MISERY GUTS by Morris Gleitzman

MISERY GUTS

Age Range: 9 - 12
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

 Keith, who barely remembers when he last saw his parents smile, is determined to cheer them up, but his exaggerated efforts are as inappropriate as they are well intentioned: Mum and Dad are devastated to find their fish-and-chips shop painted with Tropical Mango Hi-Gloss (intended as a maximum contrast to London's fog), and automatically reject his proposals for a South Sea vacation--or a move to Australia's tropical coast. Their real troubles, they confide, are economic: competition is growing. Still they agree to a day (cold and windy, it turns out) at a nearby beach. While they're away, the shop burns, precipitating a move to Australia after all; and despite Keith's new friend's dire warnings about crocodiles, poisonous jellyfish, etc., they find warm weather, friendly neighbors, and a welcome upturn in their fortunes. The more serious realities in this engagingly lighthearted comedy play a larger role in a simultaneously published sequel (Worry Warts: 0-15-299666-4), which begins as a rerun of book one: Keith is painting his parents' jalopy a giddy patchwork in hopes of lifting their renewed depression; troubles have followed with a new resort that's stealing customers. Divorce is now threatened; and though Keith's escapades still entertain (he gets trapped in an opal mine; paints another building), the question of who is comforting whom, and by what loving, if misguided, subterfuges, is a thoughtful undercurrent that surfaces in a surprising but appropriate conclusion. Each book stands alone, but they're stronger and more interesting as an easily read, genuinely funny two-part novel, lively with offbeat incidents and repartee. (Fiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: March 1st, 1993
ISBN: 0-15-254768-1
Page count: 144pp
Publisher: Harcourt
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1st, 1993




MORE BY MORRIS GLEITZMAN

ChildrenNOW by Morris Gleitzman
by Morris Gleitzman
ChildrenTHEN  by Morris Gleitzman
by Morris Gleitzman