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The Life of a Teenage Body-Snatcher

3.88  ·  Rating Details  ·  257 Ratings  ·  43 Reviews
"You must think it strange that I'm digging up my grandfather."
"Not at all. I'm sure many young men dig up their grandfathers."

Thomas Timewell is sixteen and a gentleman. When he meets a body-snatcher called Plenitude, his whole life changes. He is pursued by cutthroats, a tattooed gypsy with a meat cleaver, and even the Grim Reaper. More disturbing still, Thomas has to sp
Paperback, 304 pages
Published June 28th 2010 by Penguin
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(showing 1-30 of 954)
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Sophie Gunn
Feb 05, 2015 Sophie Gunn rated it really liked it
That was probably the strangest book I have ever read...and I absolutely loved it.
Oct 02, 2011 Zoe rated it it was amazing
This book is one of those books that sneaks up on you unaware. The experience is something similar to going into a small and slightly average looking restaurant and being served food that just blows you away. Not, perhaps, the best meal you have ever had but one that leaves a very distinct taste in your mouth.

I have never read a black comedy before. The book is set in England in 1828 and it had a delightful humour to it that actually made me laugh out loud several times. It is such a dry style o

The story begins as young Thomas, a 16year old gentleman in 1828, is interrupted as he digs up his Grandfather’s fresh corpse in order to fulfil his final wish. The man who interrupted Thomas in the middle of his most unsavoury act is none other than the man who will take Thomas and his friend the kind and gentle Charlie, on the ride of their lives.

Plenitude, is a middle aged body snatcher who has secrets that will turn Thomas’s life upside down, while he breaks his own personal rules to accom
Aug 09, 2011 Miffy rated it it was amazing
Doug Macleod is one of Australia's premier writers - full stop. From Sister Madge's Book of Nuns, through The Comedy Company and Kath & Kim, and My Incredible Life and Death, to the beautiful Siggy and Amber, Tumble Turn (swoons) and The Clockwork Forest.
The Life of a Teenage Body-snatcher follows young Thomas Timewell, "sixteen and a gentleman". We meet Thomas as he is attempting to steal the newly-buried body of his grandfather. An unusual pastime for a young gentleman, you might think. An
Cait Grace
Jul 31, 2012 Cait Grace rated it really liked it
Ridiculously entertaining.

I didn't realize it was a comedy until I started the book. As the plot began presenting itself, the twists appeared, and the characters unveiled themselves, I started to laugh. It was just too ridiculous. And I happen to be partial to a little bit of ludicrous writing.

The characters just get more zany every minute -- from Thomas, the main character, who is undoubtedly a gentlemen at every moment, to Plentitude, the body-snatcher, and even Thomas' mother, so befuddled
Steph Bowe
Jul 26, 2015 Steph Bowe rated it really liked it
When I started reading I expected this novel to be funny and ridiculous and not to have a whole lot of substance (the blurb on the back cover doesn't really make you expect literary genius). I didn't expect I'd like it (I try not to come to books with these expectations but I inevitably always do - I can't help it) - sometimes I find with humorous books, that everything's a little too out-there and preposterous and silly for me to empathise with characters.

And it was funny (sometimes laugh-out-l
Sue Bursztynski
May 21, 2011 Sue Bursztynski rated it really liked it
A lovely, over-the-top black comedy. I wasn't sure teens would get all the jokes, but there are several fans of this book at my school. If you like Richard Harland, you should enjoy this.
Pam Saunders
Aug 06, 2011 Pam Saunders rated it really liked it
Surprised at how much I enjoyed this black comedy, informative and fun. Easy to recommend.
Heidi Kennedy
Mar 21, 2016 Heidi Kennedy rated it it was amazing
Shelves: most-loved, ya, australian
In desperately, but inexpertly, trying to grant his grandfather’s dying wish, Thomas Timewell finds himself cornered by the enigmatic Plenitude, who would much prefer to be known as a resurrectionist than a body snatcher. From this first bizarre meeting with Plenitude, Thomas finds himself caught up in a life of crime as a Victorian era body-snat…resurrectionist.

It seems impossible not to be drawn into the outlandishly cadaverous, yet irresistibly funny life of Thomas, who finds himself at var
♥ Ashleigh ♥  contrary to popular belief im not actually mad!
Entertaining Read.
I'm not sure i would have picked this up anytime soon if it wasn't my challenge book (though possibly if i came across it randomly in the library) and I'm quite glad i did. It reminds me of the amusing YA books i use to come across at random, with strange and fascinating characters with unusual back-stories, going on strange adventures - in this case body snatching. Who doesn't love a good body-snatch story? Its set in 1828 so the gruesome aspect is deliciously believable (well
YA Reads Book Reviews
Nov 27, 2010 YA Reads Book Reviews rated it liked it
Shelves: christina
The Life of a Teenage Body Snatcher is a black comedy set in England in 1828 and is the 12th book written by Doug MacLeod. We meet sixteen-year-old protagonist, Thomas Timewell, on the evening of his grandfather’s funeral. Thomas' Grandfather's dying wish was for his body to be donated to science to help in the advancement of the medical and scientific fields. Like in many cases, those wishes were ignored and he was buried anyway. So, as you do, Thomas takes matters into his own hands and digs u ...more
Jul 13, 2011 Belinda rated it really liked it
I like this book. I like its simplicity and complexity and above all, the characters. Even the extremely foul ones (with the exception of Atkins and Clemency...which is pretty much the two antagonists of the book. Whatever.)

Who knew that deciding to do the right thing could lead to such an array of amusing, confusing, heartbreaking and astonishing events?

One of the things I love about this book is the romance. Thomas's love interest, and their 'getting-together' wasn't overly emphasised or embel
Jul 25, 2011 Jen rated it really liked it
Thomas Timewell is 16 and a gentleman. On the night of his grandfather’s funeral, he is caught by a body snatcher called Plenitude, as he tries to steal his grandfather’s body to donate it to science. Thus begins a strange and wonderful Gothic tale in the Victorian manner, as Thomas and Plenitude cross paths in a number of escapades. Throw into the mix a cast of strange and weirdly comic characters - a mad gypsy woman, who exposes her semi-naked body to the unwary, Thomas’s mother, who is addict ...more
Charlie Head
Jan 08, 2013 Charlie Head rated it liked it
Shelves: library
This is my second Doug MacLeod book (the first one I read was "I'm Being Stalked By a MoonShadow"), and although they are completely different, his style is still the same.

The writing itself was fantastic, it had dark moments then light moments and there was a cast of wit and sarcasm all over it. The characters were brilliantly portrayed.
We had Thomas Timewell with his opium-addicted mother and his 14-year-old-brother who has moved into a mansion and is running his own business. There are also T
Rachel Bunn
May 28, 2013 Rachel Bunn rated it it was ok
The reason I decided to read this book is because I wasn’t looking for it. I had a list of books that I wanted to read but the library didn’t have them. After giving up finding any of the books I was looking for, I began browsing the shelves. I came across this book, read the back cover and decided to get it. It sounded like the kind of book I would like to read.

This fills in the ‘A book with a male main character’ square on the bingo board. Usually I read books with characters I can relate to a
Apr 12, 2014 Rossy rated it really liked it
This was a very clever hidden humorous book.

The humour was everywhere and it wasn't over the top.

It had this hint of sadness to it and the characters lives could be so depressing.

It was a very original and imaginative book. The title sucked me in so I read it.
It was a good choice to make.

The ending though. A nice finish.

Ok bye :)
Alex Dean
Jun 17, 2014 Alex Dean rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed the life of a teenage body-snatcher it was different to most books. Although it have an extremely predictable ending. I really enjoy this style of writing, the more old fashioned style. I would recommend this book to 10-13 year olds but no older.
Oct 07, 2011 Karyn rated it liked it
Shelves: school-books
When I think back on the events in the book, wading through a pool of heads, being attacked by a meat cleaver it sounds like I should have been on the edge of my seat, but I just wasn't. There were certainly plenty of unsavoury characters around while Thomas was trying to do the right thing, but by the time the mystery was solved at the end, I still hadn't realised I was meant to be trying to solve one. I think because Thomas wasn't trying to solve it either, it didn't seem like an important asp ...more
Kirsti (Melbourne on my mind)
This is kind of a difficult one to judge. There were so many scenes that were brilliantly written, but didn't really relate to the overall plot - such as practically every scene featuring Thomas' mother and her friends - that it ended up almost feeling like it was two books combined into one, neither of which were particularly satisfying in the end, because they were insufficiently fleshed out.

The characters were fantastic, and it was well written and funny throughout. But the ending felt a lit
Jul 10, 2011 Lauredhel rated it liked it
This book definitely earns its 'quirky' label, with a number of true laugh-out-loud moments. A little too pat and glib near the end, perhaps, but your mileage may vary. At times I wasn't sure if I was reading historical fiction, YA fantasy, or a fable: but can't it be all? In the end, though, any book with grave-robbing, anatomists, and jokes is alright by me. A few gross-out moments might require a little discretion or warning for very very young readers.
Oct 29, 2011 Jennifer rated it really liked it
I like the style of the writing of this novel - the formal and witty narrative reminds me of The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie. The dry humour is just a delight to read, and although I didn't really find the plot quite as engaging as Bradley's book, this was a lot of fun to read.
Some very witty writing, and some truly gross horror moments, nicely balanced. The characters were quirky, the descriptions rich but something was lacking in this story. I know, I know, I wasn't expecting deep substance but I wanted just a little bit more to hold me after being hooked by the title and the premise of gentlemen resurrectionists. Perhaps it was the need to be witty getting in the way of the story?
Mar 12, 2012 Catherine rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012
Reading this in a single day was not a hard feat, as delving into this macabre and slightly hilarious world was something I was glad to do. It was an intriuging story line, and the writing to the point with barely any fluffiness. I quite liked it. But then, toward the end I feared it to have turned into one of those badly ended stories. Be judge of this yourselves.
Dec 02, 2011 Wensday rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book. For those who enjoy Rick Yancey's Monstrumologist Series, this is for you. There is the element of who is the good guy and who is the bad guy. The relationship between Thomas and Plentitude has such an thrilling dynamic about it.
Stephen Kimber
Feb 13, 2011 Stephen Kimber rated it liked it
This is an amusing read with a winning hero and some convincing period detail(it is set in England in 1828. I enjoyed it but the ending felt rushed and tacked on. As if Mr. MacLeod's imagination (normally capable of great flights of fancy)has suddenly deserted him.
Dec 04, 2011 Roxy rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 22, 2011 Trinity rated it really liked it
Shelves: just-in, year9
Thomas Timewell is sixteen and a gentleman. When he meets a body-snatcher called Plenitude, his whole life changes. He is pursued by cutthroats, a tattooed gypsy with a meat cleaver, and even the Grim Reaper.
Sep 23, 2013 Amreen rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 10, 2011 Lewis rated it really liked it
This is a a curvey, wakey, funny spin off. Well worth reading i realy like the twist that the auther has done at the end wasn't expecting it!
MissBloodsucker™ (shadowraith) 06 ~Property of the CNTP~
Not really my kind of book, but really strange and funny, and pretty well it just depends what kind of books you like, I guess.
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Doug MacLeod is a Melbourne-based writer and TV producer who has worked on many of Australia's most popular comedy shows, including The Comedy Company, Fast Forward, Big Girls' Blouse, The Micallef Program and SeaChange. He was also the script editor on Kath and Kim.

While he enjoys the TV work, he prefers writing books for young people. After leaving his full-time job in TV, Doug wrote the teenage
More about Doug MacLeod...

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“You must think it strange that I'm digging up my grandfather."
"Not at all. I'm sure many young men dig up their grandfathers.”
More quotes…