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NASTYbookby Barry Yourgrau
Synopses & Reviews
Nice is Overrated.
NASTY ('nas-te) adj. 1. Twisted. 2. Spitefully unfair. 3. Causing dangerous and severe laughter. SYNONYMS: Hilarious. Deliciously fun. Sample usage: "What a nasty, wicked book, filled with mayhem and mischief." "Only nasty criminals would kidnap a cuddly teddy bear!" "Monsters attacking 'cause a kid picks his nose? That's nasty." "A witch on the Internet, a superhero who farts? All nasty too!" ANTONYMS: Nice. Boring. Plain old ordinary.
Why can't really cool parents dump their uncool offspring?
Why can't talented imaginary friends desert their boring creators?
Why can't pop stars be changed...into rodents?
Well, here they can! Barry Yourgrau's NASTYbook is jam-packed with delightful wickedness for the kind of readers who can't get enough of bad endings, rude twists, and assorted nasty mischief... (And don't think we don't know who you are.)
"These 43 very short — vignettes? essays? anecdotes? — aim at outrageousness but fall curiously flat. An unidentified narrator relates a variety of gruesome, grisly, gross or just plain stupid sketches (there isn't enough meat in any one of them to call it a story) about nose-picking, farting, monsters, poisoning, pimples and assorted dementia, like a boy with a toenail-clippings fetish. Decapitation is a recurrent event. The tone is mostly dark: in 'Cake,' a boy freezes to death after running away from home and his parents' reaction is to sell off his bike at a yard sale, but the subject matter is mostly grade-school, meaning this will likely miss the mark with its intended audience. An inventive design (the book is bound so that the text appears upside down and many pages appear to bear smudgy black fingerprints) may draw in reluctant readers. The last entry, 'Goblins and Their Crimes,' is about a 'bitter starving writer of exquisitely arty, bad-selling fiction,' who decides to write children's books because 'how hard can it be to make up a story about some little wizard, like what'shisname; or a bunny that runs down a hole?' As this tedious collection points out, it's harder than it looks. Ages 10-up. (May)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"The perfect book for the budding Count Olaf or Sauron in your family...or for you." Neil Gaiman, author of Coraline
"Barry Yourgrau's work makes me shudder — but I cannot tell if I am shuddering from excitement, revulsion, fear, astonishment or jealousy. Perhaps you should read it and decide for yourself." Lemony Snicket
"Be warned: these tales are addictive. Read one and you will crave more, and more, and...." Patrick McGrath, Author of Asylum
"Deliciously macabre... ideal for reading aloud." Kirkus Reviews
"Kids who appreciate black humor... will enjoy these stories, the nastier the better." The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
Forty-three stories feature such characters as guardian angels who run away from their charges, witches who use the Internet to stalk their victims, and pandas who work as assassins.
Why would criminals kidnap a cuddly teddy bear? Or monsters attack a kid for picking his nose?
'Cause Nice is overrated
< p> Why would criminals kidnap a cuddly teddy bear? Or monsters attack a kid for picking his nose? < /p> < p> 'Cause Nice is overrated < /p>
About the Author
Writer/performer Barry Yourgrau has been making people laugh their heads off — or gasp in astonishment — with such books as Wearing Dad's Head and A Man Jumps Out of An Airplane. He's startled everyone with his appearances on MTV and National Public Radio. He even starred in a movie based on his writings, and in a music video too. He teased the world with his first book for kids, My Curious Uncle Dudley. Barry woke up one day in the U.S. as a kid. Now Barry's ready to unleash the hysterically dark fun and games from the deepest dark of his soul. "With my NASTYbook," grins Barry, nastily, "I invite you to share in those cruel, twisted and shockingly mischeivous delights I know you secretly adore — if you dare!"
What Our Readers Are Saying