Thursday 6 April 2023

Our Man Weston - Gordon Korman - aka Not This Time

Our Man Weston
Gordon Korman
ISBN 9780590403528
aka Not This Time
ISBN 1552682285

Our Man Weston - Gordon Korman

I absolutely love reading Gordon Korman books, either by myself or with one or more of my children. This story was originally published in 1982 by Scholastic Canada. I am certain I read it back then, or it was read in class because much of the story was familiar. I also found out it briefly published as ‘Not This Time’ It has since been through a few reprinting’s. But is currently one of a few Korman books listed as out-of-print. And this one has never had an eBook edition.

I have stated in reviews of several of Korman’s books over the last few months: mid last year, in the summer of 2022, Korman published his 100th book. Yes you read that correctly, his hundredth book. My introduction to Korman’s works, that I have track of was the 39 Clues back in 2009. Since then I have read almost 30 of his books. With each one I read I am entertained and often challenged. My son often reads these books to me or with me. I picked up this to read next because someone commented on a review because it was the oldest stand-alone story I had not read yet. And it was Korman’s second only stand-alone story. After reading it I outlined it to my son and it is now on the top of his to be read pile. At my current pace of about a book a week. In a year and a half I should be caught up.

There are a few different descriptions of this book that I have seen, two from the back cover of different editions, and one from Korman’s own site. They are:

First Edition:

“This time Sidney has really gone too far, Tom fumes. How could his twin brother suspect meek Mr. Kitzel of plotting against the air base next door to the Pine Grove Resort Hotel? Then again, he recalls it was Sidney who tied the gas man up with a clothesline and told the police he’d captured Public Enemy Number One.

Tom determines to stop his brother’s exploits before they both lose their jobs, but the intrepid Sidney Weston isn’t about to be foiled so easily!”

Reprint Edition:

“A hotel guest who thinks she's a spy, canine criminals disguised' as pets, wastebaskets filled with suspicious trash....

It all adds up to trouble when the Weston twins are around!

Sidney and his twin brother Tom are bellboys for the summer at the Pine Grove Resort Hotel. It's not a bad job - except that Sidney seems to think the old place is the headquarters for an international spy ring. He's convinced that meek, soup-eating Mr. Kitzel is the ringleader, and he's doing everything he can to bust the whole operation open. Never mind that it might cost both twins their jobs!

Tom won't put up with his brother's spymania .... until some very strange things start going on. Suddenly, everyone at Pine Grove looks very suspicious. The only problem is - which one's the spy?”

Korman’s Site:

“Sydney Weston and his twin brother Tom are bellboys at the swanky Pine Grove Resort Hotel. It’s not a bad job – except that Sidney seems to think the whole place is the headquarters of an international spy ring.

Tom can’t stand his brother’s spy-mania … until some very strange things start happening. Suddenly, everyone at Pine Grove looks very suspicious. But who’s the spy?”

In some ways this reads like a variation on a theme. Like the MacDonald Hall Books or the Bugs Potter books it is a buddy story. One wild and reckless and one trying to temper the other. But in this one they are twin brothers. And the extreme between the wild and tamer one is greater in this story. I believe this volume came out the same year as the fourth MacDonal Hall book, at the time published as The War With Mr. Wizzle, and between the two Bugs Potter stories which were published in 1980, and 83. So there is definitely a similarity in style and feel, but this story is even more over the top than the others!

The interactions between the two brothers are masterfully written. The interactions between the guests are hilarious. The book is literally laugh out loud funny. Once I started reading this one I could hardly put it down. I especially loved the letters Sidney received from:

Office of the Prime Minister
Department of National Defence
The office of the President of the United States

Some directly and some that got passed on and a reply given. What a tale. This is another excellent story from Korman. It is out of print and harder to track down, at least at a reasonable price, but I guarantee it is well worth it. Or track it down through interlibrary loan. It will entertain the whole family. Another excellent read from Gordon Korman. 

Books by Gordon Korman:
MacDonald Hall Series:
The Wizzle War (1982)
         (formerly The War With Mr. Wizzle)
The Zucchini Warriors (1988)
Light’s Camera, Disaster (1991)
          (aka Macdonald Hall Goes Hollywood)
The Jokes on Us (1995)
          (formerly Something Fishy at Macdonald Hall)

Bugs Potter Series:

Jeremy Bloom Series:
The D−Poems of Jeremy Bloom (1992)
The Last-Place Sports Poems of Jeremy Bloom (1996)

Monday Night Football Series:
The Quarterback Exchange (1997)
Running Back Conversion (1997)
Super Bowl Switch (1997)
Heavy Artillery (1997)
Ultimate Scoring Machine (1998)
NFL Rules! Bloopers, Pranks, Upsets, and Touchdowns (1998)

Masterminds Series:
Masterminds (2015)

Slapshots Series:
The Stars From Mars (1999)
All-Mars All-Stars/The Dream Team (1999)
The Face-off Phony (2000)
Cup Crazy (2000)
Ouch I got slapped (2023)
4-in-1 Slapshots: The Complete Collection (2008)

Nose Pickers Series:
Nose Pickers from Outer Space! (1999)
Planet of the Nose Pickers (2000)
Your Mummy Is a Nose Picker (2000)
Invasion of the Nose Pickers (2001)
4-in-1 The Ultimate Nose-Picker Collection (2006)

Island Series:
Shipwreck (2001)
Survival (2001)
Escape (2001)
3-in-1 Island Trilogy Collection (2006)

Son of the Mob Series:
Son of the Mob 2: Hollywood Hustle (2004)

Everest Series:
The Contest (2002)
The Climb (2002)
The Summit (2002)
Everest Trilogy Box Set (2002)

Dive Series:
The Discovery (2003)
The Deep (2003)
The Danger (2003)

On the Run Series:
Now You See Them, Now You Don't (2005)
The Stowaway Solution (2005)
Public Enemies (2005)
Hunting the Hunter (2006)

Kidnapped Series:
The Search (2006)
The Rescue (2006)

Swindle Series:
Swindle (2008)
Zoobreak (2009)
Framed (2010)
Showoff (2012)
Hideout (2013)
Jackpot (2014)
Unleashed (2015)
Jingle (2016)

Titanic Series:
Unsinkable (2011)
Collision Course (2011)
S.O.S (2011)

The 39 Clues Series:
Vespers Rising (2011)
The Medusa Plot (2011)
Flashpoint (2014)

Hypnotists Series:
The Hypnotists (2013)
Memory Maze (2014)
The Dragonfly Effect (2015)

Ungifted Series:
Ungifted (2012)
Supergifted (2018)

Slacker Series:
Slacker (2016)
Level 13 (2019)

Non Series Books:
Radio 5th Grade (1989)
Losing Joe's Place (1990)
The Twinkie Squad (1992)
The Toilet Paper Tigers (1993)
Why Did the Underwear Cross the Road (1994)
The Chicken Doesn't Skate (1996)
No More Dead Dogs (2000)
Maxx Comedy: The Funniest Kid in America (2003)
Jake, Reinvented (2003)
Born To Rock (2006)
Schooled (2007)
Pop (2009)
Slacker (2016)
Restart (2017)
Notorious (2019)
War Stories (2020)
Game On (contains The Chicken Doesn’t Skate and The Toilet Paper Tigers (2021)
Unplugged (2021)
Linked (2021)
The Fort (2022)

Our Man Weston - Gordon Korman

our man Weston - Gordon Korman Alternate Cover

Not This Time - Gordon Korman - aka Our Man Weston

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