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You're a Bad Man, Mr Gum!
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You're a Bad Man, Mr Gum!

(Mr. Gum #1)

4.05  ·  Rating details ·  2,382 ratings  ·  267 reviews
The beginning of a weird, wacky, one in a million series about the plight of the truly nasty Mr Gum and a crazy cast of characters—a cross between Roald Dahl and Monty Python

Mr Gum is a truly nasty old man. He's a complete horror who hates children, animals, fun, and corn on the cob. This book's all about him. And an angry fairy who lives in his bathtub. And Jake the do
Paperback, 144 pages
Published August 7th 2006 by Egmont
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Average rating 4.05  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,382 ratings  ·  267 reviews

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Mark Lawrence
Jan 07, 2013 rated it liked it
I get to read a lot of children's books in my 3rd job as carer for my very disabled 8 year old, Celyn. She can't see well or play, so stories is where it's at.

Mr Gum is a wildly random tale of a positively Dahlian nasty-old-man. The humour has a Python-esque feel to it and delights in running along abstract corridors of word association.

It's silly, surreal, often abstract, did I mention silly? And it works enough of the time to pull you through the book and deliver the pr
I haven't genuinely laughed at a book, like I did with this one in a long time. It was completely absurd and completely fun. My kids loved it too and are now walking around exclaiming "The truth is a lemon meringue!" and calling each other "meddling chowder faces" both of which will make sense once you read the book...actually they wont make anymore sense but will be funny and make you also want to say them.

I highly recommend the audio as it's worth it to hear the author read the "secret bonus
Maggie Stiefvater
Jun 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: middle-grade
Well, that was ridiculous.
Oct 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Absurd & just plain fun. We're listening to the author narrate it on audiobook and we all--from ages 2 to 35--cracked up when he started singing the song about "the chocolate you deserve." I was delighted to see it is one of a series because we are going to keep laughing for awhile. It's hard to find an audiobook that has such wide-ranging appeal for our whole family.

Reminds me of Roald Dahl for having a bit of a dark sense of humor and offering up caricatures as if they were pla
Oct 15, 2010 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Anybody who likes Roald Dahl and craziness
You're a Bad Man, Mr Gum is one of the funniest books I've read. The first time I read it I was reading it to myself, but I did read my mom the really funny bits. So inevitably I ended up reading it all to her. In my opinion, it's funnier than The Twits. Don't get me wrong-- I LOVE Roald Dahl, it's just that the Twits are the crazy ones and the rest of the world is fairly normal in respect to there are not little girls called Peter and the Twits don't have to keep their garden tidy or an angry fairy will ...more
Hugh Stuart
Oct 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Even though this is a book designed for 8 or 9 year olds I found myself laughing out loud all the way through at the glorious language employed. Definitely in the vein of Roald Dahl or other absurdists like Spike Milligan this is the first in a series of books about the antics and misadventures of an ageing misanthrope known only as Mr Gum. He's the sort of larger than life character that children will love and if read aloud to the class you'll have trouble controlling them afterwards! He is des ...more
This book made me laugh out loud. It is the incredibly funny story of the complete horror Mr Gum, who has "two bloodshot eyes that stared out at you like an octopus curled up in a bad cave", who has a filthy house but a lovely garden. He's not a keen gardener, but is whacked with a frying pan by the fairy who lives in his bathtub if it gets untidy. A lovely big dog- Jake, who is "as friendly as toast"- takes a liking for rolling around in Mr Gum's garden and leaving him "presents" on the grass, ...more
Feb 21, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Children's books about miserly, nasty, no good, rotten old men go one of two ways. Either the old man is redeemed at the end and Tiny Tim lives, etc. etc. or you get to the end of the book and the miserly, nasty, no good, rotten old man hasn't changed a jot. He's just been thwarted. A kind of Count Olaf ending, if you will. The nice thing about Andy Stanton's Mr. Gum books is that they're written with a two-dimensional villain in place with whom you never, at any point, sympathize. Stanton is a ...more
Sep 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-aloud
Such an odd little book.
Nov 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
So funny I loved it !!!
Aug 22, 2012 rated it really liked it
Mr. Gum is indeed a bad man! He poisons dogs, hates little children and even picks his nose and eats his bogies! To make matters worse he is grumpy all the time too. But he has the “prettiest, greeniest, floweriest, gardeniest garden” in the world (if he does not keep the garden tidy then the fairy that lives in his bathtub will hit him over the head with a frying pan!) But along comes Jake the giant dog who destroys Mr. Gum’s garden leaving him to plot evil plans that involve poisonous meat. Bu ...more
Patrick Coman
Mr. Gum is a book by Alan Stanton with illustartions by David Tazzyman
Mr Gum is a nasty man, “an absolute lazer who couldn’t be bothered with niceness and tidying and brushing his teeth”. His house is a complete mess. But he has the “prettiest, greeniest, floweriest, gardeniest garden”. This is not, however, because he enjoys gardening, but due to the frying pan wielding fairy living in his bath who whacks him if the garden isn’t perfect. This first book of the series sees Mr Gum hatching
Mrs G
Feb 26, 2017 rated it liked it
Deliciously ridiculous. The sort of book that some children will love for its silliness/randomness and I personally can't stand. But if it gets kids reading, who am I to judge? I was thinking "X in my class would love this" all the way through. But they're 7 & 8 and I'm in my 40s (so not target audience!) - I won't be reading it as a class novel but I will be recommending it to 1 or 2 boys who I'm sure will love it!
Dec 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
Thank you, GR friend Laura, for recommending this on audio! It was perfect for my road trip today— I laughed out loud a lot. The author is the audiobook reader. While sometimes that turns out to be a bad idea, in this case, it was perfect.
The humor is droll and absurd, with the most deliberately nonsensical similes I’ve ever heard. Characterization of the baddies is grotesque in a style similar to Roald Dahl’s.
Oddly, I’m not sure who to recommend this to, other than adults who like children’s
Nov 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Great year 3 text - very funny in a very clever way!
Oct 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
I will explain!
Aug 17, 2018 rated it really liked it
So, so, so funny. I laughed out loud multiple times.
Mar 04, 2017 rated it it was ok
I just don't want to read any more of these books. Maybe ever. Of course, I think reading them to children would be much more enjoyable. I found the plot and characters too random without enough development. This seems to be like a Dahl book for someone with the attention span of a gnat.
Sam Hopper
Jan 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
As the title implies, ‘You’re a Bad Man, Mr Gum!’ by Andy Stanton is a story about the horror that is Mr Gum, a fierce old man who hates children, animals, fun and corn on the cob. It is a funny and bizarre tale that takes place in town called Lamonic Bibber where Mr Gum, who lives in a dump of a house, is forced to keep his garden tidy or face the wrath of a bad tempered fairy that lives in his bath tub. When a massive whopper of a dog plays in his garden and leaves it in a mess, Mr Gum plans r ...more
You’re a bad man, Mr Gum! by Andy Stanton, illustrated by David Tazzyman

Oh this is a fun book. Probably aimed at children of about 8 years. It is FUNNY in an outrageous manner and the pictures are wonderful absurd and the language also wonderful. I really enjoyed it (even though I have no 8 year olds in my life).

Mr Gum is a very bad man. Ach, let me introduce him as the book does:
Good evening. Mr Gum is a complete horror who hates children, animals, fun and corn on the cob.

May 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
Mr Gum is a nasty man, “an absolute lazer who couldn’t be bothered with niceness and tidying and brushing his teeth”. His house is a complete mess. But he has the “prettiest, greeniest, floweriest, gardeniest garden”. This is not, however, because he enjoys gardening, but due to the frying pan wielding fairy living in his bath who whacks him if the garden isn’t perfect. This first book of the series sees Mr Gum hatching a plan to poison Jake the dog, who loves to roll around in the garden. Can P ...more
Claire Cheeseman
Oct 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s-books
A class favorite - brilliant read a loud and read again book for primary ch'n
Feb 22, 2016 added it
i love mr gums book
Sep 05, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book is awful. It was 1/5 star read for me. I gave it 1 star (instead of 0) because there are moments of potential within the story where I can see what it could have been. I've also classified You're a Bad Man, Mr. Gum as "humor" because that is its purported intent. I was initially excited to try this story, as the reviews on Goodreads called it "hilarious" and compared it to work by Roald Dahl (whose oeuvre I really enjoy). Sadly, You're a Bad Man, Mr. Gum is in no way in the same league with ...more
John Naylor
Mar 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
I had read one of the later books in the series before. I enjoyed this one just as much.

The style of the book is nonsensical. It does not need to make sense to be enjoyable. The characters are all characterful (which is either a word or should be one). The plot is easy to folly without being completely linear and it remains amusing throughout.

The fourth wall breaks set this book apart from many and the ridiculousness helps to keep it interesting. I recommend this book to
Carro Herdegen
Feb 19, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: kiss-the-book
Language - G, Sexual Content - G; Violence - G
Mr. Gum is the nastiest person in Lamonic Bibber and has the most amazing garden too. One day, a dog named Jake comes to town and plays in Mr. Gum's garden, so he tries to poison Jake to keep him out of the garden. Will he succeed?
You're A Bad Man, Mr. Gum! is a funny book, but sometimes when the narrator interrupts the story it's annoying. Though, if you want to read funny lines, this is a good book for you.
Reviewed for
Sarah Amuzu
Feb 09, 2018 rated it liked it
I really enjoyed this book because it had a sense of humor which made me laugh and to be honest it was actually interesting. I would reccommend this book to children because it is a child book and I think they would love it and enjoy it and also loe the fact that it would make them laugh, the words in the book are not hard or tricky so I dont think it would be hard for them to read. For me I would rate this a three out of five because its more of a book for a 6 year old, however if I put myself ...more
mr p giannini
May 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is genuinely in laugh out loud we might have to stop reading at bedtime as its too funny and not conducive to with other readers my 6 yr old daughter has taken to the 'truth is a lemon meringue'
line even scribbling it on bits of paper and chuckling as she hands it to her friend's unsuspecting parents. Utterly daft, absurd and brilliant! I've already started another and have ordered two more. Laughing away at the secret hideout already!
Vonnie Skaggs
Jun 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
So delightfully funny!! I can't wait 'til our 4 yr. old grandson is a bit older so that we can read this one aloud together.

A bit reminiscent of Roald Dahl, but not, but yes --- in a random, scattery, untidy kind of way and for younger readers (although older readers in their 50's find them delightful too!). Andy Stanton has a new fan in me!

Combine his writing with David Tazzyman and you have a modern Dahl and Blake team!
Tuhin Mitra
Aug 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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Andy Stanton lives in North London. He studied English at Oxford but they kicked him out. He has been a film script reader, a cartoonist, an NHS lackey and lots of other things. He has many interests, but best of all he likes cartoons, books and music (even jazz).

One day he’d like to live in New York or Berlin or one of those places because he’s got fantasies of bohemia. His favourite

Other books in the series

Mr. Gum (8 books)
  • Mr Gum and the Biscuit Billionaire
  • Mr Gum and the Goblins
  • Mr Gum and the Power Crystals
  • Mr Gum and the Dancing Bear
  • What's for Dinner, Mr Gum?
  • Mr. Gum and the Cherry Tree (Mr. Gum, #7)
  • Mr Gum and the Secret Hideout
“Well thank you, me old gobbler,' said Mr. Gum handing over some money that Billy William would later discover to be made out of lies and broken promises.” 12 likes
“[from The One and Only Official Mr. Gum Official Glossary That Tells You What Words Mean by Explaining Them Using Other Words] :

Cups of tea: People in England are always drinking cups of tea. "Oh let's have a cup of tea " they say. "That will prove we are English and not American." Sometimes American people try to have cups of tea to pretend they are English but forget it We can always tell you are faking it”
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