Alicia's Reviews > The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Prisoner's Dilemma

The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Prisoner's Dilemma by Trenton Lee Stewart
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's review
Jan 26, 2010

did not like it
Read in January, 2010

It just keeps getting more and more ridiculous. In a world where grown men electroshock small children, hit them on the head with pipes and threaten to break their legs, NO ONE THINKS TO BRING A GUN. What do they bring to combat electricity shooting masochists? Rubber gloves (that can defy physics and REPEL electricity. Yeah, I know, lame) and their other tool. A boomerang.

It's like a bad episode of MacGyver. "Oh no, MacGyver, there's only 35 seconds on the bomb. What will you do? It's ok, I just hand me your left earring, that shoelace and a piece of bubble gum. I'll have us out of here in 12 seconds"

And then for some reason, the "baddens" keep leaving these children alone. Children who are geniuses, who have shown remarkable talent for escape and planning before. Why would someone do that? It reminds me of Austin Powers when this takes place:

Scott Evil: What? Are you feeding him? Why don't you just kill him?
Dr. Evil: I have an even better idea. I'm going to place him in an easily escapable situation involving an overly elaborate and exotic death.
Dr. Evil: All right guard, begin the unnecessarily slow-moving dipping mechanism.
[guard starts dipping mechanism:]
Dr. Evil: Close the tank!
Scott Evil: Wait, aren't you even going to watch them? They could get away!
Dr. Evil: No no no, I'm going to leave them alone and not actually witness them dying, I'm just gonna assume it all went to plan. What?
Scott Evil: I have a gun, in my room, you give me five seconds, I'll get it, I'll come back down here, BOOM, I'll blow their brains out!
Dr. Evil: Scott, you just don't get it, do ya? You don't.

Now, I must sound very violent to some people. But seriously. This book has so many holes and plot lines that just don't make sense. It angers me.

So, somebody take out the nasty violent children-attacking men. If I hear about one more electroshock, or welt on the head or split lip I'm going to call the publisher directly. PLEASE. Because I really have no more time for these shenanigans.

(I apologize if you liked these books. I kept reading thinking they would get better. They never did. But maybe you will like them. The first part of the first book was the best. It was all downhill from there)
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Comments (showing 1-6 of 6) (6 new)

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Beth You know, you have a good point, about the guns. I still liked all the problem-solving, but I have to agree that the best part of the series was the first part of the first book, and it was kind of downhill from there (despite so many reviews I've read saying otherwise)!

Mindy I guess I sort of thought of the series as a cartoon in my mind rather than realistic fiction. So stuff like the guns didn't bother me so much, and I could just enjoy the puzzles and so forth. You do raise good points. But hey, I liked it anyway.

Helen Wow... someone got up on the wrong side of the bed. Sure, they could have just brought a gun. But where would the fun be in that? Just lighten up a little. Sheesh...

emily Well, it is a series for children, centred more on clever thinking and solving puzzles than just whipping out a gun and shooting everyone to 'solve' everything. Just the fact that people think "why don't they just bring a gun??!1!?!" is so disheartening. How simple and boring you are.

message 5: by Travis (last edited Aug 20, 2015 07:23AM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Travis Oh, just shut up. He's got a point. This book (and series) is criminally overrated. Maybe YOU got up on the wrong side of the bed. The bad guys are like the Sharptooth from the Land Before Time. They're dumb. Or dumber. So you're saying leaving kids alone in an easily escapable tank is an ”action packed adventure"? I think you needed to be confronted by D.J. Machale. Villains can't be stupid and boring. They have to be smart and fun.

Travis Oh, and also, can't these kids be a bit stronger and amazing like, I dunno, a certain boy with a blue cap, a little girl who wears sweater, a hot and fiery redhead and a fat beaver-toothed man-child?
Answer that, please.
I really don't care who does.

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