Young Jason Lurcher learns the hard way that a single hand up a puppet can lead you straight to hell...Frank Lurcher and Tolstoy the Long-Eared Bat! Twenty years ago they were the biggest names in ventriloquism, with their own TV show and endless summer season and panto bookings. But all good things come to an end. Now, Frank Lurcher's a washed-out, grumpy has-been and his scraggy puppet Tolstoy is stuffed away in a trunk in the loft. But trouble is brewing. Frank suddenly declares that his teenage son, Jason, must follow in the family tradition and get a puppet of his own! But someone's got a shrewd idea who that puppet should be. Someone with green eyes, moth-eaten velvety wings, a snarling snout and two extra-large pointy ears...Tolstoy the Long-Eared Bat is making a comeback - with Jason as his new chosen puppeteer. He's out for another shot at TV superstardom, and a gruesome revenge on the showbiz puppets and people that wronged him in the past. Can Jason fight his evil controlling power? Will the lovely Lisa Turmoil, hair-stylist to the stars, help him in his battle - or just go off and give someone a perm? And if you cook a puppet ostrich in a microwave oven, does it count as murder? Paul Magrs' hilarious second novel for Simon & Schuster is for twisted children of all ages.
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Paul Magrs was born in Jarrow, Tyne and Wear in 1969. He was educated in Newton Aycliffe at Woodham Burn Infants and Junior Schools, then Woodham Comprehensive, in Newton Aycliffe, before attending Lancaster University. 'Strange Boy' is his twelfth published book, although it's the first time he's written for a younger audience. He's always wanted to write the kinds of book he could never find when he was a teenager. Nowadays he is Senior Lecturer in English Literature and Creative Writing at the University of East Anglia.From School Library Journal:
Grade 8 Up–Jason, 13, is the son of Frank Lurcher, a ventriloquist and puppeteer who was famous 20 years ago but who has turned into a nasty old man since falling on hard times. After Frank is arrested for destroying the puppets in a shop window and sent to the showbiz asylum for demented former celebrities, Jason discovers his father's old partner, Tolstoy the bat, in the attic. Tolstoy speaks to Jason, encouraging him to fulfill his destiny and become his new puppeteer. Meanwhile, Jason's older half-brother Barry, also a popular television performer, enters the scene to help out with the family crisis. Before long, however, his penguin puppet Nixon is "murdered," and at the memorial service, other puppets begin to die mysteriously. Very British in tone, this book is a clever, funny, and dark satire that works well until the ending, which is a bit over the top. Readers discover that Tolstoy is literally a puppet from hell, and the Devil himself makes a guest appearance. Magrs also includes a hilarious epilogue consisting of a series of customer reviews from the Web site "Mamazon" for Jason's autobiographical work, The Good, the Bat, and the Ugly. Snow's black-and-white illustrations are suitably creepy. An additional choice for teen fantasy fans.–Tim Wadham, Maricopa County Library District, Phoenix, AZ
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Book Description Simon & Schuster Children's, 2003. Paperback. Book Condition: New. No.1 BESTSELLERS - great prices, friendly customer service â€" all orders are dispatched next working day. Bookseller Inventory # mon0000508141
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