Ryan's Reviews > Jasper Dash and the Flame-Pits of Delaware

Jasper Dash and the Flame-Pits of Delaware by M.T. Anderson
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's review
Apr 30, 2012

really liked it
Read in April, 2012

M. T. Anderson has stealthily become one of my favorite authors.

I loved Whales on Stilts: M.T. Anderson's Thrilling Tales, and its follow-up; and then I read Feed, which is fantastic; and I found some of his short stories, and they were great.

By the time I got to this book, evidence of an apparent series forming from his Whales premise, I was excited, but wary. A series about kids from other series is a great shtick, but does it have longevity? The joke, I think, would wear thin quickly.

And I felt like it was going to with this one, but then Anderson goes and names a character Choate Brinsley. Who does that? And there are some gags that are predictable and sort of muddle along, and I start to wonder again, and then he writes this indictment of "Sweet Valley High"-esque books: "No one stumbles on any ancient devices, the stars in the night sky are pretty and not filled with alien menace, and there is never a single circular saw--let alone a circular saw with a conveyor belt."

And then later, when Jasper Dash fires his laser at Weasel Chops O'Reilly, the mobster shouts, "He almost fried my kisser! You little punk! I'm gonna need that someday! For kissing!" And Jasper replies, "I hope not, you scoundrel! I hope that no women ever calls the number on the clammy little scraps of paper you doubtless force into their hands at hamburger rallies and 4-H fairs!"

And by the time he's writing that Delaware has been given unto us, all of us, I'm helplessly sold.

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