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THE GOOD, THE BAT, AND THE UGLY by Paul Magrs

THE GOOD, THE BAT, AND THE UGLY

By Paul Magrs (Author) , Alan Snow (Illustrator)

Age Range: 14 & up

Pub Date: June 1st, 2004
ISBN: 0-689-87019-1
Publisher: Atheneum

Snow’s vignettes of brutally dismembered sock puppets, plus a literally hellish plot twist toward the end, keep this satiric import afloat—just. After his moody, unstable father Frank is confined to a straitjacket after whipping out “his wrinkly old willy” to urinate on the puppets in a department-store window, young Jason Lurcher hears a voice from the attic: “Nixon the penguin must die!” Who is Nixon? The puppet that propelled Jason’s half-brother Barry to TV fame. And who’s talking? That would be Tolstoy, the foul-mouthed bat puppet that made Frank Lurcher’s name a household word years ago—before an ugly on-screen incident got them both kicked off the air. But if he can get Jason to dig him out of the trunk and stick a hand up his bum, Tolstoy plans a murderous comeback. So who’s really in charge? Any reader who knows actual puppeteers may already be wondering, and Magrs doesn’t do anything to clarify the issue—except to offer the climactic revelation that Frank, at least, had made a Deal with a certain subterranean gent. Casually savage, and a little slow off the mark, this isn’t going to draw a crowd of readers, but some might be amused. (Fiction. YA)