Friday, January 8, 2010

The Great Brain (audio)

The best con man in the Midwest is only ten years old. Tom, a.k.a., the Great Brain, is a silver-tongued genius with a knack for turning a profit. When the Jenkins boys get lost in Skeleton Cave, the Great Brain saves the day. Whether it’s saving the kids at school, or helping out Peg-leg Andy, or Basil, the new kid at school, the Great Brain always manages to come out on top—and line his pockets in the process. -Goodreads

I read this book when I was in fourth or fifth grade and I vaguely remember what happened.  Well, really I only remembered the "water closet" story since I was fascinated by the idea that people didn't always have indoor plumbing.  But the rest of the stories were familiar in a way.  The Great Brain tricks people into giving him money in some way that they don't know they are being swindled.  He is a Tom Sawyer type, for sure.  He also got on my nerves.  I was tired of him doing good deeds for greedy reasons and kept waiting for him to get his just reward, which he does, but not when he deserved it, in my opinion.  Also his brother, John, was not too bright (but then he is only 8) and Tom took advantage of him a lot.

Another thing was how often they say the words "Great Brain."  Tom refers to his great brain and John says Tom will use his great brain a lot.  This might be a product of having listened to the audio version and so I noticed it more, but they say it a lot.  They also don't use contradictions when they speak and that was made more apparent by the audio version.  And that bothered me for some reason.

Anyway, while it was nice to revisit an old childhood favorite, it didn't really translate that well for me as an adult.  So this one might be better left to the kids.

*for Shelf Discovery and the Rainbow Connection Challenge

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