Jeremy's Reviews > The Monster at the End of this Book

The Monster at the End of this Book by Jon Stone
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Jun 06, 2007

did not like it
bookshelves: children

I had a very love/hate relationship with The Muppets in my early youth. I really, really liked watching "The Muppet Show" and "Sesame Street". They were two of my favorite shows, and I still hold both in high regard. However, every now and then and completely out of nowhere, a Muppet would do something that genuinely terrified me. For example, I really hated that old "Sesame" sketch when a couple of mild-mannered puppets would calmly take turns whispering words that rhymed to a gently jazzy beat, and then this orange hairy guy would barrel up to the screen, and, without regard for rhythm or personal space, bellow an unwieldy sentence containing all the words the less-horrific Muppets had so charmingly whispered earlier. That SCARED me. Badly. I was scared of beards, yelling, and any pictures or toys depicting someone or something with a gaping mouth.

Thus, I had serious issues with "Monster at the End of this Book". I was always very ill at ease with Grover, anyway. He caused terrible problems for everyone he encountered, and almost never showed remorse. Also, he couldn't seem to communicate without shouting and gesticulating wildly. I had real problems with the way he carried himself, so I knew going into the book that I probably wasn't going to like it much. What I didn't expect was to be profoundly affected, to the point of tears and sleepless nights, by a drawing of Grover, his furry mouth so wide with terror that his head resembled a blubbering halved blue grapefruit, positively out of control with horror and dread concerning the MONSTER that was about to destroy him, to destroy us all, because he'd spoken to me, personally, directly, about the effects the very book I held in my hands would have on the both of us in the immediate future.

I never appreciated or even detected the pleasingly ironic denouement of this, the most devious Little Golden Book of them all, until 4th or 5th grade, when I finally dared to finish the thing. In my preschool days, as far as I was concerned, they may as well have entitled the book "Grover Undergoes a Harrowing Mental Breakdown, and Will Implore You to Help Him Throughout (You Cannot)".

One star, one scar.
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
June 6, 2007 – Shelved
June 14, 2007 – Shelved as: children

Comments (showing 1-25 of 25) (25 new)

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message 1: by Ann-Marie (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:48AM) (new)

Ann-Marie I have to agree with the other commenters...that Sesame sketch was one of my absolute favorites. It was the height of comedy!

I intended to make a comment about the book, but trying to piece my thoughts together inadvertently led to in-depth analysis of the book, which got thinking about Grover mental well-being, which got me thinking about social anxiety disorder. None of these things are things I want to think about at this hour. Especially because I agree - the book isn't that great.


message 2: by Dcdicuffa (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:30PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dcdicuffa That was NOT a Sesame sketch. It's from the Electric Company and Morgan Freeman is the silouette man in the sketch. It is a classic moment in children's television- how could you hate it? SH- IT -- who didn't do that with their siblings??? Good times!


message 3: by Jeremy (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:30PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Jeremy "The Electric Company" certainly featured similar sketches, but the sketch we're referring to here - which features no silouettes or humans, only really hairy puppets - is absolutely from "Sesame Street". I remember on "Electric Company" where they used to have two silouettes facing each other, and one would utter the first part of a word, and the other person would finish it, then they'd both say the word together, and Morgan Freeman was always involved. Maybe you're thinking of something like that? Anyway, you're right, no one could possibly hate anything from "The Electric Company".


message 4: by Bill (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:30PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Bill Oh, I don't know. The animated song from Electric Company where the giant killer lollipop is chasing the little girl is vaguely traumatizing.


message 5: by Dcdicuffa (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:30PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dcdicuffa Aaah, mixed up the sketch. Relieved to know that you weren't talking about the Morgan Freeman skit- thanks for clarifying!


message 6: by [deleted user] (new)

I've never heard anything like that story in my entire life.


Franny Burd Thank you for the saddest and yet most hysterically funny review of a book I've ever read. I'm sorry you were traumatized, but I had to read your review out loud to my husband. He almost peed the bed. You ROCK!


Kimberly Aww I love this book, but I do see how it could be traumatizing, especially if you hate gaping mouths! I personally love Grover because I hate Elmo with a passion...I'm not sure why Sesame Street feels the need to revolve their whole program around a monster who cannot even speak in first person, but oh well. I thought it worthwhile to bring up that not only is Grover prone to mental breakdowns, he also has a split personality...anyone remember Super Grover? Haha. Thanks for the very funny review. I am sorry about your scarred childhood. :)


Michelle HA HA HA!! This is the best book review I have read in years! Thanks for the laugh. You rock.


message 10: by Erin (new) - rated it 5 stars

Erin LOVE this book, but also love your review, especially your proposed alternate title.


Katie Fantastic alternative title! Yeah, I always enjoyed feeling superior to Grover in the book, even though I can totally relate to having paradoxically negative reactions to things that were supposed to amuse me when I was a little kid. Sometimes the stuff grownups do really misses the mark!


message 12: by M (new) - rated it 3 stars

M that review was awesome!!! I agree with Franny. saddest and funniest review at the same time.... HIGHLY entertaining.


message 13: by Bart (new) - added it

Bart Everson Wow. Not my experience at all but still — Wow.


Leslie This was one of my favorite books growing up - my mom did a great Grover voice...we would giggle and laugh all the way through this book.


message 15: by Simone (new) - added it

Simone that old "Sesame" sketch when a couple of mild-mannered puppets would calmly take turns whispering words that rhymed to a gently jazzy beat, and then this orange hairy guy would barrel up to the screen, and, without regard for rhythm or personal space, bellow an unwieldy sentence containing all the words the less-horrific Muppets had so charmingly whispered earlier."

I have not thought about that in YEARS!! and yes, it scared me too! It was so creepy!!!


Leslie Wow you guys really know how to over analyze things.


message 17: by Frin (new) - rated it 5 stars

Frin Doust I, too, was deeply traumatised by this book. Your proposed title is a thing of genius! If only it was named as such.


Leslie Seriously most if you need therapy if a children's book such as this can traumatized you.


Andrea Webster I just gave this book a 5 star review, and I absolutely LOVE Grover. But your review, so very poignant, and yet so funny too. Thank you for sharing your experience in such a great way.


Genia Bohl This was the best review ever. I loved this book as a cold and my children have all loved it as well, but I did babysit a little boy a few times that, after having me read the book to him several times, suddenly decided that it was terrifying. Poor thing.


message 21: by Kawthar (new)

Kawthar i think its childish


message 22: by Aimee (new)

Aimee Kim wrote: "Aww I love this book, but I do see how it could be traumatizing, especially if you hate gaping mouths! I personally love Grover because I hate Elmo with a passion...I'm not sure why Sesame Street ..."
I hate Elmo too. He was cute for about five minutes then he took over the whole show like some furry little red despot.
I love Grover! Grover is so cool! I love his many jobs, almost all of which involve causing greif to Fat Blue, aka Mr. Johnson, who is a glutton for punishment or else he just can't seem to catch a break.


message 23: by Aimee (new)

Aimee Jeremy, as a huge fan of vintage Sesame Street, I can single out two skits that really did scare me. One is a song about garbage, I think; since there was no dialogue it's pretty hazy in my memory. I am visually impaired and so had to sit right up close to the screen to be able to make out anything, and if memory serves there was a lot of frenetic banjo? music and activity in the distance, and then suddenly this person would run straight toward you and his face would fill the screen, and I think there was a voiceover that said "Yuck!" everytime he did it.
That one gave me the creeps and I would look away from the screen to avoid seeing that face filling it, but then I would have to sneak a peek and see if I could catch him.

The other scary skit was Ernie going repeatedly out of the apartment carrying a glass of water and then coming back in and getting another glass. He was very busy and intent on his errand and couldn't stop to tell Bert why he was doing it, and Bert kept guessing as to why. Finally, Bert gave up and Ernie told him that the kitchen faucet was leaking and the kitchen was flooding so he was carrying glass after glass of water out of the apartment. Just as Bert begins to realize the gravity of the situation, this huge rush of water flows into the room and over Bert's head, while he screams "Errrrrnieeeee!" and gurgles.


Callie Rose Tyler Okay, does anyone have a link to this sketch?


message 25: by Aimee (new)

Aimee Yes, here it is:
www.youtube.com/watch?v=-PEbCk7NpyM

You've been warned!


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