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The Underdog (Wolfe Brothers #1)

3.42 of 5 stars 3.42  ·  rating details  ·  1,953 ratings  ·  175 reviews
"I vowed that if I ever got a girl I would treat her right and never be bad or dirty to her or hurt her, ever."

Cameron Wolfe is a dirty boy. He knows it. His brother Rube knows it, because he's one too. They could change- but would it take?
Paperback, 140 pages
Published 2007 by Omnibus Books (first published 1999)
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Ordinarily, if someone said “Hey, would you like to spend a few days in the mind of a 15 year old boy?” I’d emphatically say: “No thanks,” or at a stretch, “Maybe, can I take hand sanitiser?”

However, if someone said “Hey, would you like to spend a few days in the mind of a 15 year old boy via Markus Zusak?” I’d say: “Yes! Give it to me now!”

No one actually said that, but have acquired all three books in Zusak’s Underdog series, and thus this week I spent some time in the mind of Cameron Wolfe: d
Shirley Marr
Like others, I also chose to read this primarily as it is Markus Zusak's first novel. It's written in his trademark existentialist, charmingly goofy and self-degrading style. The book revolves around Cameron Wolfe and the entire Wolfe 'clan'. Highly autobiographical I suspect (spray jacket wearing Cameron, reminds me of spray jacket wearing Markus) and loose in structure and plot, but Zusak's characterisation and thematic adhesion carries this one through to the end for me.

I enjoyed it. I love
”One boy can be mischievous, but never underestimate the power of two or more.”- Natalie Snapp

Setting:Australia; 1999

Cover Thoughts?:Well, on the one hand, this is indicative of the Wolfe brothers because they always seem to be plotting something. Then again, they probably wouldn’t be at it very long. The face is a bit too close for my taste. I’ve never been a fan of extreme close-ups

”Would I always live with this kind of self-doubt, and doubt for the civilization around me? Would I alwa
Христо Блажев
Аутсайдерът не иска много от живота:

Още един намусен тийнейджър се бори с тегобите на живота, с неразбиращото го семейство, с лудия си брат, гадното училище, бушуващите хормони и, разбира се, с това, че е невидим за момичетата. Камерън Улф обаче е истински, от плът и кръв, във всяка физиономия, самокритика, във всяко сепване, че пак нещо не е направил като хората и отново е застанал на верев на света. Маркъс Зюсак е създал роман в пълен контрапункт с масо
Luke Wilson
Markus Zusak says in the introduction to the American edition that he doesn't like the series that much and would change a lot if he could redo it. And to a point, it isn't really nearly as good as The Book Thief or The Messenger. It lacks the sense of direction and the subtextual deepness that he other books have.

That being said, it's still a Zusak novel, so it's still very definitely worth reading. His unique voice definitely still comes out and his stylistic choices are still superior to many
Muhammad Ahmed Siddiqui

This book started pretty well but the rest was a dull affair to be honest.

It's a simple story about 2 brothers who are losers in life and want to make a name for themselves.
Most of this book is just a build-up to the later parts of the series. The writing is immature, everything is written like a daily routine and Markus Zusak himself said that these were his introductory days of his writing career but still I expected some Zusak-touch in t
Underdog was Markus Zusak's debut book. Although it is lacking in the beautiful delicacy and the well thought out plots of The Book Thief and I Am the Messenger, it shows that even for a debut book, Zusak had undeniable talent for writing.
The writing style was beautiful. The word choice spoke to my heart and really touched me.
His mixing of poetry and prose was also superb.
The characters were relatable, and so SO real.

Where was he a bit lacking?

The plot.
It wasn't that there was no plot. It was
Ief Stuyvaert
Very good. Not as great as 'The Bookthief' ofcourse, but then, what book is?
Before Zusak gained fame for writing the beloved novel The Book Thief, he wrote a trilogy of books about a young man named Cameron Wolfe: The Underdog, Fighting Ruben Wolfe, and Getting the Girl.

This is his first book and the beginning of that trilogy. It tells the story of the Wolfe brothers from Cameron’s point-of-view. He and his older brother Reuben live in Australia and spend their time getting in trouble and annoying their family members.

The novel feels immature in some ways. The style f
Penny Poppleton
Markus Zusak's first book. Bloody excellent. I want to climb inside his fiction.
Gary Lawrence
I imagine when Markus Zusak returned to his alma mater, Engadine High school as a beginning English Teacher, he found, as I did, that a core group of adolescent boys were very difficult to motivate. They would have not been moved by the literary works suggested to them, and the classics, books, and essays that featured feelings rather than action probably inspired only disruption. In 1999 you couldn't design an English curriculum based on TV, movies, websites and youtubeI
I am pretty sure this w
Tilly Booth
Underdogs by Markus Zusak.

I love Markus Zusak. I could probably go on for a ridiculous amount of time on how great his writing is (It’s seriously great. I love everything about it. I wish that I had talent as great as he does) but you’re just gonna have to trust me (unless you want like a huge review to read).

So, not only is his writing great but so are his stories. Underdogs consists of three novels. You have Underdog, Fighting Ruben Wolfe and Getting the Girl. When I finished Underdog I was s
This book is a joke. It has no plot and no point. As with 'The Book Theif', I WANTED to like it because Markus Zusak is not only a young Australian writer of YA fiction but ALSO (I discovered) quite cute. But I couldn't do it. The writing is clearly supposed to be very deep and meaningful and writerly but instead was deeply annoying and pretentious.

"Had the years defeated us?
Had they worn us down?
Had they passed like big white clouds, disintegrating very slowly so that we couldn't notice?"

I m
As much as I love Markus Zusak, I didn't enjoy this book as much as I wanted to.

Of course, after reading The Book Thief, nothing compares. And I understand that this being his debut novel I can hardly expect something as grand and heart-wrenching as The Book Thief.

Underdog is just about a boy and his ordinary life, and also his aspirations. It's almost autobiographical in writing style. There's no Big Baddie, nor a big climax. Just a book about the head of a 15-year old boy.

Cameron Wolfe is a sw
The Underdog is the first in the Wolfe Brothers series by Australian author, Markus Zusak. Cameron Wolfe, aged fifteen, knows he is a dirty boy. After all, “….. all young boys are pretty disgusting, like beasts. Maybe the challenge was to somehow rise above it…..” Cameron is a bit of a loner: he and his brother Ruben keep getting themselves into trouble, Cameron has a bit of sense (but not a lot), he doesn’t have a girl (his hair is thick any furry and sticks up every which way). When he meets R ...more
"Estávamos vendo tevê quando decidimos assaltar o dentista
-O Dentista? - perguntei para o meu irmão.
-Claro, por que não? - Foi a resposta que ouvi - Você sabe quanto dinheiro entra numa clínica dessas durante o dia?Chega a ser obsceno.Se o primeiro-ministro fosse dentista, o país não estaria do jeito que está agora, sério.Não haveria desemprego, nem racismo, nem machismo.Só dinheiro."

Oi gente, tudo bom?A resenha de hoje é o novo lançamento da Bertrand e o segundo livro do autor de A Menina que
It's definitely not a secret that Markus Zusak is my favorite author. The man is a magician with words and I can't get enough...

The biggest appeal of reading Underdog was to discover Zusak's very first book and to see how the writing style differed from it and his later works. I've read that you can see Zusak's writing style develop before your eyes as you progress through the Wolfe brothers trilogy.

Underdog tells the story of Cameron Wolfe, a teenage boy who is constantly making mischief with
If you've read Zusak's The Book Thief or The Messenger, you'll notice a huge difference in quality between them and this. Granted, The Underdog is his debut novel. It just kind of... doesn't have a plot. It's also 160 pages long - far too short for any decent development, IMO. At least I got to finish it at a snap during deadline/test crunch week.

I've already bought the next two books in the series and hopefully they serve as a good follow-up. All I can say now is ehhhhhhhhhhhh. 15-year-old guy
Eliana Olivera
4.5 WOW! Empece a leer este libro sin esperar mucho, he leido varios reviews diciendo que no es muy bueno, quejandose de los personajes, del plot y de mil cosas por eso a mi me sorprendio lo mucho que me iba gustando y a medida que iba leyendo me gustaba mas, no es La Ladrona de Libros no, pero si se nota que es del mismo autor, que manera de escribir la de Markus Zusak, tiene una manera de contar las historias unica.
He leido mil veces la pregunta 'Con que personaje ficticio te identificas?' y
Angel's books
Kitaptaki karakterler eğlenip gülüyorlar ama anlatılanların karamsar bir havası var. Zaten kısa bir roman olduğundan, böyle kafa dinlemeye bir yerlere gidip, bir kaç saatlik kitap arkadaşlığına ihtiyacınız varsa bu kitabı seçebilirsiniz :)
Italo André
O Azarão é um livro curto, de linguagem simples e conta com praticamente nenhuma trama. Mas o livro arrancou de mim boas risadas em alguns momentos. E foi muito bom lê-lo, é um relato adolescente que soa real, que me fez lembrar de minha adolescência e de minhas angústias na época.

Gostei bastante. Apesar de não ser nenhuma obra prima, releria numa boa. Gostei do narrador/protagonista e torci por ele (o que foi um tanto inútil, basta olhar o título do livro). Cameron Wolfe é um adolescente normal
The order that I read Markus Zusak books:

I am the Messenger
The Book Thief (multiple times)
Getting the Girl

The first book is exactly that, his first book, it's clear he is still finding his voice and developing his style at that point - he says more or less in the forward at the beginning of the newly released trilogy. In that sense, I enjoyed it. Having read everything I did before Underdog it's great to be able to see how he has grown as a writer, which is evident even in the short span
Yeah, it may not be even close to THE BOOK THIEF or I AM THE MESSENGER but it was written long before those books so stfu.

It was amazing book (too short but whatever) with two amazing characters- Ruben Wolfe and Cameron Wolfe. They didn't want a lot, Cameron just wanted someone to love him and Ruben... well he just wanted a beard...
Cameron was confused and alone, tho he was ready to do everything for his ex-best friend and for his family. I really liked the relationship between the two brother
Cordelia Mal
I was having problmes deciding whether to give it 3 or 4, but I settled with 3. Should be 3,5, though.

Ever since I read The Book Thief and I Am a Messenger, I have been totally in love with Markus Zusak. Therefore, even though it was in the kids’ section of my local library, I didn’t hesitate for a minute, and just borrowed it. I was hoping to get another masterpiece like the two already mentioned. Well, you can’t always get what you want.

The novel is a story of a few weeks’ life of an average t
Joe Paul
The story is about two brothers, Cameron and Ruben Wolfe, and is narrated from Cameron's first person perspective. Cameron, like many teenaged boys, is consumed by his desire to have a girlfriend. This desire ultimately upends a half-hearted attempt at robbing the local dentist with Ruben. The Wolfe brothers are derailed by the pretty secretary sitting at the front desk, and rather than walking away with some cash, all they receive are appointments for checkups. Eventually, working as an assista ...more
Favourite Quote: “There was only me who could worry about what was happening here, inside these walls of my life. Other people had their own worlds to worry about, and in the end, they had to fend for themselves, just like us.”

After reading The Book Thief and I Am The Messenger by Markus Zusak, I knew I had to read more of his works, so I picked this book up! Since this was his first novel, I did not expect it to be as good as his other books and I wasn’t wrong, this book was no where near as
Na to, abych měla od knížky předem nějaké očekávání, jsem příliš "mladý" čtenář. S třetí Zusakovou knížkou to bylo ryze o tom, že vím, že je přeložená a že si ji prostě chci co možná nejdříve přečíst. Prostá potřeba, která měla ukojit moji zvědavost a jakousi prapodivnou touhu. A to se mi poštěstilo; přelouskala jsem ji během dvou dnů a jak už to bývá zvykem (...celkem úsměvné, že to tak můžu napsat), četla se mi velmi dobře, opět ten báječný styl psaní, který mám tak ráda (ujíždím na těch krátk ...more
The Underdog is a story about a first crush... or was it about two trouble-making brothers? Or a somewhat abusive and dysfunctional family? Maybe all of these things at once? Which really turned out to be its downfall for me. The lack of cohesion between all of the storylines left me questioning the point of everything I just read. It's just a little story, about a piece of main character Cameron's life, which alternates between hilarity, introspective musings, gut-punching with Cam's brother, R ...more
Tatyana Naumova
Прочла 40 страниц и бросила-невыносимая скука, тянется и тянется.
This is Marcus Zusak's (The Book Thief) first published novel. It was published in Australia, but not in the US until recently. The story is told from the point of view of Cameron Wolfe, a 15-year-old "underdog" who does stupid things with his slightly older brother Ruben. In his narrative, Cam admits that "boys like us--boys in general--would have to be the scum of the earth." It's a funny, if a bit uneven, story about Cam's first crush on a "real" girl and his promise to himself to never hurt ...more
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Markus Zusak was born in 1975 and is the author of five books, including the international bestseller, The Book Thief , which is translated into more than forty languages. First released in 2005, The Book Thief has spent a total of 375 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, and still remains there eight years after it first came out.

His first three books, The Underdog, Fighting Ruben Wol
More about Markus Zusak...

Other Books in the Series

Wolfe Brothers (3 books)
  • Fighting Ruben Wolfe (Wolfe Brothers, #2)
  • Getting the Girl (Wolfe Brothers, #3)
The Book Thief I Am the Messenger Getting the Girl (Wolfe Brothers, #3) Fighting Ruben Wolfe (Wolfe Brothers, #2) Underdogs (Wolfe Brothers, #1-3)

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“I had to decide what I was going to do, and what I was going to be.
I was standing there, waiting for someone to do something , till I realised the person I was waiting for was myself.”
“It is early, early morning. It's that time when it's still dark but you know the day is coming. Blue is bleeding through black. Stars are dying.” 47 likes
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