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The Fire Thief [Paperback]

Terry Deary
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
List Price: CDN$ 7.99
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Book Description

April 18 2007 The Fire Thief (Book 1)
Now available in paperback, The Fire Thief hilariously reimagines the myth of Prometheus, the Greek demigod who stole fire from the gods and gave it to the human race. To escape the gods' revenge, Prometheus travels through time to Eden City in 1858. There, he befriends a young orphan, actor, and petty criminal named Jim. When Jim runs into trouble with the law, Prometheus is torn -- if he uses his powers to get his friend out of trouble, he will betray his hiding place to the gods. Terry Deary masterfully interweaves two plots, with action jumping at a whirlwind pace from Mount Olympus to the seedy taverns and elegant mansions of Victorian Eden City. Packed with puns, wisecracks, and sarcastic footnotes, The Fire Thief turns Greek mythology into a laughing matter.

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Product Description

From School Library Journal

Grade 4-6–In highly irreverent fashion, Deary retells the myth of Prometheus as a time-travel adventure. After enduring 200 years of punishment for stealing fire from the gods, Prometheus has managed to kill the Avenging Fury. Before he can escape, however, Zeus issues a challenge: find one true hero. Prometheus travels into the future, with the resurrected Fury in pursuit, and arrives in a murky factory town in 1858. He falls in with a pair of itinerant thieves: a young orphan and his Uncle Edward. They gain admittance to wealthy homes, and while Uncle Edward stages a theatrical performance in the downstairs parlor, Jim steals valuables upstairs. The story switches back and forth from ancient Greece to 1858 until the two narratives come together as related by young Jim, who aspires to become a writer. He interrupts the story with footnoted asides that are often funny, but that slow the pace and add to an already complicated plot. Deary crams his tale with wordplay, zany characters, and allusions: Eden City, Dickens (including quotes from A Tale of Two Cities), a pathetic match girl hovering at death's door, and a mayor named Wallace Tweed, among others. The characters fail to develop beyond stereotypes, and the plot twists unroll all too predictably.–Marilyn Taniguchi, Beverly Hills Public Library, CA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

Review

"A rollicking, cracking, time-travelling story." Julia Eccleshare "An action-packed tale, an intriguing blend of narrative tradition and anarchy which [readers] will devour with gusto!" Sunday Herald" --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Courtesy of Teens Read Too Aug. 27 2007
Format:Hardcover
I think kids between the ages of 4th to 8th grade would love this book. It is short and easy to read and the footnotes are hilarious.

It begins at the dawn of time with Prometheus, who is chained to a rock because he brought fire to humankind. Theus, for short, was a titan and Zeus, the king of the Gods, made sure that he never forgot what he did. Every morning while chained to the rock, a fury would come and tear out his liver. Of course by nightfall Theus would be alive again. Well, when we start the story, Hercules has arrived and helped Theus escape. Zeus discovers this and challenges Theus to find a hero among the humans. If he does he will be forgiven.

Theus sets out and crosses time to 1858 and lands in the murky city known as Eden City. Eden City is very Dickens-like. It is full of zany characters, poor people, rich fiends, and thrilling situations. There Theus meets Jim, an orphan, who has fallen in with a diabolical thief, Uncle Edward. He gets involved with their caper and within twenty-four hours all of the characters lives have changed for the better.

Terry Deary, while teaching about Greek mythology, has written a story that is exciting and funny -- which is a wonderful combination. This is the first of three books in THE FIRE THIEF series, and I need to go finish the second one. Go pick up a copy of THE FIRE THIEF. You won't be sorry.

Reviewed by: Marta Morrison
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Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  11 reviews
8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Courtesy of Teens Read Too July 3 2007
By TeensReadToo - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I think kids between the ages of 4th to 8th grade would love this book. It is short and easy to read and the footnotes are hilarious.

It begins at the dawn of time with Prometheus, who is chained to a rock because he brought fire to humankind. Theus, for short, was a titan and Zeus, the king of the Gods, made sure that he never forgot what he did. Every morning while chained to the rock, a fury would come and tear out his liver. Of course by nightfall Theus would be alive again. Well, when we start the story, Hercules has arrived and helped Theus escape. Zeus discovers this and challenges Theus to find a hero among the humans. If he does he will be forgiven.

Theus sets out and crosses time to 1858 and lands in the murky city known as Eden City. Eden City is very Dickens-like. It is full of zany characters, poor people, rich fiends, and thrilling situations. There Theus meets Jim, an orphan, who has fallen in with a diabolical thief, Uncle Edward. He gets involved with their caper and within twenty-four hours all of the characters lives have changed for the better.

Terry Deary, while teaching about Greek mythology, has written a story that is exciting and funny -- which is a wonderful combination. This is the first of three books in THE FIRE THIEF series, and I need to go finish the second one. Go pick up a copy of THE FIRE THIEF. You won't be sorry.

Reviewed by: Marta Morrison
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Delightful July 12 2008
By Zelda Clutchbucket - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I have a grandson who loves reading about the Greek gods. I picked this up for him and found myself reading it first. It was so enjoyable. Deary made you laugh while learning about mythology. I am off to order the other two in the series.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Fire Thief Feb. 12 2008
By Denine M. Benedetto - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The Fire Thief is about a half-god named Prometheus, who stole fire from the gods. His punishment was for him to get chained to a huge bolder and every morning a bird rips him up. One day Prometheus escapes and hides in Victorian Eden City, and befriends an orphan named Jim.

He is hiding from the most powerful God, Zeus. Zeus takes over a man's body named Mucklethrift. Prometheus and his "uncle" go to Mucklethrift's house and plan to do a magic show. While the magic show is being upheld, Prometheus goes and scavenges through Mucklethrift's house to find any valuables. Prometheus has many adventures such as this one and the huge bolder.

I recommend this for readers from 8 to 13 years of age. There are also 2 other books in the series. Check them out!

-Richard Goble
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly entertaining Oct. 15 2005
By Team LitPick - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This book begins with Prometheus (yes the Greek Titan) escaping his bonds of captivity. Then he flies two million years into the future (around 1858) trying to escape the fury of the gods. In this future he meets a boy and his uncle. Jim, the boy, is an orphan that Edward, the uncle, adopted. They are actors (and thieves) whom befriend Prometheus. Will Prometheus be able to escape the wrath of the gods? Will Jim and Edward be able to help him? Find out by reading Fire Thief.

I found this book highly entertaining. It had many, many funny parts in it. The footnotes at the bottom of the pages made it even more hilarious*. I also enjoyed how the two stories (Ancient Greece and Eden City 1858) were combined together. It was a fairly easy-to-read book and isn't very big, so I think you should take a few hours and read Fire Thief. Anyone who needs a good laugh should read this book.

*Things like this would be at the bottom of the pages, except that they would have something funny written on them.

[...]
4.0 out of 5 stars Action Packed Sept. 2 2013
By abc - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This book was fantasy, because the Greek gods did not exist. In the book, Prometheus went to Eden City to complete a task Zeus gave to him to earn his freedom. His task was to find one human hero. Meanwhile, the Avenger was hunting down Prometheus and followed him into the year 1795.
The main characters are Zeus, Prometheus, and the Avenger. The author was very clear on explaining all of the characters. My favorite character was definitely Zeus because he pretty much controlled everything.
Zeus was a powerful being in the story. He was the one who chained Prometheus to a rock and unleashed the Avenger on him. He was also the one who gave Prometheus a chance to prove himself. All in all, Zeus was on Prometheus' side.
The Avenger was an eagle-like creature, and loved to see people suffer. His job as a god was to take spirits to Hades and decide their punishment. He also had super hearing which was good for a hunter. The Avenger was definitely a bad guy.
Prometheus was the hero of the story, because he was the only god who cared enough about humans to give them fire. Prometheus was given Zeus' wings, allowing him to travel through time to complete the task.
I liked this book because it was action packed! The story sometimes gets a little bit confusing because, it goes from one place in one time period to another place at another time period. That said it is still a great book. I would recommend this book to those who enjoy adventure, action, and fantasy.
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