Summary and book reviews of Huge by James Fuerst

Huge by James Fuerst X
Huge by James Fuerst
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • Paperback:
    Jul 2009, 320 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Donna Chavez
Buy This Book

About this Book

Book Summary

Life hasn’t been easy for Eugene “Huge” Smalls. But it’s not all bad. Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett have taught Huge everything he needs to know about being a hard-boiled detective, and he’s just been hired to solve his first case. What he doesn’t realize is that his search for the truth will change everything for him.

Life hasn’t been easy for Eugene “Huge” Smalls.

Sure, his IQ is off the charts, but that doesn’t help much when you’re growing up in the 1980s in a dreary New Jersey town where your bad reputation precedes you, the public school system’s written you off as a lost cause, and even your own family seems out to get you. But it’s not all bad. Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett have taught Huge everything he needs to know about being a hard-boiled detective... and he’s just been hired to solve his first case.

What he doesn’t realize is that his search for the truth will change everything for him.

ONE

It was one of those lurid August days, all haze and steam, the sun hidden and stewing like a shameful lust. I dropped the kickstand, locked the Cruiser to the no parking sign, and wiped the glaze of sweat off my face and neck. Thrash was at my side (I'd doubled him along), and we shared a quiet look before heading in.

As we stepped through the glass front doors, the chill from the air-conditioning slapped me like I'd mouthed off. But that was good. It gave me a jolt, woke me up. There wasn't anyone at the front desk, so we hung a left and tiptoed down the pale gray corridor, sticking close to the wall. The Oakshade Retirement Home bragged about cleanliness in its brochures, and to back it up they made sure every inch of the place always reeked of rubbing alcohol and used rubber gloves. Some of the janitors said that if you stayed there long enough, the smell alone could make you sick, or even kill you. Not me, though. I loved that goddamn smell.

We slipped past a few cocked and ...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

Fuerst’s small-time detective and his whodunit mystery delivered me straight to readers' heaven... Huge's narrative voice swings seamlessly from snappy wiseguy cant to philosophical musings, pre-teen naïveté and savvy smarts without losing the essence of the boy's character... An unlikely combo of pulp PI-wit plus 19th Century transcendentalism contributes to Eugene's uber-unique charm.   (Reviewed by Donna Chavez).

Full Review (636 words).

This review is available to non-members for a limited time. For full access, become a member today.

Media Reviews

People Magazine
Fuerst's debut is a hugely entertaining novel... Juxtaposing Huge's preteen angst with his passion for detective work, Fuerst has created a winning protagonist (who needs to have his mouth washed out with soap).

Publishers Weekly
Fuerst demonstrates...skill at conveying a child's-eye view of the world that is full of nostalgia, humor, candor and emotions that all readers can relate to.

Kirkus Reviews
Credible and engaging, [with] a hero who assumes the most eye-catching characteristics of Holden Caulfield, Phillip Marlowe and Nick Twisp.

Booklist
Starred Review. Huge will occupy a, yes, huge place in readers' affections and memories.

Author Blurb Ron McLarty, author of The Memory of Running
A rocket ship of adolescence. I loved little Huge.

Author Blurb Keith Donohue, author of The Stolen Child
An evocative black comedy…Huge effortlessly lures you into his hardboiled imagination and completely dysfunctional life.

Reader Reviews

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Beyond the Book

BookBrowse chats with James Fuerst

BB: Is Eugene based upon anyone in particular?

JF: I hope no one is terribly disappointed by this, but Eugene "Huge" Smalls isn't based on anyone in particular nor is he a composite of characteristics drawn from real people (at least no real people I know or have known). He is, however, pretty explicitly cut from the cloth of fictional hard-boiled detectives such as Raymond Chandler's Philip Marlowe and Dashiell Hammett's Sam Spade, among others, and he's also a kid, a somewhat precocious, almost-thirteen-year-old kid who has problems, a foul mouth, has experienced his share of difficulties and is trying to figure out not only who vandalized the sign at his grandmother's retirement home, but also...

This "beyond the book" feature is available to non-members for a limited time. Join today for full access.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Readalikes

Readalikes Full readalike results are for members only

If you liked Huge, try these:

Non-members are limited to two results. Become a member
Search Readalikes again
How we choose readalikes
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Pianist from Syria
    The Pianist from Syria
    by Aeham Ahmad
    Ahmad and his PianoAeham Ahmad became famous as the face of Syrian suffering when a photo of him playing piano in the ...
  • Book Jacket: The Smiling Man
    The Smiling Man
    by Joseph Knox
    Joseph Knox's latest turns on a simple premise: an unidentified and unidentifiable murdered man is ...
  • Book Jacket: The Heavens
    The Heavens
    by Sandra Newman
    I've been a big fan of Sandra Newman's writing ever since reading her 2014 novel The Country of Ice ...
  • Book Jacket: Sugar Run
    Sugar Run
    by Mesha Maren
    Mesha Maren's debut novel is a plunge into the depths of the dark Southern gothic with pulsing and ...

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    A People's History of Heaven
    by Mathangi Subramanian

    A story of love and friendship, and fighting for the places we love.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    The Last Year of the War
    by Susan Meissner

    A little-known story of WWII with great resonance for our times.
    Reader Reviews

Book Club
Book Jacket
Girls Burn Brighter
by Shobha Rao

An extraordinary and heart-rending tale of two girls with all the odds against them.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Book Club Giveaway!
Win The Summer Country

Win up to 12 copies to share with friends or your book club!

A sweeping epic of lost love, lies, jealousy, and rebellion set in colonial Barbados.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

D T T! Full S A!

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.