Paul got this and passed it on to me. The whole time he was reading it he kept saying that it was different than Rich’s other things, that it was very predictable. I see what he meant about predictable-simply that it was a familiar story–unpopular boy has wealthy manipulative boy take over his life and bring him untold popularity and power, but in exchange for doing whatever the other kid tells him to do. The whole time you know that it’s not going to end very well. But that said, it doesn’t matter that it’s a classic story, because so is a boy meets girl story! What was here was the Simon Rich humorous writing that I expected. Sure it’s not one page jokes or anecdotes, but the funny is still there. I especially enjoyed (and imagine he had fun with) how completely over the top wealthy the Allagashes were. Elliot is an 8th grader, but has his own personal dumbwaiter to receive drinks in. It was like a crazy world a kid might dream up for what the richest people in the world are like. And Elliot is indeed a clever mastermind. But, as you would expect, he’s kind of nutty and a bastard. This is a very quick read and I thought it was hilarious and had a satisfying ending.
(I think this is an adult book, or at least marketed that way, but it is definitely high in teen appeal.)