Reviews - What do customers think about The New Adventures of the Mad Scientists' Club (Mad Scientist Club)?
A great classic Jul 21, 2008
One of my favorite books for the last 30 years. A wonderful set of stories about kids who use their brains to figure out problems and have adventures. Positive stories that are well written.
Great sequel, but different than original Sep 27, 2006
When I was growing up, I really enjoyed reading the 'Mad Scientists Club' and its influence may partly explain why I ended up in engineering research. Until recently I had forgotten all about it until I was looking at books by my favorite authors as a youth, such as Stephen Meader and Jim Kjelgaard. I came across the Brinley books and I decided to re-read the original and discovered much to my delight that there was a sequel of short stories and two additional full-length books by Brinley.
I read the sequel, 'The New Adventures of the Mad Scientists' Club'and I was both ecstatic and a little dismayed. The stories are uniquely excellent melding adventurous vignettes with some science. However, I noticed that the sequel showed some changes in personalities from the first book. I was a little surprised to see that in The Flying Sorcerer' Henry was both not fully truthful with Colonel March, but even after he was told how much personal trouble he was causing him, Henry proposed that the club continue with additional flights of the flying saucer. The readers had been told in 'The Cool Cavern' that Col. March had done them a big favor in helping them acquire the plexiglass nose from an old B-17 bomber for their midget sub. I guess it did not seem in character for them to treat their friends so shabbily. I know that the Mad Scientists are supposed to represent our rebellious American youth who do not respect authority, but I thought the stunt was taken a bit too far. Moreover, I was surprised when I read that Mortimer Dalrymple stole the rotor from Col. March's Air Force car, which is not only a dirty trick, but patently illegal. I am not sure if it was the length of time between Brinley's writing of his first story in 1960 to his last in 1968, but the characters in the sequel seem to not be as 'kind and gentle' as in the first book.
Regardless, I still really enjoyed reading the sequel and I plan on reading the two re-published full-length books.
The Mad Scientists Return! Mar 19, 2006
If you loved Bertrand R. Brinley's first collection of stories about The Mad Scientists of Mammoth Falls The Mad Scientists' Club or the two novels: The Big Kerplop!: The Original Adventure of the Mad Scientists' Club and The Big Chunk of Ice: The Last Known Adventure of the Mad Scientists' Club, then you'll also love "The New Adventures of The Mad Scientists' Club". The boys return in five new stories, again mixing simple yet sound science and a gently wicked sense of fun.
In "Big Chief Rainmaker", a story originally planned for inclusion in the first book, the boys make clever use of simple scientific principles to break a killer drought by making it rain. Unfortunately, making it STOP raining, turns out to be a good deal harder.
In "The Telltale Transmitter" while investigating a series of unexplained seismic anomalies, the boys make an unexpected discovery.
In "The Cool Cavern" the boys acquire a WWII-era midget two-man Japanese submarine and stash it in a cavern behind Mammoth Falls' namesake Mammoth Falls while restoring it to functioning. Then one night the cavern roof collapses, hopelessly trapping Harmon Muldoon's gang, who had come to spy on the submarine, behind tons of fallen rocks. Or are they?
In "The Flying Sorcerer" Dinky Poore is so obsessed about wanting to see a UFO that he quits showing up for club meetings, until his fellow club members promise to build him a UFO. Hi-jinks ensue.
In "The Great Confrontation" Harmon Muldoon's gang kidnaps Dinky Poore and Harmon's cousin, Freddy Muldoon, and offers to trade them for the submarine and the right to use the Cool Cavern. Boy, are they going to be sorry!
As a boy, while I enjoyed this book very much, I never liked it as well or reread it as often as the first one, and after rereading it as a man I think I know why. It isn't the writing, which if anything has improved; it is the story topics. If the first book could be re-titled "The Mad Scientists' Club Triumphant", this book could be re-titled "The Mad Scientists' Club Get Their Comeuppance". In "Big Chief Rainmaker" the boys go from heroes to goats, and in "The Cool Cavern" the boys get made utter fools of. "The Telltale Transmitter" turns out to be a fairly conventional crime-solving, and even the wackiest story of all, "The Flying Sorcerer", is essentially "The Strange Sea Monster of Strawberry Lake" redux, except with a less triumphal ending, and it isn't until "The Final Confrontation" that the boys finally get even with Harmon Muldoon's gang for the events of "The Cool Cavern". The result is a little more downbeat than I prefer. In addition I regret the lost story possibilities of the restored midget submarine, which Brinley never made use of.
Note: the Purple House reprint of The New Adventures of the Mad Scientists' Club is worth picking up even if you own an older edition because it includes an introduction written by Bertrand's son Sheridan and a chronological listing of the stories so you can read them in the order they were written (the order of the stories in the book was not changed). Reading them chronologically clears up some confusion over places, geographical references, and characters.
Worth waiting 30 years for Feb 7, 2006
The Mad Scientists solve a bank robbery, get outfoxed by Harmon Muldoon, save Mammoth Falls from a drought, invade the town with a UFO, then finally get even with Harmon and his gang in a satisfying and exciting sequel to The Mad Scientists' Club. Using classic technology and, of course, their noodles, the MSC romps through 5 short stories which are more complex than the originals, yet retain their smart and fun flavor. Henry thinks, Jeff leads, Mortimer snarks, Homer climbs, Charlie narrates, Harmon interferes, and Freddy and Dinky get kidnapped...twice! This book is great for boys AND girls 9-12 (and also for 42-year old women like me!) I'm so happy I found this book again after 30 years...it was worth the wait and then some!
Just where is Mammoth Falls? Oct 9, 2005
Not many books can capture your imagination like the Mad Scientists books. I read these back in the late 60s and still have my original copy. Its been reread dozens of times and by the way where is Mammoth Falls? The location was always elusive. References to Chicago, the Air Force Base nearby, and the description of Strawberry Lake was most unusual. I keep two copies of the republished books on my shelf. I rarely rate 5 stars but this one gets it because after 40 years its still one of my favorites.