Bosch, Pseudonymous. 2007. The Name of This Book Is Secret.
I have a lot to say about The Name of This Book Is Secret. I haven't been this excited about a book since reading The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan. Do I think everyone will love it as much as I do? It's hard to say. I think there will be some that love it, and others that hate it. Why? The writing either comes across as charming, clever, fun, exciting, amusing, quirky, and unique. Or else it might come across as gimmicky. I think opinions will be split on this one. I think the people who love it will really love it, and the others will be saying it is complete junk. The Goddess of YA Literature writes that the style is part Lemony Snicket and part Roald Dahl. I haven't read any Snicket, and my Dahl is limited. But I would say that anyone who likes adventure, mysteries, puzzle-solving, and secret codes--perhaps fans of Chasing Vermeer--would love The Name Of This Book Is Secret. (Personally, I hated Chasing Vermeer. But I loved this one.) The cover copy states that it is "reminiscent" of Ellen Raskin and Roald Dahl. Publishers' Weekly writes in their review, "Blending the offbeat humor of Lemony Snicket and insight into the preadolescent psyche à la Jerry Spinelli with the captivating conundrums of Blue Balliett, the debut novel from a pseudonymous author is equal parts supernatural whodunit, suspense-filled adventure and evocative coming-of-age tale. . . Bosch's deliberately eccentric offering is likely to acquire a cult following."
BOOKS DON'T CAUSE MUCH HARM.
EXCEPT WHEN YOU READ THEM,
If this were normal cover copy for a normal sort of book, you'd read here about the book's intrepid young heroes Cass and Max-Ernest. You'd read about how their adventures begin when they discover a mysterious box of vials--the so-called Symphony of Smells. You might learn how they soon find themselves hot on the trail of an eccentric magician who has vanished under strange circumstances. You'd discover hidden codes and brain-twisting riddles, audacious kidnappings and nefarious villains. You might even hear what a marvelous and surprising book The Name Of This Book Is Secret is, and how it is reminiscent of some classic authors like Ellen Raskin or Roald Dahl, while having an original voice all its own. Alas, you won't read any of those things here.
You see, not only is the name of this book secret, the story inside is too. Peek under the cover if you must--but, please, don't mention it to anyone.
I thought that the writing was great. I loved that it was conversational. I loved that the author/narrator spoke to the reader directly. That's not too common in books, and it added an element of charm and humor. I thought that the main characters, Cass and Max-Ernest, were well-developed. I enjoyed their friendship. And I enjoyed the plot. I will not be spoiling anything here though. But let's just say that I enjoyed every step along the way.
It releases in October 2007.
Fuse #8's preliminary thoughts....
"The sole problem with this book at the moment is that it appears (just hearing about it) to be wallowing in Lemony Snicketness. It talks at the beginning about how you shouldn't read the book (though it commends you for doing so eventually)."