Tales of the Madman Underground (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

Absolutely devoured this. Hard to stop reading a book when the voice is this good and the characters are so bizarre that they're almost normal. Like King Dork in the 70s, except maybe a little weirder. Lovable and gross. Definitely only for older teens and up. (Stephanie)

— From Stephanie


"The Catcher in the Rye meets On the Road"*-The Printz Honor book is a classic in the making!

September 1973: The beginning of Karl Shoemaker's senior year in stifling Lightsburg, Ohio. For years, Karl's been part of "the Madman Underground"- kids forced to attend group therapy during school. Karl has decided that he is going to get out of the Madman Underground for good. He is going to act-and be-Normal. But Normal, of course, is relative. Karl has two after-school jobs, one dead father, one seriously unhinged drunk mother . . . and a huge attitude. Welcome to a gritty, uncensored rollercoaster ride, narrated by the singular Karl Shoemaker.

*The Horn Book

About the Author

This is the acclaimed novelist John Barnes's first book for teenagers.

Praise For…

"Rarely will you read something so lovingly vulgar, so fiercely warmhearted, and so exuberantly expansive . . . the culmination comes off like a teenage One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest." -Booklist, starred review

"His narration is so easy and engaging, so sweet and funny, so astonishingly truthful that teens will rip through these 500-plus pages and want more." -School Library Journal, starred review

"Darkly comic . . . as troubled, relevant, relatable and hilarious as J.D. Salinger." -Los Angeles Times

Product Details
ISBN: 9780142417027
ISBN-10: 0142417025
Publisher: Speak
Publication Date: January 6th, 2011
Pages: 544
Language: English