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The Underdog

The Underdog

Written by Markus Zusak

Narrated by Stig Wemyss


The Underdog

Written by Markus Zusak

Narrated by Stig Wemyss

ratings:
4/5 (5 ratings)
Length:
3 hours
Released:
Dec 1, 2011
ISBN:
9781455843565
Format:
Audiobook

Description

Boys are like dogs - ready to bite, bark and beg to be given a chance to show their value.

"I vowed that if I ever got a girl I would treat her right and never be bad or dirty to her or hurt her, ever."

Cameron Wolfe is a dirty boy. He knows it. His brother Rube knows it, because he's one too. they could change - but what would it take?

Released:
Dec 1, 2011
ISBN:
9781455843565
Format:
Audiobook


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4.0
5 ratings / 3 Reviews
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Reader reviews

  • (4/5)

    1 person found this helpful

    Before Zusak gained fame for writing the beloved novel The Book Thief, he wrote a trilogy of books about a young man named Cameron Wolfe: The Underdog, Fighting Ruben Wolfe, and Getting the Girl. This is his first book and the beginning of that trilogy. It tells the story of the Wolfe brothers from Cameron’s point-of-view. He and his older brother Reuben live in Australia and spend their time getting in trouble and annoying their family members. The novel feels immature in some ways. The style flips back and forth between bits that are stream-of-consciousness, dreams, reflections on the action as it happens, etc. But regardless of that, you can still recognize Zusak’s style even in this early work. He has the ability to turn the simplest feelings into beautiful phrases and that is such a gift. Cameron is emotional, just like any teenage boy; his feelings are so raw and intense. Even if the plot of the book isn’t that surprising, it’s still a relatable coming of age story that I think rings true with teens. The work isn’t perfect. There isn’t too much of a story, but even in his earliest work you can see the gems of what’s to come. He’s such a talented authors and it’s incredible to watch how far he’s come in only a decade. BOTTOM LINE: It’s certainly not Zusak’s best work and it’s not the best place to start with him. But if you already love his writing then the completists out there will want to read it. “Had years defeated us? Had they worn us down? Had they passed like big white clouds, disintegrating very slowly so that we couldn’t notice?”

    1 person found this helpful

  • (5/5)
    Portions of this review were originally posted at LuxuryReading.com:As The Underdog begins, the Wolfe brothers are portrayed as wild, trouble making teenagers with a lot of imagination and very little motivation to succeed. Throughout the story the bond of brothers and best friends between Cameron, the younger brother by a year, and Ruben becomes clear as they fight, plan robberies, and generally cause trouble together. While the various plots the boys think up are entertaining, it is Cameron’s struggle to understand the relationships around him that are at the heart of the novel. A clear maturing process occurs as Cameron struggles to understand his role in the world around him.As Zusak's first novel, I would say it is a triumph of lyrical prose. I would warn readers, however, that the psychology involved in the story is widely more relatable to males than females.
  • (3/5)
    ”I don’t really know that this story has a whole lot of things happen in it. It doesn’t really. It’s just a record of how things were in my life last winter. I guess things happened, but nothing out of the ordinary.” p.11And that’s right.This is Markus Zusak’s first novel...and for that reason alone I wanted to read it. Ostensibly for young adults, this chronicle may be coined as a succinct, but subtle, peek into the mind of a growing boy, condensed within a very small chapter of his life - an honest, undisguised, barefaced glimpse into a customarily closed environment. How often do pre-pubescent boys open up with their innermost thoughts and feelings?Like Markus Zusak, Cameron Wolfe is the youngest of four siblings, who spends his time fooling around, playing football and fighting with his family, and dreaming "a whole lot of weird, sick, perverted, sometimes beautiful dreams." p.11There’s some intriguing scenarios concerning sadly funny instances of boyhood bravado - Miffy the poor put-upon Pomeranian for one - mixed with some poignant, close-to, coming-of-age moments; and some astonishing dreamscapes indeed.And that’s all.It may be somewhat autobiographical, in that the author could avail himself of his own childhood musings; but regardless it is a decent attempt to portray a young boy’s ideals amidst his contemplations and fears. It is by no means a staggering piece of literature but it is an interesting premise, the brevity ensuring it maintains the reader’s interest. The first of a trilogy it (most likely) serves as an adequate foundation for the other episodes to come in Cameron Wolfe’s life. And it shows glimpses of the brilliance this author eventually arrives at.In this small account: ..."I survived.Not much happened really.It was all pretty normal." p.11You be the judge of that.(Apr 16, 2011)