mistakes were made
I'm a sucker for a flawed, unreliable narrator, love understated, deadpan humor, and believe self-delusion is an unavoidable fact of life that should be embraced by all good stories, so it would seem that Timmy Failure has a winning formula for me since it has all three of these in abundance. Unfortunately, the humor never quite connected with my funny bone. I think it had something to do with how obviously hard Pastis works to make sure readers notice Timmy's failings and feel superior in response; a bold, neon, flashing effort that overwhelmed any other aspect of the character, tale, or telling for me. I appreciate the effort and think there is a good-sized audience that will have a sense of humor that gels perfectly with the author, but I was merely mildly amused.
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The surname, Failure is a rather unfortunate one but it doesn't interfere with the success Timmy envisions having with his detective agency! When your business partner is a 1500 pound polar bear named Total and your transportation is a Segway and you have a business and marketing strategy how can you fail? Well, poor Timmy fails to see the obvious in every case; he imagines his arch-enemy detective, Corrina Corrina, is sabotaging his business and his attempts to ask for a $1200 business loan from his mom meet with, "Are you insane?" What is successful is the story's humour which is supported by some amusing cartoon drawings, superior vocabulary and an endorsement by humour-master, Jeff Kinney!
Meet Detective Failure. No, not really. Instead, meet Timmy Failure, just a normal kid with dreams so big they make Walter Mitty’s fantasies look like idle fancies. Living with just his single mom and his sidekick Total (a 1,500 pound polar bear but that’s neither here nor there), Timmy spends his days solving crimes for the other kids in his class. He may not be very good at it but it’s a living. Timmy’s sure his talents will launch him into a future of fame an fortune. That is, if he can defeat his nemesis Corrina Corrina, get his mom to stop grounding him, deal with the loser she’s dating, and figure out how to keep Total out of a zoo. It’s a big job. Fortunately, Timmy has a more than hefty ego to handle it.
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“Emily Dickinson: Crusher of Things with Her Fist”
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Timmy Failure sneak peek
From the offbeat creator of Pearls Before Swine comes an endearingly bumbling hero in a caper whose peerless hilarity comes with a whodunit twist. With perfectly paced visual humor, Stephan Pastis gets you snorting with laughter, then slyly carries the joke a beat further—or sweetens it with an unexpected poignant moment—making this a comics-inspired story (the first in a new series) that truly stands apart from the pack.