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Ebook The Portmanteau Book by Thomas Rockwell read! Book Title: The Portmanteau Book
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Reader ratings: 5.7
The author of the book: Thomas Rockwell
Edition: Little Brown and Company
Date of issue: January 1st 1974
ISBN: 0316753416
ISBN 13: 9780316753418
Language: English
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 425 KB

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Thomas Rockwell, The Portmanteau Book (Little, Brown, 1974)

When I was in sixth grade all those years ago, everyone and his brother knew How to Eat Fried Worms, Thomas Rockwell's classic of pre-teen grossness. While I enjoyed it just as much as the next guy, for my money Rockwell's magnum opus was The Portmanteau Book, a more avant-garde, sexually sophisticated (so I thought in sixth grade, anyway), plotless hash of a book that I read over and over again. I quite literally read the cover off that book. It's a few decades later, and I was wondering how it would hold up if I read it as an adult. Would it still be the comedy classic I thought it was back then? Is it a terrible injustice that the book has been out of print for nearly thirty-five years? I finally found a library in my state that had a copy on hand and picked it up. I now have the answers to all those questions, and they're all “not so much”. (Save the out-of-print question, but that's another rant for another day.)

There is a kinda-sorta plot to the quarter (roughly) of the book that follows a storyline. It involves five kids trying to beat the heat back in the days when air conditioning was something reserved for stores and storekeepers didn't want you just hanging around without spending money. That's a minor portion of the book, though, with the rest of it packed with other short stories without endings, bad poetry, puzzles, faux advertisements, that sort of thing.

I guess it shouldn't be such a surprise that it's juvenile humor; after all, so is How to Eat Fried Worms. But I kept seeing places where he could have amped the humor up a bunch (you're cramming five kids into a broom closet and you don't call that section “Seven Minutes in Heaven”? What are you thinking?), and places where it simply went wrong. A few places, even, where I'm not sure they were meant to be humorous, or perhaps the humor fell so flat it just looks like it was never meant to be there in the first place (“Crazy Tom”). While I'm sure there would be people rushing to defend it as being politically incorrect these days, I think a more proper term would simply be “dated”; I'm not sure today's sixth-graders would even understand half the references here. (I'm not sure most kids in 1974 did, either; did soda fountains even exist by 1974?) Nostalgia value only for the above-forty crowd. ** ½

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Read information about the author

Ebook The Portmanteau Book read Online! Thomas Rockwell (son of the American artist, Norman Rockwell) is the author of a number of books for young readers. He was the recipient of the Mark Twain Award, the California Young Reader Medal, and the Sequoyah Award for How to Eat Fried Worms, which was made into a TV movie in 1985 and was filmed as a theatrical release in 2006. He lives in Poughkeepsie, New York.


Reviews of the The Portmanteau Book


A charming book, a lot more!


Why do I need to specify a phone number?


The idea is great, but sometimes the text suffers


Not impressed


An enticing cover and a controversial story.

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