Here Be Monsters

Here Be Monsters

Book - 2006
Average Rating:
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While gathering food to bring to his grandfather, young Arthur becomes trapped in the city of Ratbridge, where he and some new friends try to stop a plot to shrink the monsters of Arthur's home, the Underworld, for a nefarious purpose.
Publisher: New York : Atheneum Books for Young Readers, 2006
ISBN: 9780689870484
9780689870477
0689870477
Characteristics: 529 p. : ill. ; 24 cm

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FindingJane Nov 27, 2015

The wretched city of Ratbridge is a secret home to an underground society of engineers (the boxtrolls), farmers (the gibbering cabbageheads) and crafters (the rabbit women). When this delicate balance is disrupted by unscrupulous men, Ratbridge finds itself headed towards disaster.

“Here Be Monsters!” takes off running—and promptly trips over its own feet. A convoluted and improbable conglomeration of humor, fairy tale, conspiracy and whimsy, the novel throws so many things into its weird little stew that it’s hard to know where to look. There is a crazy, secret revenge plan by a bunch of top-hatted rogues, an invention that falls into the wrong hands, feral cheeses, pantomime horses, vain callipygian women obsessed with fashion and style, an amnesiac smiter with iron socks, laundry-handling rats, sea cows and the crossdressing maniac who is wrapped up in all of it. At times, the novel gets so caught up in its own lunacy that you wonder if there’s a point to it all.

The revelation of the mystery plans and the trouncing of the villain is so absurd that it’s beyond laughter and more likely to raise eyebrows than a chuckle. This is lunacy that strains itself to be goofy and barely succeeds. (If you want a better story and a more streamlined plot, I strongly advise you to see the movie “The Boxtrolls”. It’s just as absurd but it cuts out some of the more outrageous elements, making for a much more coherent tale. It’s a rare case of the movie being better than the book.)

r
Rubicat
Sep 17, 2015

I didn't finish this - I am clearly too in love with the film. I found that I resented every detail that differed from the movie so I ended up returning the book after 2 chapters when it became evident that I was not liking the characters or plot. Too bad because it is plain that many many people LOVE this book. I will probably try again in a year or 2.

f
FelicityLemon5
Apr 03, 2014

Hurry! Scurry! You Must read this exciting, quirky tale, to give you the Very Best experience when the fabulous Movie comes out in September!! ("The Boxtrolls" by wonderful Laika Studios). Ratbridge Rules!!! A Perfect book for continuing bedtime chapter-reading...

j
jsnbreed
Nov 18, 2012

Review from 2nd grade boy:
I recommend this book to kids. The main character is Arthur. He lives underground. Arthur's adventures start when he goes to gather food for himself and his grandfather. It has good description. It is really exciting.

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CvRob Apr 24, 2012

CvRob thinks this title is suitable for All Ages

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