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Heck: Where the Bad Kids Goby Bob Dob
Synopses & Reviews
In Generica, Kansas, Christmas wasn't something you felt in the chill of the winter air or the warmth of a generous smile. It was announced by the sixteen-foot tower of crystal angels at Grizzly Mall-the Mall of Generica.
And this year was no different—at first. Exhausted shoppers filed by, momentarily entranced by the shimmering, heart-faced, bare-bottomed cupids. That is, until Marlo Fauster smashed them to bits with the oar she'd stolen from Spoiled Sports Sporting Goods.
Let’s go shrieked Marlo, a blue-haired, thirteen-going-on-thirty-year-old girl, to her gangly younger brother, Milton. Shards of shining wings and harps rained down around them.
The two children bounded across the showroom floor, Marlo running with a look of fierce determination and Milton running out of pure fear. Unbeknownst to both of them, they were also running out of time.
Milton had spent most of his young life avoiding trouble: staring at his shoes, shuffling along unnoticed, ducking away from tense-or even remotely interesting— situations for fear of their potentially dangerous potential. He only felt truly safe when tucked between the covers of a book, experiencing life secondhand.
Marlo, however, was a different story.
Too far was where Marlo lived. If something didn't involve petty (and not-so-petty) crime, it just wasn't worth doing.
Maybe it was all just a cry for attention. Unfortunately, Marlo’s latest acts of thievery and vandalism were drawing far too much attention. At least that's how Milton saw it through his thick, Coke-bottle glasses as his sister dragged him toward his untimely demise.
They ran past stunned shoppers into the mall concourse, Marlo waving her oar as if rowing furiously through a human sea. Milton fought to keep up.
That should buy us some time from security Marlo squealed with manic glee. It was at times like this, Milton thought, that he was in the presence of-and grudgingly related to—a new kind of evil.
And you should have bought that stupid oar Milton replied, panting.
Why would I buy an oar? she asked, giving Milton's arm a sadistic twist. “We live in Kansas, short bus.”
The two siblings darted around a corner and burst into the Grizzly Mall food court.
Then why . . . ? Milton stammered in front of Tongue Thaied.
“For the sport of it, Marlo said with pride. If I pull this off-the most conspicuous holiday heist in Grizzly Mall history—I'll be a modern-day Kleptopatra.” She paused dramatically, her dark eyes twinkling with reflected Christmas lights. The stuff of shoplifting legend. And all that expensive makeup is just icing on the cake.
Milton stared at the pink Goodbye Puppy bag underneath his arm as he trotted onward.
So all this makeup . . . you didn't need me to just hold it for you back at the cosmetics counter . . . I . . . I just stole . . . lip gloss?
And Suburban Blight cheek bronzer with free-radical scavengers and lipid-rich amino moisturizers,” Marlo said while descending an ascending escalator. She grinned. Welcome to the life, my gullible little apprentice. You are but putty in my skillful hands.
Behind them, a full-bodied mall security guard lumbered in hot pursuit. Another chunky-style defender of mall law soon joi
Starred Review, Publishers Weekly, June 30, 2008:
The author's umpteen clever allusions...make this book truly sparkle.
Review, The Wall Street Journal, July 26-27, 2008:
Parents and readers . . . are in for a treat with Dale E. Basye's very funny debut novel.
From the Hardcover edition.
When timid Milton and his older, scofflaw sister Marlo die in a marshmallow bear explosion at Grizzly Mall, they are sent to Heck, an otherworldly reform school from which they are determined to escape.
About the Author
Dale E. Basye lives with his wife and son in Portland, Oregon.
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