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Alex and the Ironic Gentleman, or The…

Alex and the Ironic Gentleman, or The Wigpowder Treasure (2007)

by Adrienne Kress

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2061956,890 (3.88)5

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Showing 1-5 of 19 (next | show all)
I liked the plot. I even quite liked some of the characters. But the storytelling really annoyed me. The narrator constantly broke the fourth wall with "Oh, I forgot to tell you" constructs and frivolous not-funny jokes. And there was an excess of telling instead of showing. ( )
  lavaturtle | Dec 31, 2014 |
A girl sets out on a quest to rescue her sixth-grade teacher from pirates. If you enjoyed "A Series of Unfortunate Events", you'll probably like this one as there's a massive similarity in tone, world-building style, and narrative voice. Not to say that's a bad thing, and the plot's all new, but it is very noticeable.

Overall, I found it enjoyable, though the middle section of the book is decidedly odd, consisting of several unrelated episodes that don't have anything to do with anything before or after them and which introduce fantasy elements not present in the rest of the story. One almost wonders if the author found herself short on a word count. It feels a little bit like a LucasArts adventure game in novel form, where nothing will happen if the protagonist doesn't make it happen and everyone else is useless and obstinate. All this sounds rather negative but it isn't really at all; it's a very strange way of putting a novel together but it does work.

Age-ranking this one was difficult; the usual way to judge (knocking a couple of years off of the protagonist's age) would seem to indicate it's for eight-and-a-half-year-olds and up, but I think I'd actually put it a little older--there's a quite a body count and some of what happens gets pretty hardcore for a children's novel. Some kids could read this at eight and be perfectly fine, but some couldn't, so be aware. ( )
  PlasticAtoms | Mar 2, 2014 |
I couldn't do this one. Narrative voice trying to be funny and just ends up, to my ears, awkward and childish. Tried it a second time by starting in the middle of the book, which was better. Improved once the narrator got out of the way. Looked like she had some fun ideas, though. ( )
  Inky_Fingers | Dec 8, 2013 |
I think I read this. Once upon a time....
  lafon | Mar 31, 2013 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 160286005X, Hardcover)

Fans of Lemony Snicket, Harriet the Spy, and Alice in Wonderland will love this witty, magical fantasy and its unforgettable tomboy heroine.

A smart, funny mixture of fantasy and high adventure, Alex and the Ironic Gentleman tells the story of Alex Morningside, an inquisitive ten-and-a-half-year-old girl who lives with her uncle above a doorknob shop. A student at the prestigious Wigpowder-Steele Academy, Alex is often mistaken for a boy because of her bowl haircut, but that's okay -- she has an excellent sense of humor.

Alex hates Wigpowder-Steele because as much as she enjoys learning, she doesn't enjoy wearing a uniform with a skirt. She also doesn't enjoy her teachers, who are all very old and smell funny and don't seem to know about any of the developments that have happened in the world in the last thirty years. And she most definitely does not enjoy her peers, who are quite simply ridiculous. However, that's okay, too, because her peers don't enjoy her much either. Luckily for Alex, the new school year brings an exciting new teacher. Mr. Underwood makes lessons fun and teaches her how to fence. But Mr. Underwood has a mysterious family secret -- the swashbuckling and buried treasure kind -- and not everyone is glad he has come to Wigpowder-Steele.

When the pirates of a ship called The Ironic Gentleman kidnap her beloved teacher, Alex sets off on a through-the-looking-glass journey to rescue him, along the way encountering a steady stream of hilarious and colorful characters, including one Captain Magnanimous, Coriander the Conjurer, and the Extremely Ginormous Octopus. Funny, charming, and ultimately tender, Alex and the Ironic Gentleman ends with a twist that readers will find as heartwarming as it is surprising.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:05:03 -0400)

Alex, who lives with her uncle in the flat above their doorknob shop, meets her new teacher, Mr. Underwood, a descendant of a famous pirate, and soon three vicious men turn up in town, looking for a map to a fabled family treasure.

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