Item description for The Big Kerplop!: The Original Adventure of the Mad Scientists' Club (Mad Scientist Club) by Charles Geer Bertrand R. Brinley...
The whine of jet engines thunders from above as the giant Air Force bomber makes its approach to Westport Field. Suddenly, the citizens of Mammoth Falls are startled to see the bomb bay doors open and an object drop down, down, directly into Strawberry lake. Splash!
And what is that object? Why a bomb, what else? Not just a common, ordinary, conventional bomb, but an atomic bomb! That's just the beginning of the latest (actually the first) madcap adventure - book-length this time - of that outrageous, notorious threat to municipal sanity known as The Mad Scientists' Club. As you know, with these boys anything can happen, and it does!
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.5" Width: 5.9" Height: 1.1" Weight: 0.95 lbs.
Publisher Purple House Press
ISBN 1930900228 ISBN13 9781930900226
Reviews - What do customers think about The Big Kerplop!: The Original Adventure of the Mad Scientists' Club (Mad Scientist Club)?
Good Fun! Great Memories! Jun 13, 2008
I fell in love with the original "Mad Scientists' Club" when I was a boy. To be able to read this little known "prequel" is great! The story is fun and surprisingly plausible for the most part. The writing is a little choppy at times (which may reveal some editing the author didn't have a part in) but nothing that detracts from enjoying the story. This tale brings me back to when I was a child and life was a lot more innocent and fun! Enjoy this book as a family!
Good but not the best adventure of the Mad Scientists' Club Mar 9, 2008
I enjoyed the Mad Scientists' Club since the 4th grade. When I found them on this site I started to read them again. This is a good story with a few problems I see. It is interesting but the first 2 MSC book's story are better. I will explain without giving the story details away.
I know it is written for a "young adult," but the details of how the club is formed are not very memorable. Instead, it is the problem that causes them to form that is huge. But I still wanted more background information. Secondly, I want to no why no other mad scientist other than Henry can think of a plan. Lastly, I don't think the format of one story, the entire book, instead of the usual many short stories, suits the Mad Scientists. There were times when the story didn't flow well.
Now the good: This is a great book for kids (and adults alike). If you have any interest in the Mad Scientist you are going to want to know how they got started. (Although I'm not sure how such a grand adventure ties into the other books.) But what makes these Mad Scientists' books stand out is how they go about solving real world problems. And this book being such a grand adventure, it is what makes you keep reading the book to find out how they solve the problem. And I could see this intriguing the minds of young readers.
So where is Mammoth Falls located? This story gives some clues such as the leaves changing, within 2 hours for Aberdeen base, and some other clues. So even though Mammoth Falls is supposed to be factitious we get some details of where is the US it is located.
The book is easy to follow and well worth the read. It will be enjoyed by younger readers. And although it is not the best Mad Scientists' book, it is good. Get it to complete your Mad Scientists' collection.
Quality Boy's Literature Nov 3, 2006
The Mad Scientists Club series of stories is great for sixth through high school. It uses humor, pranks, and imagination to portray developing minds, and interests them in science, and good works through a knowledge of science and scouting.
Stick with the First Two Books Oct 12, 2006
I searched for this book for years. I loved and still love both the original and The New Adventures of the Mad Scientists' Club, and so I scoured bookstores to try to find this elusive prequel (only a thousand copies printed in 1974). Then came this reprint, and I ordered it and was promptly disappointed.
There's only three chapters that have anything like the earlier works - the boys out in a boat on a lake at night, evading the police in a search boat. Good stuff. But the rest of the novel is all about the town councilors and police chief and reporters and Air Force officers. They just go on and on about nothing, so that you start flipping ahead to get back to the boys.
If you were to cut all that out, you'd get a story the length of one of the originals, but even then this story doesn't work because the boys don't actually have much of a hand in the outcome of the story. And it bogs down, as when, at the end, the general goes off to oversee the diving, and the boys are taken to a hotel restaurant by a reporter. We're then given two full pages describing the hotel, and then another page of talking about food, and finally they get back to the fact that they need a way to get to the lake. Even then, when they get there, everything goes basically well, and they get celebrated, so that there's no surprises or action or interesting climax at all.
In short, as much as I'd love to praise this book, you might find it best to stick with the originals.
The Mad Scientists Begin! May 22, 2006
If you loved Bertrand R. Brinley's two collections of stories: The Mad Scientists' Club and The New Adventures of the Mad Scientists' Club or the final novel The Big Chunk of Ice: The Last Known Adventure of the Mad Scientists' Club, then you'll also love "The Big Kerplop!" The boys return in the first novel-length adventure of the Mad Scientists of Mammoth Falls, which is in fact a prequel that explains how the club was formed and how founding member Harmon Muldoon got expelled, becoming their nemesis in the short stories.
Jeff Crocker, Charlie Finckledinck, and Harmon Muldoon are fishing in the fog on Strawberry Lake when an Air Force exercise goes wrong resulting in something rather large landing near the boys with a loud Kerplop! Thinking that the Air Force might like to have whatever it was back, the boys attempt to calculate their position using basic scientific principles. Their thinking turns out to be correct when the "something" is revealed to be a hydrogen bomb! However, when the Air Force fails to find the bomb where the boys calculated their position to be (or anywhere else for that matter), Jeff, Charlie, and Harmon take matters into their own hands, gathering together the future members of the Mad Scientists' Club both in order to prove that they were right and to find the missing hydrogen bomb. Hi-jinks ensue.
As a boy, I was terribly disappointed by "The Big Kerplop!" that I had waited six long years for because I had assumed based on the brief published descriptions of the upcoming book, originally titled "The Sunken Village", that we would finally see the restored midget submarine in action. Instead it turned out to be a prequel, and the midget submarine was never used. Rereading it now, I can better appreciate what turned out to be a very fine novel, a worthy companion to the previous books, that revealed a lot more about the characters than the short stories had disclosed. However, I can also more clearly see the chronological problems introduced by this prequel, specifically, the logic problem arising from making the boys such huge heroes at their club's founding that their subsequent anonymity and treatment like a bunch of normal kids makes no sense. In addition Harmon Muldoon is portrayed as such a total jerk that the reader is left wondering how Jeff and Charlie could stand him long enough to be friends with him at the beginning of the novel.
Note: the Purple House reprint of The Big Kerplop!: The Original Adventure of the Mad Scientists' Club is worth picking up even if you own the extremely rare first edition of The Big Kerplop; A Mad Scientists' Club Adventure because the text is based on the original manuscript, restoring a number of passages that had been cut for space reasons. It also includes an introduction written by Bertrand's son Sheridan. First time readers would be well advised to read this novel after reading the short stories in chronological order; for subsequent rereadings this novel can be placed first where it belongs chronologically.