Published: New York : Crown Publishers, 2009 Edition: 1st ed Description: 305 p. ; 20 cm ISBN/ISSN: 9780307452498, 0307452492, Language: English
Twelve-year-old Eugene "Huge" Smalls is short, mean, angry, and brilliant, characteristics which win him no friends, but he is also an amateur sleuth with his first real case, which leads him to believe life might be better if he did not imagine himself a character in a Raymond Chandler novel
I was sick and f***ing tired of being the smallest and meanest kid in a small and meaningless town. I wanted to be bigger than I was, better, more grown up. I didn't know if that was too much to want, or too little, or if there was a single chance in hell that I'd ever be able to get it. But I really didn't give a s**t, because I wanted it anyway.
I wanted the world and everyone in it to be huge -- like me.
Eugene “Huge” Smalls doesn’t have much going for him. He’s middle schooler whose reputation as a violent troublemaker precedes him. His teachers have written him off and even his family seems to be working against him. Except for his dear grandmother, who supported him through his tribulations and introduced him to important role models that helped shape who he is today: Philip Marlowe, Sam Spade, and of course, Sherlock Holmes. So, you may have guessed it…this is a coming-of-age, mystery novel. Set in 1980s, suburban New Jersey, Huge finds himself in the midst of investigating a mystery that seems to be getting him into more trouble than it’s worth. Just as he is getting to the bottom of it, he must decide between solving the mystery and losing his precious, teenage freedom.
Fuerst creates a credible and witty character in Huge. He taps into the volatile and impulsive psyche of a lonely, middle school outcast. Huge’s character has a distinct hard-boiled detective feel as does the tone of the novel. A black comedy and mystery with a twist, Huge explores friendship, love, family ties, and interdependence. Laugh out loud humor, a memorable protagonist, and the evocative imagery in this whodunit will engage most readers. Not one of the best books I’ve ever read, but would definitely suggest it and it’s a great summer read!
**Warning: This book contains mature themes and profanity. Suggested for readers in high school and up.**