133 of 140 people found the following review helpful
on 7 December 2009
Mr Walliams has achieved quite a feat with this book - aimed at children, it is quite child friendly and easy enough for my five year old to understand when read to her, and if taken at face value is quite an entertaining story. What makes the book special though is that there is some quite serious morality involved in the way he puts across issues of predjudice, misconceptions and sterotypes in a way that children can understand, and hopefuly learn from. For example, Mr Stinks posh accent is quite surprising to be found coming from a tramp, but does that expose my adult predjudice and preconceived ideas that tramps will all have a voice ravaged by substance abuse - my five year old daughter thinks not and accepted that Mr Stink has a history behind him which is where he gets his voice from. Guided by Walliams' very clever story telling, children are led to see people as individuals and not just stereotyped generalisations. Very commendable, educational and done in an entertaining way.
Mr Walliams, I don't understand most of the humour you put into Little Britain, but this book is excellent on many levels and if the sketch show ever dries up, I sincerely hope you develop as a children's writer and the very best of luck to you. The Little Britain in which we live needs a new Roald Dahl.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Dear David Walliams,
I have just read your new book "Mr Stink" and I wanted to tell you that I liked it just as much as your first book "The Boy in the Dress"
You seem able to get into the minds of children and know what they are thinking and how they see the world around them especially the ambiguous world that grown ups inhabit. Is this possibly because you are not quite a grown up yourself?
I have read many books especially all the ones by Roald Dahl who is another writer who is able to understand the world that children inhabit. I think, one day if you go one writing like this you may well be as good as him.
In Mr Stink you have chosen to tell a story about somebody most of us would cross the road to avoid instead you have not only made him the central character in your book you give him a wonderful story to show us, the readers, how through misfortune and circumstances any of us could become the kind of person others wish to avoid.
But this is not a sad story. It is a story full of hope and understanding as Mr Stink is able to change the lives of those he does eventually come in contact with through Chloe, who in a very clever turn of literary fun, is, in fact, you, as she is the one who is writing the story of Mr Stink for us, and her family especially her bossy politically driven mother and her impossibly good-at-everything younger sister
I can only wish that there were more stories like this not just for children but for anyone to read, it is a long time since I was a child myself!
I so enjoyed Mr Stink that I want everybody I know to read the book and I feel very proud to be able to write this letter to you that, hopefully, will be published in the Amazon page for your splendid new book
p.s. I really liked the pictures by Mr Quentin Blake who seems, through his illustrations, to really get what your book is about
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 20 February 2012
I am a trainee primary school teacher and recently purchased the complete set of books by David Walliams as I had heard the continuous good reviews and was even recommended by some students in my class. Like most people on here, I too thought that it was more David Walliams name put to the book that resulted in the quick success... how wrong I was!
Just finished reading Mr Stink and like all the students in my class, I was hooked from the beginning. The idea of the story is brilliant and David Walliams clevery leaves little hints throughout the story which all come together at the end in a surprise twist. The humour is witty and clever throughout, with roars of laughter from the whole class. I can't wait to read the rest... neither can my class!!!
A must have collection, suitable for all.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 15 December 2011
Mr Stink is a tramp who has a dog called Duchess. Chloe Crumb is a twelve year old girl and questions rush through her head all the time about Mr Stink. She can't help wanting to talk to him but there are a lot of reasons why she shouldn't.
1. She shouldn't talk to strangers.
2. If she gets too close to him her eyes will water with the smell.
Lots of other reasons too. Chloe has an extremely annoying little sister who is always 'Miss Perfect'. Mr Stink doesn't like being called a tramp, he prefers vagabond or wanderer. He is very fond of sausages. Chloe adores stories and that's the reason why she wants to speak to Mr Stink, she thinks that he might have an interesting story to tell. Her mother is very posh and keeps thinking that she shall become Prime Minister one day. They even have a cat called Elizabeth named after the Queen! Chloe does get bullied at School by a girl called Rosamond and her friends.
I loved this book and it made me laugh countless times. It made me feel like I was there watching it all happen. When something sad happened to someone, I imagined that I was that character. I liked the illustrations too and I liked the way David Walliams put lots of detail into stuff. I have read this book twice and I enjoyed it both times.
I liked this in my own opinion and it is one of my favourites. I would recommend this book to over 7 year olds. Please enjoy reading this book if you get it and don't blame me if the book stinks!
32 of 38 people found the following review helpful
I thoroughly enjoyed this book, I actually read it twice even as an adult and found it very funny! I am a bit of a David Walliams fan and was excited to try his literature and it's enchanting, hilarious, a fantastic story and it certainly didn't 'Stink'!
The pictures illustrate it perfectly, you really do fell that Mr Stink and the other characters are real, Quentin Blake adds a Roald Dahl type feel to it and along with those classics, I do feel this will be loved for years to come, it is wickedly funny, I loved it, my son loved it and it's amusing enough to appeal actually to all ages though aimed for around 8-13 I'd imagine.
Lovely read, I read it in a couple of hours and was geuinely impressed how much I enjoyed this childrens book!
on 29 May 2012
I read this book (or almost all of it) to my five-year-old son who absolutely loved it. If he hadn't, then I would have finished it off for my own reading pleasure anyway. The story is surprisingly heart-warming and tells the tale of a tramp who heals a dysfunctional family. Sounds pretty trite, but Walliams pulls it off.
Walliams was on the telly recently talking about how much he loves the books of Roald Dahl. The influence is clear. He writes with a sense of irreverent fun that delights in being rude, cocking a snoop at grown-ups who are stuck in their ways, much to the delight of children, and horror of some adults... which is why I didn't quite read it all as I did edit out a few sentences where one of the characters tells another to `stick something up their ...' Well, I'm sure you can finish that sentence. Guess that makes me one of the boring old adults, because I wasn't quite ready for my son to repeat that language at 5yo. He'll be coming up with far worse in the playground within a couple of years, but not just yet.
The reason I didn't give the book full marks was the editing. In addition to grammatical errors, which didn't really affect the fun of reading aloud, there were, I think, three sentences that were just plain wrong. That was really annoying. I was reading aloud, doing silly character voices, in full swing... and... BANG! I hit a sentence with typos that hadn't been edited properly and I crashed and burned.
I read the Kindle edition. Don't know whether that was significant. There was a stink last year about a book by Neal Stephenson that had errors in the Kindle edition but okay in the paperback. Perhaps this book is the same. The paperback might be okay. Still, that was very annoying -- especially as the eBook costs more than the paperback -- but we still enjoyed the story, which is the main thing.
I should point out that this is a children's book, aimed squarely at children. However, children's book be blowed. I'm 51 years young and thoroughly enjoyed it.
I disagree with some other reviews which say that the book is long for a children's book. Yes it is around 275 pages but the writing is quite large so there are not too many words to a page. I read it through in one morning. However, the chapters are short so for younger people with a slightly lower attention span, it is easy to read in several sesssions.
It is quite a silly story about a girl befriending a smelly tramp (nicknamed Mr Stink by the local people). I say silly in the best possible sense i.e. it makes me laugh. Although there are plenty of plot holes, they don't really matter as they add to the silliness and humour of the story. One of my favourite bits is the timetable for Chloe's sister's extra-curricular activitys which gets longer and more outlandish as the week goes on.
I loved the illustrations by the great Quentin Blake. It helps to put the reader in mind of Roald Dahl and indeed some of the characterisation could have been out of the Dahl canon. I also loved the ending but I won't give it away here.
Although the main child character is a girl, which may put some boys off at first (not being sexist, just writing from experience), I'm sure that this book will be enjoyed equally by boys and girls.
38 of 46 people found the following review helpful
David Walliams will already be well known to you
as a co-creator of 'Little Britain', cross-channel
swimmer and invererate London socialite.
That he has also extended his not inconsiderable talents
into the world of childrens' fiction is to be applauded.
His first book 'The Boy In A Dress' was a hoot and his
newest venture 'Mr Stink' is a worthy second outing.
Mr Walliam's seems to have a good understanding about
the importance of keeping a healthy balance between the
thoughts and deeds of both goodies and baddies in his narrative.
Like the inestimable Roald Dahl before him he knows what
makes a worthy hero/heroine and the value of the grotesque.
Poor Chloe doesn't have the strongest sense of self-worth
on the planet and this is hardly surprising given her
diabolical mother, ghastly little sister Annabelle and
somewhat spineless but harmless father.
That she has survived them at all is a minor miracle.
Her friendship with an especially smelly but urbane tramp
called Mr Stink highlights the importance of honest inner
values over judgements made on the basis of outer appearance.
Mr Stink has a painful story to tell and Mr Walliams leads us slowly to the
stark truth with considerable pathos, sensitivity and ribald good humour.
Along the way there are some fine set-pieces; not least
of all Mr Stink's hillarious appearance on 'Question Time'
and a cringe-inducing audience with a callous, insensitive
and hypocritical Prime Minister.
There are "bottom" jokes in abundance for those who like that sort
of thing and even a brief reference to Mr Walliams' iconic
"lemon drizzle cake" to knowingly nudge and tease us.
A stonkingly good story with a strong moral foundation, cunningly
illustrated, as ever, by the peerless and stupendous Quentin Blake.
The second novel by Little Britain's David Walliams concerns a tramp befriended by twelve-year-old Chloe Crumb (pronounced Croome, according to her mother) who moves into the shed at the bottom of her garden, unbeknown to her parents and spoilt brat of a sister. 'Mr Stink' isn't so much a book about the adventures of either Chloe or the tramp, more a moralistic tale of what we should hold dear to us.
Mrs Crumb is a pastiche of Hyacinth Bucket in 'Keeping up Appearances' trying to live far above her station, whilst Mr Crumb is her put upon husband too scared to inform his wife he has lost his job. Annabelle, her younger sister, can do no wrong and is no doubt destined to grow up to be a 'proper little madam'. Fortunately, after telling how he became a vagrant, Mr Stink himself ensures the family discovers what is and is not important in the whole scheme of things.
There are some passages here that certainly made me smile, but Walliams' seemingly infatuation with bottoms and bodily functions does get tiring after a while. Then again, the market at which this book is aimed will no doubt find it all highly amusing. 'Mr Stink' is an easy read and will certainly find its way into a multitude of school libraries, though the ending may cause a tear or two.
on 17 July 2013
After reading and enjoying The Boy in the Dress I was really looking forward to reading Mr Stink. I got caught up in the story really quickly, and finished the book in one sitting.
The story is one big moral story about appearances being deceptive and how important it is to look more deeply at people rather than just accepting them at face value and making judgements about them. It never feels preachy or like a moral story though, this is all cleverly woven into the story. I loved the way that over the course of around 270 pages all of the key characters go on a real journey, with the exception of Raj (who should never change), they all end the book very differently to how they start it.
Chloe is a lovely main character, there were parts of her that really reminded me of me when I was 12. I loved her creativity and her focus on doing the right thing even when it was hard for her to do so. Mr Stink is a great creation though at times some of the descriptions of him or the things he did were a little on the gross side for me – I’m sure young readers will absolutely adore him. I was so pleased to see Raj featured in this book as well as The Boy in the Dress, I’m looking forward to seeing whether he appears in Walliams’ other books.