GROOVES by Kevin Brockmeier


A Kind of Mystery
Age Range: 11 - 13
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The author of the oddball City of Names (2002) comes up with an even loonier premise: a small-town seventh-grader discovering a cry for help embedded in his jeans. Fooling around with an old gramophone, Dwayne is astounded to hear a voice when he runs the needle down his pants: “Please. You must help us. He’s stealing the light from our eyes.” An ensuing investigation leads to the nearby factory complex of local tycoon Howard Thigpen—where indeed all the workers seem to be walking around like zombies. Tongue so firmly in cheek that it needs a “Wide Load” sign, the author festoons his storyscape with toss-offs, from a comics-reading science teacher with 15,000 copies of the same record, to a Ford Madox Ford dealership, and a bad guy with a rhinestone fetish. As it turns out, the mysterious voice does not lie: Deranged Thigpen has a machine that literally sucks the sparks of personality from its victims. What to do? Despite a thicket of unresolved plotlines, this sophomore outing has enough internal logic (of a daft sort) to hold together, and fans of such wacky fantasies as Kathy Mackel’s will be delighted. (Fantasy. 11-13)

Pub Date: March 1st, 2006
ISBN: 0-06-073691-7
Page count: 208pp
Publisher: HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15th, 2006