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Milrose Munce and the Den of Professional Help [Hardcover]

Douglas Anthony Cooper
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

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Book Description

May 22 2007
No one except Milrose Munce knows that ghosts of former students live in his school. Not only is Milrose aware of these ghouls – he’s on a first-name basis with all of them. Of course, some are more likeable than others: the third floor is the home to nearly all of his good friends. Most of them – like Imploded Ig, Deeply Damaged Dave, and Toasted Theresa – were the victims of science experiments gone wrong though they do manage to maintain a sense of humour about their demise. Then there are the ghost athletes who lurk in the basement – a pretty disagreeable group, the majority of them having died after a particularly clumsy manoeuvre on the school’s sports field.

After Milrose is given yet another detention for offering his teacher an answer that was just a bit too clever, his life takes an unexpected turn. He is sent to a hidden den in the school’s basement to receive Professional Help. Here, he and the quick-witted Arabella, a fellow captive, are put under round-the-clock supervision of the maniacal Massimo Natica. Fortunately for Milrose and Arabella, once they join forces with their ghostly friends, Massimo Natica doesn’t stand a chance.

In the tradition of Edward Gorey and Roald Dahl, the dark comedy and imaginative brilliance of Milrose Munce and the Den of Professional Help will appeal to adults as much as it will to younger readers.

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“Funny in a twisted way. . . . Engaging.” -The Magazine

“Magnificent. . . . Rapid-fire repartee, puns, and wordplay grace almost every page. . . . Anyone who reads [Milrose Munce] is guaranteed to laugh out loud.” - Books in Canada

“Absolutely flawless. A cunningly subversive young-adult novel from one of the only living writers of English who knows how to craft a sentence.” - Joseph Suglia, author of Watch Out

From the Trade Paperback edition.

About the Author

Douglas Anthony Cooper is the author of two critically acclaimed novels for adults, Delirium and Amnesia. An author, playwright, photographer, web designer, and artist, his writing and photography have appeared in New York Magazine, Wired, Rolling Stone, The New York Times, and The Village Voice. He has won several national awards in the US and in Canada for his feature-length articles.

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars This is THAT Douglas Cooper? Amazing! June 26 2007
How odd: I know Cooper's work from the Manhattan art/lit scene, and it is not precisely -populist-, to say the least! He has written two of the weirdest novels I've ever read - if deeply affecting - and his artwork is as bizarre as I've encountered; it's also extremely impressive, but hardly for children - he's famous for experimental media and post-narrative literary collaboration. All this to say: I expected this book, which I ordered based on his other reputation, to be either very very odd, or a complete sell-out. I'm happy to say that it is very very odd, but in a completely different way from his "adult" work, and in -no- way a sell-out (silly term to begin with - we're not dealing with alternative rock here).

Brilliant is brilliant, and it shouldn't be surprising that Cooper can do extraordinary things with the young adult novel. When you think about it, many of the greatest avant-gardists, from Miro to Louise Bourgeois, have experimented with work directed at children. Also, this is hardly the first hilarious project Cooper has engaged in, even if his other hilarity is a bit more in the line of Duchamp than Gorey. I'm amazed to find myself saying this, but I love this supposedly YA novel as much as any of his "serious" work.
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5.0 out of 5 stars FUNNY FUNNY FUNNY giggle June 15 2007
Right so I read this book and laughed my b%^@ off. This could be the most FUNNY thing Ive ever read plus I learned a lot of new words which I sort of started using. and now everyones going to call me Big Word Girl but it was still a TON of fun to read. I really like the the ghosts the one Deeply Damaged Dave is really the most funny thing I have ever read about. they all died in the weirdist ways one of them fell in to a bowl of acid and all of her skin fell off. I useally don't like books that are this GROSS but this made being gross a ton of fun and I liked it. Youll GIGGLE I swear i gave it to my bffl to read and now we have all these really cool jokes with eachother about it. really cool.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
This bookseems to fall into an interesting new genre; I cannot really understand the need to compare it (and everything these days) to Harry Potter. Far more exciting to my mind are His Dark Materials, by PHilip Pullman, and Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, a masterpiece by Susanna CLark. We live in a new golden age of young adult fiction, and it is NOT defined by J.K.Rowling. Cooper is very much part of this new breed, even if he has decided to take a much more lighthearted approach to the supernatural: these are books meant to be a contribution to literature, not simply entertainment. (TO be honest, Cooper and CLark ARE entertaining - moreso than Pullman - but that's not the point.) I did not particularly like Douglas Cooper's last book, Delirium, and I 'm happy to say that he seems to have found his medium here -he's not necessarily a YA writer, but he's a comic writer at heart. I'm excited that serious novelists are branching out into less expe4rimental but, let's face it - more difficult territory. It's harder to write an excellent comic novel than it is a postmodern folly -even if this is heresy to say.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Milrose Munce and the Den of Professional Help has a common enough premise for a young adult novel: the protagonist is an intelligent young person who is "different" from his classmates in an unusual way; over the course of the novel, his special abilities allow him to overcome a difficult challenge, affirming his appreciation for his uniqueness, bolstering his social status, and winning the favors of a girl.

But this is not a common novel. The language is clever, humorously sarcastic, witty, and even poetic, making it a stimulating read for the intelligent young person or adult who wants to be entertained without being talked down to. The characters are irreverent, vividly sketched, and truly seem alive--no small feat given that most of the book's characters are ghosts and definitely not alive in any way. The story ultimately has a strong and positive message without approaching the saccharine moralism too common in mainstream children's (and adult's for that matter) books and Hollywood movies.

Adult readers of Cooper's earlier novels, Amnesia and Delirium, will not be disappointed. In addition to being a charming children's book, Milrose Munce and the Den of Professional Help makes use of some cleverly provocative architectural conceits. I can't say any more about that without spoiling the plot--so read it for yourself!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book... July 23 2007
Eh, I don't buy much other than graphic novels these days. Not because I'm illiterate, but because they're just BETTER, for the most part. I was pressured to buy Milrose Munce, because a friend of mine - brilliant cartoonist - is in love with the cover. So I bought it, and read it, and... Damn. The novel's EXCELLENT, it's hilarious. (So's the cover, btw - this SHOULD be a graphic novel.) If you haven't heard about it yet, it's an ridiculously wacky Young Adult novel - more like a spoof of YA, for kids who are too self-consciously ironic to read the really sappy stuff. It has THE weirdest love story I've ever encountered (and I've seen some strange ones). Buy it. And frame the cover. Do it now.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars EXTREMELY UNBORING July 7 2007
If you're bored of reading what everybody else is reading then you're
going to be a happy girl when you pick this book up. It's the most
unboring thing I've read this year, actually that's an insult, it's
GUT RIOT HILARIOUS and actually really smart. Thisis the kind of book
Emily the Strange would write if she wrote books, or she'd at least
want someone to write this book about her. Actually there are a lot
of characters which remind me of Emily the Strange, so if you like
that whole thing, or love it like I do you should definitely
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Really cool book!
This is awesome, Im a guy in grade 6 and I really really like it. This is the best book I have read in a few years it is very funny. Read more
Published on Oct. 6 2007 by Zach Montague
5.0 out of 5 stars buy it for your kid but read it yourself
unless your kid's a mensa candidate they won't get half the jokes in this but that's okay because the ones they will get are hilarious. Read more
Published on Sept. 2 2007 by reader reader reader
5.0 out of 5 stars The New Lemony Snicket
Pretty odd that this book has become a cult classic in less than a month. I don't know many people who *haven't* read it! Read more
Published on July 7 2007 by L. O. Ratliff
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant and lovely
This book is fantastic. I heard someone comparing it to Harry Potter the other day, but I think it has more of an Edward Gorey/Roald Dahl dementedness about it. Read more
Published on June 26 2007 by Emily Mandel
5.0 out of 5 stars UTTERLY hilarious!
Can't remember laughing like this at something scary since seeing Beetlejuice. Wicked funny. I'm an Old Young Adult by the way.
Published on June 26 2007 by Penny Broadsworth
5.0 out of 5 stars The best kind of ghost
I do like that this writer seems to have learned more from Edward Gorey than from all of the B ghosty films out there. Ghosts are _funny_. Especially really horrible ghosts. Read more
Published on June 16 2007 by Gorey Fan
2.0 out of 5 stars Amnesia was memorable, this one you'll want to forget.
I wanted to love this book. I had been waiting for it for soooo long...
Alas, I am sad to report that it did not quite meet my expectations. Read more
Published on June 15 2007 by Valentin Lacombe
5.0 out of 5 stars Milrose Munce Did Not Leave Me Where He Found Me
When I started reading Milrose Munce and the Den of Professional help I was a glum dejected girl. A very dejected girl. Read more
Published on May 29 2007 by Isbel Boissevain
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