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The King in the Window by Adam Gopnik

The King in the Window (original 2005; edition 2006)

by Adam Gopnik, Omar Rayyan (Illustrator)

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2821039,987 (3.6)10
Title:The King in the Window
Authors:Adam Gopnik
Other authors:Omar Rayyan (Illustrator)
Info:Miramax (2006), Paperback, 416 pages
Collections:Your library

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The King in the Window by Adam Gopnik (2005)



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Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)
Really enjoyed the unique fantasy element. Short summary: Oliver accidentally becomes the King in the Window, King of the window wraiths, and is expected to lead the final battle against the Mirror Master, also called The One with None. ( )
  Sopoforic | Apr 30, 2017 |
I just couldn't force myself to finish it. I did read at least a third, to give it a fair chance, but it was just too slow for this adult. I can't imagine a young person would try as long. ( )
  jrbeach | Mar 3, 2017 |
This is a book about a war in Paris between the Windows and the Mirrors and an average boy who is selected as the king of the Window Wraiths. The story shows real character development in the boy, which is interesting and has some higher principles of ethics and physics were engaging. I read this with my son. It was a very slow start, but we persevered and it paid off. There are some good messages in this book, but it is not preachy. The book shows that they boy can learn to think critically and solve problems. I also like the setting and the freedom that the parents give their son.
( )
  jlapac | Aug 14, 2013 |
This was alright. The story was kind of interesting. It kept me just intrigued enough to keep reading. Honestly, the second half of the book was better than the first, there was more action. Id say its good enough for a one time read. ( )
  DeathsMistress | Nov 29, 2012 |
I think I'd describe this as mindboggling AND superb. I found Adam Gopnik's The King in the Window a fascinating read.

The book starts out normally enough- a young boy, Oliver, and his family, living in Paris. However, when he puts on a crown that came courtesy of a cake from a bakery, he sees a reflection in the window that looks like him...but isn't him. And so begins a insane and thrilling and quirky journey.

I read this a while ago but from what I recall, Gopnik blends fantasy and adventure and technology and so much more, into a wonderful book. There are so many elements going on in this book, and I really loved how Gopnik invokes characters from classic stories (not going to spoiler-ify this though, so I'll keep mum) into his plot. There is a alternate universe(-ish) reminiscent of China Mieville's Un Lun Dun, and the concepts that Gopnik introduced made me really think. It's definitely a journey of self-discovery for Oliver- oh, and along the way, he saves the world!

Overall, an good, imaginative book. ( )
  thebookcrazy | Feb 6, 2010 |
Showing 1-5 of 10 (next | show all)

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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Adam Gopnikprimary authorall editionscalculated
Rayyan, OmarIllustratorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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If Oliver had simply smiled and joked with his parents while he was wearing the gold paper crown, or if he had just remembered to take it off after dinner, as he had always done before, the window wraiths might never have mistaken him for royalty.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 078681862X, Hardcover)

Award-winning adult author Adam Gopnik's first children's book, an adventure set in modern day Paris starring an American boy who finds himself at the center of a war between window and mirror spirits, is an mixed bag of fantasy, technology and history that doesn't quite hang together as a whole. One January evening, eleven-year-old Oliver receives a vision in his bedroom window of a young boy in 17th century dress. This apparition informs him that he is the new King in the Window, a hero elected by kind window wraiths to assist them in their centuries-long war with the soul-stealing evil mirror spirits. Soon, Oliver finds himself in The Way, or the parallel universe on the other side of mirrors. Here, he engages in battle with the diabolical Master of Mirrors, chats with Nostradamus, and helps rescue an elderly Alice in Wonderland. In addition, there is a subplot concerning a super computer atop the Eiffel Tower! , an examination of 17th century French court life, and an on-going discussion of quantum physics. Whew! Gopnik's promising premise quickly sinks under the weight of top-heavy symbolism, arcane literary references, and a seemingly endless supply of quirky characters. As a result, the narrative loses its thread, and ultimately, it's target middle grade audience, who will be unable to tie together the divergent strands of this convoluted tale. In sum, less would have been much more. --Jennifer Hubert

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:03 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Eleven-year-old Oliver, an American boy residing in Paris, discovers, much to his astonishment, that phantoms live within the windowpanes and have selected Oliver to lead a war against the "soul-stealers" that inhabit mirrors.

(summary from another edition)

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