Nick's Reviews > The Templeton Twins Have an Idea

The Templeton Twins Have an Idea by Ellis Weiner
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's review
Jul 10, 12

bookshelves: juvenile-fiction
Read in July, 2012

This was one of the many books handed to me at the American Library Association conference. I'm reviewing a galley, so only the rough drafts of the artwork were included. If the finished artwork is as funny as the sketches, they will contribute to the story, but the writing was flawed in a couple of ways.
Until the very strange ending, I was enjoying this snarky book more. The ending damaged that for me, because it reduced the importance of the death of the professor's wife. To put it in context, at the start of the story the professor is grieving for his wife so much that he can't face life in the house they shared, or even the university town where they lived together. So, he uproots his career and his children to find a job at another college.
The ending has him doing the same thing again, because of what should be a much less upsetting set of events, purely as a plot device to keep the family moving to unfamiliar settings. To me, that really felt forced and awkward.
The central plot, about a crazy would-be inventor and his outrageous attempts at revenge on the professor, were funny at first, but were eventually just creepy and weird. Once Dean D. Dean and his twin brother start committing felonies, it seemed to me that the police should be more seriously interested in the case.
The tone of the narrator was funny at first, but really did become a little tiresome by the end of the story. The humor and adventure parts were what kept me reading. This would be a fun book for kids who have read the works of Lemony Snicket or Pseudonymous Bosch, but I don't know if it will hold up for the length of a series.

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