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[LISTENED TO: December 29, 2014] Jasper Dash and the Flame-Pits of Delaware

delWe are now hooked on the Pals in Peril series.  This, the third book, promised to be the funniest and weirdest yet.  I mean, look at the title.

But this book proved problematic for us for two somewhat related reasons.  The first is that we usually listen to longer books like this when we have a lot of driving to do.  We didn’t have any major big drive ahead so we wound up listening in small chunks, which was a little confusing.  The kids were able to follow quite well, but after a couple of weeks some details are bound to get lost.  The second reason is that this book is long.  It was a 6 hour audio book as opposed to the 3 hours of the other two books.

The brevity of Whales on Stilts was a real treat.  In it, Anderson wrote that he didn’t like to write action scenes because they were all the same.  Same with chase scenes.  But in this book, he has our heroes slogging through the wilderness for literal days (and almost an entire disc).  It got a little samey, I feel–especially since we were listening in small chunks at a time.

This is not to say that the book wasn’t enjoyable. There were hundreds of hilarious moments in it.  Even in the duller sections, he often threw in an absurd joke (or ten) that made me laugh.  So maybe if we had listened all at once this would have held up better.  But honestly it was only the middle that was kind of trudging (when they were trudging) because the beginning and end were great.

This happens to be another book where reading it would have been entertaining in other ways–the characters of Delaware have virtually no vowels in their names.  Mark Cashman (who did another awesome job reading) does a fine job saying their names, but I had to find a print copy in the library because I needed to know how these crazy words were spelled.

So, what happens? (more…)

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