The Unvisibles - Ian Whybrow

Oliver Gasper and Nicky Chew are complete opposites. Oliver is loud and obnoxious, the class clown, constantly making jokes and "mucking around." Nicky, on the other hand, does his absolute best not to draw any attention to himself. He's quiet in class, doing well enough in his classes to succeed but not so well that he stands out. They're next-door neighbors, but they really have nothing to do with each other. The Gaspers are an argumentative bunch and are constantly shouting at each other; Nicky and his mother are quiet and contemplative. But all this changes when Oliver discovers a formula that turns him invisible and he's unable to change back. He asks Nicky for help and the two of them become "the Unvisibles."

I got the book from the rotating collection at the library, and it was a fun, quick read. It's also British, so some of the slang and vocabulary wasn't immediately familiar to me. I don't think it's something I'd read to Ridley at this point, partly because of the British-isms but also because some of the humor is quite rude. (Oliver, in the prologue, is riling up his class with a drawing of a Willybeast with an "incredibly rude weapon-system.") However, I did enjoy it myself.

The characters are pretty extreme types, from Oliver's dad to Reginald Pugh, the antiques dealer who frequently rips off the Gaspers. There's a side plot involving the Chews' neighbor, Mr Dudzinski, a very nice guy who takes a liking to Ms Chew. The book reminded me a little of some of Roald Dahl's books, with cartoony people and outlandish circumstances. But that's a good thing. I loved following this odd couple as they worked out how to make Oliver visible again, while also learning how to be friends.

Fed to jonathan's brain | February 10, 2010 | Comments (0)


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