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Grasshopper Jungle

A History
Smith, Andrew, 1959- (Book - 2014)
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
Grasshopper Jungle
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Item Details

"Austin Szerba narrates the end of humanity as he and his best friend Robby accidentally unleash an army of giant, unstoppable bugs and uncover the secrets of a decades-old experiment gone terribly wrong"-- Provided by publisher.
Authors: Smith, Andrew (Andrew Anselmo), 1959-
Title: Grasshopper jungle
a history
Statement of Responsibility: by Andrew Smith
Publisher: New York, New York :, Dutton Books, an imprint of Penguin Group (USA),, 2014
Branch Call Number: Y SMITH
Characteristics: 388 pages ; 22 cm
Content Type: text
Media Type: unmediated
Carrier Type: volume
Summary: "Austin Szerba narrates the end of humanity as he and his best friend Robby accidentally unleash an army of giant, unstoppable bugs and uncover the secrets of a decades-old experiment gone terribly wrong"-- Provided by publisher.
Subject Headings: Iowa Fiction Iowa Fiction Insects Fiction Family life Iowa Fiction Gender identity Fiction Friendship Fiction Survival Fiction Humorous stories Science fiction Insects Fiction Family life Iowa Fiction Gender identity Fiction Friendship Fiction Survival Fiction
Topical Term: Insects
Family life
Gender identity
Friendship
Survival
Humorous stories
Science fiction
Insects
Family life
Gender identity
Friendship
Survival
ISBN: 0525426035 (hardback)
9780525426035 (hardback)
LCCN: 2013030265
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Crazy and amazing book about growing up in Ealing, Iowa. Austin Szerba interweaves family history, science experimentation and the end of the world seamlessly. Did I mention giant six-foot-tall praying mantises that have only two things on their mind?


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Sep 25, 2014
  • joelbutler rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

A horny teen historian chronicles the end of the world by giant bug soldiers. A funny stream of consciousness history that sometimes repeats itself too often. The teens also come off as a bit uncaring about all the deaths happening around them.

Aug 15, 2014
  • Cynthia_N rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

I was not sure if I was going enjoy this book but so many reviews had great things to say about it that I decided to give it a try. I'm glad I did. It's definitely YA with lots of sexual themes, bullying, violence, and swearing, so not for precocious readers, but I would highly recommend it.

NYPL Staff Pick
Austin Szerba is obsessed with writing down his history but in his small Iowa town there isn't much to write about except his complicated love life with his gay best friend Robby and his girlfriend Shann. Life gets more interesting when giant praying mantis's show up and start eating the populace.
- Anne Rouyer

Jun 06, 2014
  • LibraryK8 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

This novel probably the BEST written books I have ever read. It is original, funny, engaging and disturbing. I encourage you to loose yourself in it.

May 30, 2014
  • katrinka28 rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

This book was so weird it bordered on wonderful. That's a thing right? You know like a pint of some odd ice cream flavor that you try just one spoonful of but keep going back to just to make sure you still don't quite like it and then you've managed to eat the entire pint? That's not just me...right? Right?!
So back to books and not weird ice cream flavors, Grasshopper Jungle reminded me a lot of Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides (but with 6 foot tall man-eating bugs, you know cause that makes any book infinitely better). It is the story of a young Polish boy, Austin Szcerba and his attempts to test fate by living a "normal" life in the tiny Iowa town of Ealing, Iowa. This is not going to happen for poor, confused Austin. He is definitely pre-destined for awesomer, weirder things. There are crazy giant bugs (but not til later). There is a quasi-love-triangle (but not til later). What there is a lot of is a boy, trying to figure out who he is, how he effects the world around him and how his history effects him, always. The history sections were randomly interspersed throughout the tale but they were wonderfully written and terribly interesting (that may just be the history teacher in me talking...you be your own judge).

I really feel like I could put this on the contemporary/realistic fiction shelf in my classroom. It is so realistic to the hormone-fueled, confused, lost teenage boy. Oh, except for those 6 ft tall man-eating bugs...at least I hope that parts not real!

Final recommendation: if you like history, contemporary fiction, teenagers, small-town drama, cursing, alien invasions.

P.S. I totally want my own Eden, to run around, wear jumpsuits, bounce on beds and listen to the Stones (again minus the bug-pocalypse above).

May 23, 2014
  • JCLDennisR rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

What a fun, crazy book!

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coming of age story with post apocalyptic theme

Jun 06, 2014
  • LibraryK8 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Behold the history of the end of the world - by Austin Szerba. The end of the world does not start with a bang or a bomb, or an ultimatum from outer space. It begins (and ends) in Ealing, Iowa, in Grasshopper Jungle, the parking lot behind the strip mall containing a pizza place, the liqueur store and the second-hand store. It begins when Austin and his best friend Robby (who is is pretty sure he is in love with) are bullied by the local small-town thugs who will never amount to anything (because they are not bright enough too and because they will shortly die). The fate of the world is sealed when said thugs break into the second-hand store to steal a glowing glass ball. The world is doomed when they break it open and unleash a plague of carnivorous giant insects on the world. Austin records everything (that is not an overstatement) that happens.

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Sep 29, 2014
  • CraigGraziano rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

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