THE KING IN THE WINDOW by Adam Gopnik

THE KING IN THE WINDOW

Age Range: 11 - 14
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KIRKUS REVIEW

Gopnik’s work for the New Yorker is beautiful and elegant, but he has fallen prey to the contemporary disease that condemns adult writers and celebrities—writing a children’s book once they have children of their own; his overstuffed fantasy is next to impossible to endure. Somewhere under all the filler, there’s a plot about an American boy living in Paris, who’s mistaken by Window Wraiths for their titular king, expected to save them from the villainous One with None. Much is made of the difference between windows and mirrors—too much. Also overwhelming is the landslide of glop about Paris, in which the author helpfully supplies everything he knows about the city’s history, science and culture. The 11-year-old hero is, of course, studying Molière (aren’t all 11-year-olds?), who is one of the Wraiths, and his two sidekicks are such bland stereotypes of American and French children that putting one in a cowboy hat and the other in a beret would have been sufficient. Dozens of clear-as-glass or mirror-reflection references abound, and Gopnik would have done well to reflect a bit himself, since there are few 11-year-olds who will want to wallow through this murk. (Fantasy. 11-14)

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 2005
ISBN: 0-7868-1862-X
Page count: 416pp
Publisher: Hyperion
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 2005