From legendary Hollywood director Chris Columbus (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets) and bestselling author Ned Vizzini (It's Kind of a Funny Story) comes the first book in an epic new fantasy series.
"[P]lenty of action involving pirates, giants, and man-eating insects — not to mention a skeleton sword fight worthy of Jason and the Argonauts.House will have even reluctant readers lining up for a sequel. A-"
"In a rousing adventure reminiscent of The Emerald Atlas, director Columbus (The Help) and author Vizzini (The Other Normals) catapult a trio of siblings across time and space, as they square off against a forgotten writer’s literary legacy. [...] The nonstop action comes with increasingly high stakes... wildly imaginative."
"[Columbus & Vizzini] have created a strange, thrilling, funny, scary, kid-friendly novel about three present-day siblings and a 107-year-old house caught up together in a magical world with medieval bandits, World War I fighter pilots, scurvy pirates, living skeletons, and giants (no—colossi). [...] All these criss-crossing historical eras combine together with the mouthy attitude of today’s kids—particularly a video-gaming jock, his bookish older sister, and their horse-crazy, dyslexic younger sister—in a hilarious, touching, and at times grimly suspenseful combination. There are even some educational touches, such as a few Latin incantations, the names of bones in the human skeleton, and references to San Francisco history and geography."
The Other Normals is an "Alternative Fantasy" (coined by Beyond Books) about a kid in summer camp who falls into a fantasy world. It's also about race relations and drugs and self-actualization and monsters and dating and being a late bloomer.
"Vizzini is gifted and keeps us engaged... Vizzini is a genuine talent, and he writes fiction that can be especially meaningful to a savvy, screen-bleary teenage readership. His sentences carry enough charge that an eighth grader might truly discover how a novel is not a movie made extremely cheaply, but an art form that brings its own unique splendors, including the power to explore interiority and consciousness."
"The whole fantasy-world-is-actually-real thing? It isn’t remotely new (see: Lev Grossman’s The Magicians, Guy Gavriel Kay’s The Fionavar Tapestry and Joel Rosenberg’s Guardians of the Flame series), but that doesn’t stop The Other Normals from being enormously fun. And by now you should have some faith in Ned Vizzini, anyway, as he hasn’t turned out a bad—or even mediocre—book yet. The Other Normals isn’t an exception to the rule. It’s fast-paced, funny and exciting, so much so that I read all 387 pages in one sitting."
"Sometimes funny, sometimes painfully awkward (Perry is so socially incompetent, he takes the stereotype of the nerdy, conversationally inept gamer to the extreme), this coming-of-age adventure captures the confusion and drama of adolescence."
"With a deft sense of humor and a keen ear for funny and realistic teen dialogue, Vizzini explores one teen everyman’s quest to become a hero, one roll of the six-sided die at a time… Great geeky fun."
"Vizzini's story reminded me of Rudy Rucker's novels, which often have silly, almost cartoonlike, nonhuman characters, but portray human relationships, struggles, and desires in a realistic and engrossing way. "
"The Other Normals is wildly imaginative, incredibly funny, and weirdly wise. I don't know where Vizzini gets this stuff--it's like he's tapped into the collective unconscious of alienated adolescents everywhere."
--LEV GROSSMAN, New York Times bestselling author of THE MAGICIANS and THE MAGICIAN KING
"Ned Vizzini is a wonderful storyteller, a superb writer with an amazing eye for character and colorful detail. Add to that a big fat dose of hispter heart and soul and you've got his briliant new novel, THE OTHER NORMALS, his finest book yet."
--CHRIS COLUMBUS, writer of The Goonies and Gremlins and director of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
"The Other Normals will resonate with anyone who has ever sought escape in games."
"Plot-wise, it contains that classical Vizzinian magical realism (classical to Be More Chill, anyway) and never gets boring... It's one of those books that are for reluctant readers: fast-paced, action-packed, and funny; more like a comic book or movie without images, something middle-grade boys will enjoy because they'll be able to relate to it."
"A fast-paced coming-of-age story with a fascinating premise which, to the great credit of the author, is seamless and strangely believable."
--R.A. SALVATORE, New York Times Bestselling Author of CHARON'S CLAW and THE DARK ELF TRILOGY
"By the time I finished reading The Other Normals, I had the distinct feeling that there might be a mysterious, perhaps inexplicable correspondences between Ned Vizzini’s work and that of another master of the absurd, Daniel Pinkwater... [a] captivating novel."
It's Kind of a Funny Story (Film Tie-in) [Paperback] [Kindle]
August 31, 2010
The film tie-in edition of It's Kind of a Funny Story features a brain-map title page inspired by the art in the book and the original cover. It looks something like this, an image that Focus Features provided to Hyperion Books in summer 2010: