Amy's Reviews > Whales on Stilts!

Whales on Stilts! by M.T. Anderson
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's review
Dec 13, 2009

did not like it
bookshelves: childrens
Read in November, 2009

I'm not really familiar with M.T. Anderson's work as a whole; a couple of his more traditionally Young Adult novels have caught my eye from time to time, but Whales on Stilts! is the first book of his that I've actually read through and, I have to say, it did not make me anxious to pick up his other books in a hurry.

It's hard to say where exactly this book goes wrong. One major problem is that, instead of a straightforward story, the author decides to go all post-modern on our assess, featuring characters who are aware that they're characters in a book, book editors who intrude on the action from time to time to provide their (always unhelpful) input, and product placement for things that don't actually exist. Though all of this is presented tongue-in-cheek, the actual story is far too thin to support the weight of all that irony, which crushes the poor reader, leaving him or her slightly-more-than-faintly irritated, with a feeling of "why bother?" about it all, and wondering not only who is the intended audience for this unpleasant hybrid of a story, as the story itself would not probably appeal to anyone older than an 8-11 year-old, but all the savvy self-referentialality could only be appreciated by disaffected teens; but also what happens now that we're all constantly self-aware all the time? What comes after post-modern? Will it come back to old-fashioned story-telling? While I hate to sound like a curmudgeon, I have to say: call me when that happens, as that sounds like something I might enjoy.

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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Jasper The problem with that is that you don't sound like you can take a joke. It's good fun! It's not SUPPOSED to make sense! Loosen up and just enjoy it!

message 2: by Amy (new) - rated it 1 star

Amy You're absolutely right - I'm completely mistaken not to enjoy this type of humor. Thank you for correcting me.

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