Read by David Krumholtz
Approx. 2 hrs.
Roscoe Wizzle used to be a normal ten-year-old kid. But that was before a sign reading COMING SOON! GUSSY'S! sprang up in a vacant lot. The sign showed a big picture of Gussy Gorilla eating a Jungle Drum—just about the biggest hamburger in the world.
Roscoe Wizzle, hamburger fan, was a normal kid all right…until he started turning into a bug. The Transmogrification of Roscoe Wizzle takes a hilarious and surreal look at just what can happen when you get too much of a good thing.
Roscoe Wizzle notices many things. For instance, the way really weird situations can seem really normal. Or how "you never really know what you're going to think or when you're going to think it." Or the fact that there are "at least five different kinds of minutes"--from the Rubber Band to the Firecracker to the Sleeping Beauty. But the one thing that Roscoe somehow doesn't notice is that he is transmogrifying into a giant bug. (Roscoe quickly recounts the possible reasons for this oversight, beginning with "1. I don't spend much time looking into a mirror. Why should I? I am only ten years old.")
What's worse is that this transformation might have something to do with the way kids have been disappearing from all over Roseville, including Charlie Bog and Judy Pongarongatong. And, however unlikely it may seem, there could be some connection with Gussy's--the place that serves Jungle Drum burgers alongside Jungle fries and Quicksand shakes.
Will Roscoe and his "certified genius" pal Kinchy suss out what's up before it's too late and Roscoe's become a bug for good? Sit back and let Roscoe tell the tale, and--in between hearing about Roscoe's dad the cymbal tester and why an almost 74-year-old secretary became a jujitsu black belt--you'll surely find out. David Elliott, all wry wit, seems to have had quite a good time with his debut novel. (Ages 7 to 10) --Paul Hughes ... Read more
Customer Reviews (8)
Excellent Childrens book
Gave as a gift to my niece and she read it all in one sitting...loved it and can't wait to read it again
It'll bug you
A fine fine article in the monthly publication "School Library Journal" was published less than a year ago discussing those children's books that publishers were amazed didn't get the critical and public attention they deserved.Amongst such titles was the fabulous and little known "Don't Pat the Wombat" by Elizabeth Honey, "Simon Says" by Elaine Marie Alphin, and "Kisses From Rosa" by Petra Mathers.These books were all fine fine reads and I eagerly was working my way through all the titles on the list when I came to "The Transmogrification of Roscoe Wizzle" by David Elliott.I wasn't familiar with Elliott's other works ("An Alphabet of Rotten Kids" anyone?) but I was willing to give this book a shot.And it's a fine read.A nice inoffensive middle-of-the-road read.I will say this much though... I'm surprised it was included in that "School Library Journal" article.For with all its charms and allures, "The Transmogrification of Roscoe Wizzle" probably does deserve to be a little forgotten.It's fine writing.Just not extraordinary stuff.
And everything was going so well for Roscoe Wizzle too.When a gigantic hamburger chain named Gussy's comes to town, Roscoe and everyone else is thrilled.Sure, the restaurant seems to have been built on that abandoned city lot where a lot of freaky things have been seen, but no one thinks to worry about it.Heck, with two lazy/distracted parents, Roscoe's just happy that he gets to eat at Gussy's as often as he does.Every day for dinner his parents slip him some cash and off he goes to have a Gussy burger and shake.But then one day it all starts to go horribly wrong.Roscoe doesn't notice at first, but with the words of a school chum he discovers that he's changing into a bug.He has buggy eyes and a bug-shaped face and some new bugish tendencies.With the help of his best friend Kinchy, Roscoe has to figure out what's doing this to him and whether or not it has anything to do with the mysterious kidnapping of children that's been going on for the last week or so.In discovering the answers to both these questions, Roscoe's about to find out more than he ever anticipated about the secret life of corporations.
The book has one thing really going for it.When Roscoe learns about the three kidnapped children that are missing, author Elliott gives the book a deliciously creepy turn.But it's difficult to keep such tension up and, in any case, there's not much of a book to maintain.Which is to say, it's sparse.Sparse and over before you can figure out what exactly you just read.There is no way to linger over "The Transmogrification of Roscoe Wizzle".For one thing, characters are hardly developed at all.Actually, we hear quite a lot about each important character.Unfortunately, what we hear is just the same thing over and over and over.Roscoe's friend Kinchy?She's smart.So smart, in fact, that I don't think she appears once in this story without Roscoe saying something along the lines of "She is a certified genius" or "since Kinchy is a certified genius".The same goes for Roscoe's mother (she was an orphan), his father (high strung), and Gussy secretary Agnes Bean (jujitsu expert).This is about as much as you ever find out about these people (over and over and over).There's also the fact that this book is chock full of the most ludicrous coincidences any author could dare to conjure up.Coincidence is the hobgoblin of little minds and I'm sad to say that David Elliott utilizes this writing style above and beyond anything I could forgive.I mean, how believable is it that Kichy would just happen to be the tutor to the secretary of the book's bad guy?
And how hard would it have been to include some oblique Kafka reference?I know I'm getting a little demanding here (reviewers aren't supposed to criticize reviews for what they failed to include, even if it WOULD be a good idea) but I'm not writing for a scholarly journal of some sort.I'm writing for Amazon.com and I'd just like to point out that it was just laziness on Elliott's part that there's not a single "Metamorphosis" reference with the sole exception of a moment in the book when Kinchy says the word and Roscoe defines it.Even the children's book "Gregor the Overlander" by Suzanne Collins (which includes gigantic cockroaches) thought to make some kind of an oblique tip of the hat.Elliott actually has a kid turning into another insect and he fails to do so.Either it's laziness, or he's just not familiar with Kafka.
So there's that.I think kids may really enjoy this book if they get into it.It's got a great premise.Just not much of any details, careful plotting, or great writing.I feel that an additional 100 pages could've taken this story from mediocre to entrancing.As it is, it's not all that great.For well written but forgotten children's books, check out the titles I mentioned earlier.It's just a pity that "The Transmogrification of Roscoe Wizzle" isn't really worth remembering.For a way to pass the time, check it out.For any other reasons, try something else.
I've bought this book for every mid-grade child I know, and it's become everyone's favorite book.A fabulous gift, and instant classic.
Silly and Shallow
The 2-star rating is for literary quality.
This is Roscoe's fluid, conversational, and entertaining account of the outcome of eating at a fast food restaurant built on contaminated property that could well be designated a superfund, toxic waste site.
Characterization vaguely mimics Roald Dahl's style but is otherwise very flat.Silly names.The plot has suspense but is spare in development. Marginal slapstick.
Reading Roscoe's tale is like watching a Bullwinkle cartoon.
The book's big merit is that it will be a magnet for recreational reading; especially 8 - 10 year old boys who are on the reluctant side as readers and have beginning experience with chapter books.It has a place on the classroom shelf.
Kids don't usually turn into bugs!
The Transmogrification of Roscoe Wizzle, by David Elliott is a great book.If you like exciting cliffhanger books, you will like this one.This book is written by the main character.The book is very exciting. The author writes that if you eat at a Burger restaurant for 6 months something bad will happen to you.In the sixth month, one day something does happen to Roscoe Wizzle.He turns into a bug during class because someone says the word "transmogrification". After a while, Roscoe and his friend go to Gussy's. Roscoe gets in a fight. I'm not going to tell you the rest of the story, so read the story. So if you like cliff-hanger stories call your mom up and ask her to start running!
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