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Noisy Outlaws, Unfriendly Blobs, and Some Other Things That Aren't As Scary
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Noisy Outlaws, Unfriendly Blobs, and Some Other Things That Aren't As Scary

3.49 of 5 stars 3.49  ·  rating details  ·  877 ratings  ·  139 reviews
A collection of stories for wise young people and immature old people!

A collection of stories for wise young people and immature old people, written by today’s best authors spinning new tales. Each story features fullcolor illustrations by artists including Barry Blitt, Lane Smith, David Heatley, and Marcel Dzama.

The collection includes previously unpublished children’s st
Paperback, 208 pages
Published September 8th 2009 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers (first published 2005)
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Here's an amusing collection of imaginative shorts aimed at the younger set, a younger set that possesses a dry, sardonic sense of humor, anyway.

I enjoyed these stories while I was reading them, and then...promptly forgot almost all of them.*

There are some familiar names here, (also known as BIG NAME-BRAND authors) - Nick Hornby, Jonathan Safran Foer, and Neil Gaiman - but the tales in this book are obviously not anyone's BEST work.

*Two notable exceptions - Lars Farf, Excessively Fearful Father
I very much liked the introduction by Lemony Snicket, it had me snickering and smiling at the outrageously tedious stories he had come up with. But as far as the rest of the stories were concerned, I was not impressed. Here is my take on each of them.

Small Country by Nick Hornby: This was a very interesting tale, I know it is not the best thing I have ever read, and it certainly isn't the worst, but somewhere in the undefined middle. I liked this story, but that is pretty much all I can say.

A capa brasileira é bem legal, daquelas que te faz tirar o livro da prateleira pra olhar. Mas agora estou aqui agradecendo a todas as entidades do universo por ter comprado baratinho na promoção, porque achei quase todos os contos do livro muito fracos. Ok que eu precisei chegar no segundo conto pra resolver folhear o negócio inteiro e perceber que era um livro infanto-juvenil, mas mesmo assim ele ainda é bem ruinzinho.

Os contos que não são ruins também não chegam a ser bons, só passáveis. Vou
Razvan Zamfirescu
Am citit cărțulia groasă de 200 de pagini pe drumul dus-întors-servici-acasă.

Și m-am distrat de numa’ alături de povestirile trăznite pe care autorii le-au creeat pentru deliciul cititorilor.

Cu o introducere spectaculoasă din partea invitatului special: Lemony Snicket.

Mi-au plăcut toate povestirile, cu o singură excepție. Nu am reușit să mă prind de șchepsisul povestirii lui Jon Scieszka – Fiecare e vândută la bucată. Poate că mă lămurește și pe mine careva…

În rest le-am prins și le-am gustat pe
Dec 09, 2008 Ciara rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: mcsweeney's/new yorker subscribers, junior high readers, devotees of modern sci-fi/fantasy
i wanted this to be better than it was, probably just because the intro was penned by daniel handler/lemony snicket. i should know by now that anything edited by the "mcsweeney's" peeps is going to be really good in theory & not measure up in practice. so what this is: a collection of short stories by various acclaimed fiction writers (of the "mcsweeney's" ilk--dave eggers & people like that) that i believe were written for younger readers (like maybe junior high-aged). or maybe they are ...more
I bought this book at a heavily discounted price ($7! Score!) solely because Daniel Handler wrote the introduction and I'm becoming focused on owning everything he's ever written. The McSweeney's publication didn't hurt, either.

So who is this book for? The stories are pretty childlike - I'd say almost fairy tale-ish in their hyperbole and overall tone. It's a very fast 200 pages, too. I mean, the stories aren't bad (I really liked Gaiman's Sunbird) but it's hard to tell who the audience is suppo
Sometimes a collection of short stories is all over the place: fantasy butting up against realistic fiction rubbing elbows with mysteries. This collection is not one of those times. Sure, some of the stories are more fantastic than others, and some have more realistic elements, but the tone is remarkably consistent across writers and even generations. Including stories from such big names in fantastic fiction as Kelly Link and Neil Gaiman and realistic authors like Nick Hornby and Jonathan Safra ...more
I like McSweeneys. I like the 826 centers and take undeserved pride in their Mission origins. Their goal of inspiring young people by connecting them with good, dedicated writers chokes me up a little bit when I think about it. I liked this collection of hip little stories and artwork too - for the most part. Sometimes though, these stories felt a little too hip, a little heavy on the image and light on the substance if that makes any sense. They were all sooo ironic, sooo unconventional that it ...more
What an awesome title. That is why I picked up this book. Inside I found a selection of short stories and illustrations that were fun and funny. My favorites were Lars Farf, Excessively Fearful Father and Husband, by George Saunders; Seymour's Last Wish, by Sam Swope; and Monster, by Kelly Link (even though that one kind of left me with a feeling of Huh?). My favorite illustrations were from The Sixth Borough, illustrated by Barry Blitt; and Sunbird, illustrated by Peter de Seve (though I did no ...more
Cute book full of short stories that will sometimes have you laughing out loud. Neil Gaiman has a story in here, but oddly, it was not one of my favourites.

There are some great lines found throughout the stories and some very strange tales.

I will write more later.
Jill Guccini
A quite enjoyable short story collection, although Lemony Snicket can really draw me into anything. My favorite, other than Lemony's introduction, was probably Nick Hornby's; my favorite illustrations though--and there was a ton of great illustrations--were by Rachell Sumpter, in Jeanne DuPrau's story. Being the animal person I am, I also really liked DuPrau's story, too. I also enjoyed the goofy comic by James Kochalka. Jonathan Safran Foer's story was also beautiful at the end; the image of th ...more
William Young
A collection of short stories put together for some noble purpose - supporting a writing/reading school/project in NYC, I believe. If it's a good cause and you like to support good causes, by the book. Read the short story by Neil Gaiman and then put the book on your shelf, content you've done some good for somebody. But, don't read the other short stories. Waste of time, even the one by Hornby, who apparently typed his story out over coffee one morning. I speed-read/skip-read the other stories, ...more
Sometimes you like to read a good short story instead of novel. Short stories are great because you can typically read them in one sitting and they tell a complete story typically without subplots, etc. The nice thing about a collection of short stories, is they vary in content, so if you don’t like one you can skip it and go to the next. In this case, as the title suggests and the introduction declares these are not “tedious” stories. Meaning they are a bit out of the ordinary- somewhat whimsic ...more
I'm surprised by how much I'm loving this anthology of short stories written for middle readers. The introduction is by Lemony Snicket, and some of the stories are by Nick Hornby, Jon Scieszka, Neil Gaiman, and others. Plus, inside the book jacket is a half-finished story that the readers are encouraged to finish and mail in for a contest! Proceeds go to charity--or did. Stories are very well written, yet engaging and true for the average 11-year-old boy.
Adam Hodgins
The introduction is the best part, I really liked the story "Monster". Besides that there were a couple that were ok and the rest kind of got on my nerves. I think it's that whole McSweeney’s quirkiness thing, it’s supposed to be “out there” or whatever but I just I find it contrived.. I rolled my eyes a lot while reading this.
David Bril
This is a collection of short stories from various authors that are meant to be about monsters and creatures, but as the back of the book will tell you that is not really entirely what you get. Authors include Nick Hornby, Neil Gailman, Jon Scieszka, Jonathan Safaran Foer and many more. I have not yet read the entire book but thanks to the interesting premise of the book as a whole and some lovely animation throughout the book, it is likely I will read the entire thing one day.

My ratting for thi
Nikki Rae
Yes. Weird and awesome. Also, there were illustrations. So. Pretty awesome.
Luciana Darce
Estou me sentindo desapontada por não ter conseguido gostar tanto deste livro ao final da leitura quanto gostei dele quando nos encontramos pela primeira vez numa estante de livraria... Do título aos autores que participaram da antologia, ele tinha tudo para se tornar um favorito.


Contudo, eu tenho de aprender a parar de comprar coletâneas de contos só porque tem o nome do Neil Gaiman na capa, especialmente porque na maior parte das vezes, quando faço isso, acabo descobrindo que eu já t
Noisy outlaws is a collections of randoms stories by random authors in their little random worlds. Alot of the stories took place in Europe {go Britian} so they did use some words I had no idea what they were. My favourite story was the one about a boy who stays by himself for five days while his parents go to Peru. His parents live random notes around, includung a list of people he can go to if he needs anything. Whenever he visits someone, they are never home but they leave notes for him. Over ...more
Oh, there are some great stories in this book. Plus the introduction is one of the best introductions to a book of short stories that I have ever read. "The ACES Phone" is one of my favorites. Neil Gaiman's story is another of the best. It's a collection of stories of which Lemony Snicket would definitely approve.

If I were Lemony Snicket (I’m not saying I am, but I have noticed that there are no extant – a word which here means “to be found anywhere, even if you search the entire Internet and al
Sara Habein
Yes, you read that right — The title of this book really is 52 words long. Much of the McSweeney’s stable delights in the strange, and this collection of short stories takes it to the level of unconventional tall tale. Even the dust jacket is a little bit different. On the inside is the beginning of a short story by Lemony Snicket, and readers were invited to finish it, fold up the jacket, slap a couple stamps on it and send it in. The winner was picked some time in 2006, with their story publis ...more
So, in case the goofy title didn’t clue you in, this is a McSweeney’s book, the one I bought at 826 Valencia (along with my awesome eyepatch). It’s an odd little collection of whimsical stories by a whole bunch of authors, including Neil Gaiman, Nick Hornby, and Jonathan Safran Foer. It’s a a weird little book, in that many of the stories read like children’s tales, but they are also sort of grim and dark. But then, so are fairy tales, so why not, I guess.

Anyway, it is a fast read, but a fun one
Noisy Outlaws, Unfriendly Blobs, and Some Other Things That Aren't as Scary, Maybe, Depending on How You Feel About Lost Lands, Stray Cellphones, ... Quite Finish, So Maybe You Could Help Us Out

This book was like the other book I read"In the land of the lawn weenies and other warped tales" It really wasn't a book with a plot and everything it was just a couple of funny stories. My favorite story is a story about a boy and a monster. In the story the boy is at a camp and his supposed friends ma
Oct 12, 2007 Spectrum rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
Shelves: borrowme, reviewed
Noisy Outlaws (and a lot of other words included in this lengthy book title) is a collection of short stories gathered up by the McSweeney's publishing group. If the title does not reveal that this is anything but a typical book of short stories then the monster on the cover with the words 'hold me' should do the trick. The stories in this book are out there. On the first page of the introduction Lemony Snicket even warns the reader of "very dangerous things" contained within. However, as tantal ...more
This is how a book should be put together! The actual, physical property of this book is beautiful. The binding is strong and firmer than most hardcovers. The cover (not the dust jacket) itself is an illustrated work. Lavishly illustrated in full color! All books should aspire to this kind of quality.

The stories themselves are rather uneven. As one might suspect, the stories by Nick Hornby and Neil Gaiman are among the best, but the others vary in quality. "Spoony-E & Spandy-3..." is a carto
David Macpherson
I don't understand what the target of this collection was or who was the audience. Was it for kids, or was it for ironic adults who are so cool that they read short story collections for kids. A lot of the stories were of the old trope of the boy who was different in a society who didn't understand him. Not too original. The only one that was truly different from that trope was Neil Gaiman's story and that was a good story, though not his best. There was a reprint of a story called Grimble that ...more
A good reason not to judge a book by its cover.
I thought I would be getting something funny and quirky, instead I ended up reading a load of tedious stories. 'Tedious' meaning 'writers who think they're being ever so different and clever, but not really managing'.
It wasn't all bad, there were even a couple of stories that I liked. The one by Nick Hornby and the one about Lars Farf, especially. The Neil Gaiman one was good too. It was probably worth buying the book just for the Gaiman story and L
Althea Ann
A rather odd - but not bad - illustrated collection of short stories. The emphasis is on rather twisted tall-tale/fairytale type pieces. According to the publisher, the intended audience is "young adults first, all other adults second," - they're not children's stories, but they're mostly stories about children. I picked it up for Neil Gaiman's contribution, but several of the others were very well-done.

Introduction / Lemony Snicket
Small country / Nick Hornsby
Lars Farf, excessively fe
I feel bad giving this only three stars, but as a whole, this collection left me a little cold. This may just be a result of having read it so soon after the much more adult and mature stories in Russell Banks' collection The Angel on the Roof, but this McSweeney's books feels unnaturally light and weightless.

The focus seems to be on children's stories told with a mixture of whimsy and darkness, and while I'm not opposed to the idea, I could have dealt with more meat. The authors seem to want to
This book is okay, if you like to read short stories by different authors. Some of the stories are funny, kind of scary, fun, and just weird. I liked the first story. It was confusing at first but it caught my attention. I would recommend it to those who like to read a book filled with stories by different authors. If you don't like this type of book, don't read it, but I still recommend that you at least try because you might like it.
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Goodreads Librari...: Combine editions 3 22 Jan 18, 2013 12:28PM  
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Ted Thompson is a graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop, where he was awarded a Truman Capote Fellowship. His work has appeared in Tin House and Best New American Voices, among other publications. He was born in Connecticut and lives in Brooklyn with his wife.
More about Ted Thompson...
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