the angst that come with learning who you are and what you are about.a great read and a comfort for teens that they are not alone in their experiences
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Paul Zindel was an American author, playwright and educator.

In 1964, he wrote The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man-in-the-Moon Marigolds, his first and most successful play. The play ran off-Broadway in 1970, and on Broadway in 1971. It won the 1971 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. It was also made into a 1972 movie by 20th Century Fox. Charlotte Zolotow, then a vice-president at Harper & Row (now Harper-
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