Huge
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Huge

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3.24 of 5 stars 3.24  ·  rating details  ·  422 ratings  ·  110 reviews
Life hasn't been easy for 12-year-old Eugene "Huge" Smalls, amateur sleuth, devotee of Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett, and the smallest, meanest, angriest kid in the whole sixth grade.

Sure, Huge's IQ is off the charts, but that doesn't help much when you're growing up in the 1980s in a dreary New Jersey town where your bad reputation precedes you, the public school...more
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Published November 1st 2009 by Blackstone Audiobooks (first published January 1st 2009)
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Brent Legault
If I took the time, I'm sure I could think up a kitbag of cheap shots to hurl at Huge. Instead, all I have to offer is this soiled hanky of a Goodreads "review."

After I (somehow) finished reading this novel, I sat in my rumbling and uncomfortable bus seat, fuming, shaking a mental fist (like a regular fist but made of mind mist) at the rotten world and its many injustices, injustices like the publishing of Huge: A Novel.

Uh, oh cripes, I'm dizzy with upset and my mouth tastes like sick. There are...more
Jill
Oh, James Fuerst, how you have wronged me!

The character of Genie (aka "Huge") had such potential. A 12-year-old with a filthy mouth, a violent streak, and a checkered past who also happens to love detective novels, is unabashedly "friends" with a stuffed turtle named Thrash, and is fiercely protective of his senile grandmother -- really, what's not to love?

Oh, right. I forgot to mention that he also has some sort of creepy relationship with his sister in which it's okay for them to see each ot...more
Alison
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Christina Wilder
Every once in a while, I start reading a book that I become addicted to. Every spare moment I have is spent on reading the book. This happened with Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, and it happened with this book. I remember mistakenly thinking I'd left it at work and genuinely freaked out until I saw that I'd brought it home and literally sighed in relief.

I'm so-so with detective stories, but this one is so unusual, so FANTASTIC that I can't imagine anyone wouldn't like it. Sure, there are...more
Karl
Has the world gotten to a place where one should assume a book is full of profanity and vulgarity unless told otherwise? This was the third such book in a month I selected based on blurbs that hinted at nothing of the sort. I thought I would be safe with a pre-teen coming of age story that prominently features a stuffed frog, but apparently this is a pre-teen coming of age story for adults only. At least, I wouldn't be comfortable letting my children read this, as I wasn't even comfortable mysel...more
Karl Steel
A wild story about an angry 12-year-old whose obsession with detective fiction is both his salvation and family curse. Folks will be inclined to cf. Huge to other postmodern engagements with detective fiction (Auster, Chabon, maybe even Nabokov) but Huge, I think, surpasses them in its ethical engagement (how do we know the right thing to do? is this even possible?), its feminism, and its final awareness that escaping genre doesn't require losing everything. Wonderful.
Melissa
I finished this book like my kids used to take cough medicine; quickly, to get it over with because I didn't want my effort wasted. It was like the author was trying to write a modern-day "Catcher in the Rye," but without the pointlessness, which I appreciated, because "Catcher in the Rye" irritates me to no end. But the context of "Catcher in the Rye" makes sense, whereas this one just seemed liked a lot of wasted time on thinking of plots and detective themes that were never fully examined --...more
Tammy Dahle
My thoughts:
ARRRGGGG! I really tried to get into this book. I really tried to like Eugene "Huge" Smalls. Okay, he's twelve. He's being raised by a single mom who works two jobs. He drives around a cruiser that he built himself out of spare parts from a junk yard and he has a stuffed frog, named Thrash as a side kick.
What I could'nt get past was that this kid has MAJOR anger issues and is a HUGE bully.
Page 66
Sure, Thrash was pretty sick, but his schemes for revenge didn't always work out like the...more
Matthew
Twelve-year-old Eugene “Huge” Smalls wants the world and everything in it to be huge like him. But Huge—too small to even make the junior high football team, though he’s the fastest kid at practice—doesn’t exactly live up to his moniker.

His uncontrollable temper and sardonic wit leave him isolated from his peers, and his obsession for the detective stories of Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett drives him to question the motivation of everyone around him, even his doting mother and older siste...more
Scot Quaranda
Excellent first novel by James Fuerst. A great coming of age story that instantly gets into your head and infects you with the voice of Eugene "Huge" Smalls who channels the identities of the classic noir detectives of yore like Marlow and Spade. In fact from the opening paragraph it is hard not to hear the narrator's voice as that of one of the classic black and white movie voiceovers from the 50's. The story was a good mix of those classic detective stories and Mark Haddon's "The Curious Incid...more
Sara
Jan 26, 2010 Sara rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: no one
Recommended to Sara by: People magazine
This book is amazing - but not in a good way. It revolves around a foul-mouthed 12-year-old wannabe detective named Huge, who's hired by his grandma to investigate the mystery of who tagged the sign at her retirement home. The mystery is fun enough, though the resolution to it is underwhelming, and most of the book plodded along awkwardly.

I have absolutely no idea who is the target audience of this book. It's shelved with adult fiction but the main character is 12, and the text is WILDLY inappr...more
Terryann
Fuerst, James W. Huge: A Novel. Unabridged. 8CDs. 10.5 Hours. Blackstone Audio, Inc. ISBN: 978-1-4417-2314-7. $100.00. F

12yo hard boiled detective wannabe Eugene "Huge" Smalls with his only friend and sidekick "Thrash" (a stuffed turtle), is hired by his possibly senile grandmother to investigate the vandalism of her retirement home's sign. A hilarious, nostalgic journey back to 1980's Jersey 'burbs, complete with jersey girl hairdo's, neon clothes, converse shoes and lots of gratuitous cussing....more
Trixie
Eugene “Huge” Smalls doesn’t have much going for him. He’s middle schooler whose reputation as a violent troublemaker precedes him. His teachers have written him off and even his family seems to be working against him. Except for his dear grandmother, who supported him through his tribulations and introduced him to important role models that helped shape who he is today: Philip Marlowe, Sam Spade, and of course, Sherlock Holmes. So, you may have guessed it…this is a coming-of-age, mystery novel....more
Nicole
As I began this book, it seemed to resemble the literary lovechild of "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime" and "The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao." But I was mistaken, and I was not disappointed by what the book delivered.

The story is told with a serious dose of humor and irony, and the family dynamics are pretty believable. Huge seems to accept things in life towards the end of the book that he wouldn't have accepted at the book's beginning, which shows his growth and maturity;...more
Karen
It took awhile for me to get into this book, but when I did I really enjoyed it and found it hard to put down. The setting is a NJ shore town in the 1980's. "Huge" Smalls is an impulsive, angry, lonely, smart-alecky, highly intelligent yet naive 6th grader with few friends. He is the smallest boy in his grade, confides in a stuffed frog (Thrash) at the recommendation of his school counselor, gets into fights easily, adores his aging grandmother and doesn't quite realize how much love and support...more
Will McGee
I liked this book, and I appreciated how the narrator--Eugene "Genie/Huge" Smalls--thinks he has everything figured out, and his take is as sordid and rotten as anything he's read in a hard-boiled detective novel, but then realizes he doesn't know anything. But there seemed to be an awful lot of loose threads, like those on a pair of cut-off jeans, that dangle noticeably and threaten to unravel and render the cut-offs unwearable. First, there's Thrash, Eugene's stuffed animal "partner" who in in...more
Laura de Leon
Very unique. The protagonist is 12 years old, but this book is not for kids.

"Huge" (he really wishes everyone would stop calling him Genie) is going to enter 7th grade and the world of Junior High in the fall, but he's entering with two big strikes against him.

First, he has a really bad temper. A destroy-the-classroom, terrify-the-students, can't-be-left-home-alone temper. This temper has led him to have one heck of a reputation.

Second, he's smart. The kind of book smart that leads kids and tea...more
Jaime
First of all, I feel like this novel is a bit mis-characterized. It didn’t feel like a YA novel to me (and I do read YA). Instead, it felt like a coming-of-age story with a 12 year old protagonist that is written for adults. Which is perfectly fine! Just not what I expected.

The tone of the novel was a *little* bit overdone. Huge (Eugene) is very brash, very angry, and not quite as tough or mature as he thinks he is. It took me a while to convince myself that his speech/actions/thoughts/etc were...more
Lori
Meet Eugene "Huge" Smalls. He is one tough 12 year old who talk to a stuffed frog, loves a good ole detective story and will stop at nothing to solve the case....

Written for adults from the POV of "Huge", we are throw back into the 1980's, where every young kid/teen overuses the word like and graffiti and tagging are THE way to make a mark (and a name for oneself) in the world....

While I had a tough time believing the voice Fuerst gave "Huge" at first - entirely too grown up and littered with cu...more
Gordon
A nice little book about a wildly disturbed 12-year old boy with an anger problem.

I didn't like the last two pages of the ending (no spoilers) and the protagonist thinks like characters in Dawson's Creek talk - verbosely and way above their age level. Indeed many of the events of the book strike me as a little age-askew. Another off-note is the year of the setting - I might have missed it, but it doesn't seem like 2009 to me (lack of video games, DVD, computers etc) and harkens to simpler times...more
Tammara
I'm not sure there's even a correct demographic for this novel, as the protagonist is angry, misunderstood, genius, almost-13 year old Eugene "Huge" Smalls, a rabid reader of pulp detective novels (Marlowe and Spade are his favorites), a kid whose outbursts have caused him to be on the outs with his mid-80s peer group and feared by adults in his suburban New Jersey town.

When the sign at his grandmother's retirement home is vandalized and defaced, Huge embarks on his own who-done-it, spouting wis...more
Kate
Jul 30, 2010 Kate rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those looking for a fun and enjoyable read
Recommended to Kate by: David R.
Shelves: book-club
Eugene "Huge" Smalls is my new favorite fictional character. He's a "problem" child who has a very active imagination, loves to read mysteries by Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett and has a potty mouth that would rival Philip Marlowe and Sam Spade's to be sure. Oh yeah, did I mention his partner in crime is a stuffed green frog named Thrash and he gets around town on his Cruiser that he made from old bicycle parts he found? Well he does.

I loved how this story was told from Huge's perspective...more
Darin
So you start with a troubled pre-teen. You make him talk and think like a forty-year-old man, and you do the same for everyone else in his world other than the adults. You mix in a detective story that seems to be the major plot of the book but never seems to resolve even at the end. You throw in loads of sex and profanity, all of which would be possibly reasonable for older characters, but ends up nothing other than creepy and inappropriate when applied to said pre-teens. Dust it with a bunch o...more
Maya
The main character in this book, Eugene "Huge" Smalls is a genius. He also has serious anger issues. One day Genie goes to visit his grandmother and someone has changed the sign from retirement home, to retarded home. His grandmother knows he likes detective books, so she gives him some money and tells him to figure out who did it, and report back to her. So Genie goes and figures out who did it. Somewhere in there he decided his sister was a slut, and adicted to drugs and a bunch of other crap....more
Aly
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Cory
I tried to let this one sit in my brain for a bit . . . sort of soak in . . . and now I might have forgotten what I was going to say!!

This is the sort of book that I really, really wanted to like, but it was kind of difficult. Some of the writing was just insanely creative and good, but then there were things that made it . . . difficult. For one thing, the story is set in the 1980's, which I guess I would have known if I'd read the back cover. In my opinion, though, the 80's were such a ridicul...more
Laurel Doud
I'm not an opening sentence snob, but this one almost lost me. <> And this is a story told from the viewpoint of a 12 year boy!

I realized later that this sentence might be a parody of some of the old school detective novels Huge reads, but boy, I almost stopped right there. I wish that the sentence might have read,<>

This YA novel got good reviews but it took me over half way through it to really get into it. But I didn't put it down before then, so I must have been interested enough...more
Lee
This book was incredibly unsatisfying to me, but perhaps I expected too much. I was drawn to the book by the cover, and isn't that what we're told not to do?

The main character, Eugene/Genie/Huge, is a messed up, introverted kid who is a product of a "broken home". He spends a good deal of time feeling sorry for himself. There are a few references to detective novels, and Huge supposedly attempts to emulate these characters. It ends up feeling a bit forced. We are sometimes reminded that Eugene/...more
Christiane
Eugene "Huge" Smalls has a deservedly bad reputation, a big problem with anger management, and no friends except for Thrash, a stuffed turtle who prefers to solve problems the old-fashioned way: violently. He's spent the summer before junior high trying to stay out of trouble but now, just as in his favorite hard-boiled detective mysteries, trouble has found him. Huge is funny and heart-breaking; he's a kid with serious problems who's smart enough to know he can't keep going on the way he's been...more
Zach
Maybe the most dysfunctional narrator I've ever liked. I don't want to compare him to Holden. It's too obvious, and I don't think this likable narrator would like it if I did. But I'm going to anyway, but point out some key differences, too.

This is the story of the Huge Smalls, psychologically troubled boy detective. Where the novel works best is when the solving of Huge's "case" parallels the solving of his own troubled mind. He's an unreliable narrator, but the interesting twist is that he's a...more
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