Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Horton Halfpott by Tom Angleberger

This book is a humorous "mystery", and I gave it a rating of four out of five. Horton works as a dishwasher in the mansion of a wealthy family. The working conditions and pay are terrible, but Horton is always respectful and honest. Luther, the son of the family, is a brat who is dishonest and mistreats the servants. He hopes to meet Celia, the young lady visiting a neighbor's home, so he can marry into her family's money. Horton meets the young lady while delivering her invitation to a ball being held at the mansion, and he becomes smitten. Some items start disappearing in the mansion, so the family calls in a world-famous detective to find the thief. The servants, especially Horton, become the prime suspects.

This book is fun to read and isn't overly serious. For me, the plot comes across like Cinderella, only in reverse. The lowly, abused servant boy has no chance of attending the costume ball in order to meet with the girl everyone wants to marry. There's no glass slipper though. It's written in a conversational style with the narrator talking to the reader, similar to the Lemony Snicket books. The narrator tells the reader when he's skipping unnecessary descriptions and when he's discussing something important. The conflict has humorous twists which add to the entertainment of the plot. Random items disappear, such as an expensive wig, a small statue, and a monocle. It's nice to see Horton remain a good person despite his horrible situation. The theme of good triumphing over evil is evident in the plot.

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