I'd like to know the name of this book/short story/comic

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I'd like to know the name of this book/short story/comic

Postby AtomicLlama » Thu Dec 20, 2007 8:11 pm UTC

Does anybody else have a bunch of books/stories that they read in the past and have since forgotten the name of the work or the author who wrote it? Maybe this can be the thread for asking others if they recognize part of the plot. If someone has already made a thread for this purpose, let me know. I did look for it already though.

I'm trying to remember the name or author (actually, I'm more interested in the author) of a story about a man whose brain is kept alive in some sort of tank after he dies. The tank is in the home of the man's wife, and I think that the majority of the story is dialog between the wife and some visitors. At the start of the story you have no idea what is going on, only by the end do you figure out that they are talking about a brain in a tank. Sound familiar to anyone?
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Re: Things you remember reading, but can't remeber the name of

Postby nevskey1 » Sat Dec 22, 2007 10:18 pm UTC

Wow, I'm surprised more people haven't jumped at this thread, because it sounds like a great idea. I've been having this problem with one particular story for years now and I couldn't have asked for a better resource to find a recourse to the original source. (Even google failed me.)

Anyway, this was a story I read (or skimmed, really) in 9th grade, about 8 years ago now. For the life of me, I swear I think it was called "By the Waters of Babylon," but I can't seem to find that title anywhere. It was a short, post-apocalyptic tale about nuclear survivors and how they reorganize simple civilizations and the way they live. I may be wrong but I think I remember it being by Bradbury. I'm not sure though. A few years later I started wondering what that story was and wanting to go back and check it out. Well, I'm still wondering

Another one that's been bugging me is from the same class. We never read it, but I remember the teacher gave a description of it and told us it was good. She said it was about a boy who gets into interesting adventures and in the end you discover he's just wandering around a mental institution or something.

Well, any help would be appreciated.
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Re: Things you remember reading, but can't remeber the name of

Postby JayDee » Sun Dec 23, 2007 12:21 am UTC

nevskey1 wrote:Wow, I'm surprised more people haven't jumped at this thread, because it sounds like a great idea.
Yeah, I was expecting a whole bunch of "Oh, yeah, I remember that, but I can't recall the name either" type posts myself.
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Re: Things you remember reading, but can't remeber the name of

Postby apricity » Sun Dec 23, 2007 2:45 am UTC

Agh, I have one of those. It was a short story that my teacher read to me in elementary school. There was a little town with a mall, and a store opened in the mall that had really delicious fudge in all different flavors, and it was all free. At the same time, a stand opened outside the mall where you could get an injection that would make you instantly lose 5 pounds for $5. So everyone in the town would gorge themselves on free chocolate, then get the injection so they didn't gain any weight from it. That's all I really remember.
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Re: Things you remember reading, but can't remeber the name of

Postby clockworkmonk » Sun Dec 23, 2007 4:13 am UTC

AtomicLlama wrote:I'm trying to remember the name or author (actually, I'm more interested in the author) of a story about a man whose brain is kept alive in some sort of tank after he dies. The tank is in the home of the man's wife, and I think that the majority of the story is dialog between the wife and some visitors. At the start of the story you have no idea what is going on, only by the end do you figure out that they are talking about a brain in a tank. Sound familiar to anyone?


That sounds like something by Roald Dahl, though the title escapes me. In the one I read, all thats left of the man is a brain and an eye, and it ends with his wife blowing smoke into it.

Definitely one of my favorite authors, regardless.

edit: found the name of that story, its "William and Mary".
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Re: Things you remember reading, but can't remeber the name of

Postby theamberkey » Sun Dec 23, 2007 6:39 pm UTC

AtomicLlama wrote:
I'm trying to remember the name or author (actually, I'm more interested in the author) of a story about a man whose brain is kept alive in some sort of tank after he dies. The tank is in the home of the man's wife, and I think that the majority of the story is dialog between the wife and some visitors. At the start of the story you have no idea what is going on, only by the end do you figure out that they are talking about a brain in a tank. Sound familiar to anyone?

That sounds like something by Roald Dahl, though the title escapes me. In the one I read, all thats left of the man is a brain and an eye, and it ends with his wife blowing smoke into it.


Yes, I was going to say Roald Dahl, though I could not for the life of me remember the story itself.

Another one that's been bugging me is from the same class. We never read it, but I remember the teacher gave a description of it and told us it was good. She said it was about a boy who gets into interesting adventures and in the end you discover he's just wandering around a mental institution or something.


Sounds like I Am the Cheese, by Robert Cormier. I read it in middle school, and had the fortune to speak with Mr. Cormier by phone with a small section of my class. Despite the oddness of his works, I was sad when he died.
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Re: Things you remember reading, but can't remeber the name of

Postby Elenion » Sun Dec 23, 2007 8:41 pm UTC

Yeah that's Roald Dahl:) Creepy story:P

Hm.. I read a series of books when I was a kid, about a bunch of kids who was abandoned by their mom in a car outside some mall, and for some reason they decided there was somewhere they needed to go (a relative?) and started the journey on their own.. Anyone know what this is?
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Re: Things you remember reading, but can't remeber the name of

Postby theamberkey » Mon Dec 24, 2007 6:09 am UTC

Elenion wrote:Yeah that's Roald Dahl:) Creepy story:P

Hm.. I read a series of books when I was a kid, about a bunch of kids who was abandoned by their mom in a car outside some mall, and for some reason they decided there was somewhere they needed to go (a relative?) and started the journey on their own.. Anyone know what this is?


Totally not what you're talking about, but reminds me of the Boxcar Children.
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Re: Things you remember reading, but can't remeber the name of

Postby aaron » Mon Dec 24, 2007 6:12 am UTC

theamberkey wrote:
Elenion wrote:Yeah that's Roald Dahl:) Creepy story:P

Hm.. I read a series of books when I was a kid, about a bunch of kids who was abandoned by their mom in a car outside some mall, and for some reason they decided there was somewhere they needed to go (a relative?) and started the journey on their own.. Anyone know what this is?


Totally not what you're talking about, but reminds me of the Boxcar Children.


Yeah that's what I thought of too.
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Re: Things you remember reading, but can't remeber the name of

Postby Pai » Fri Dec 28, 2007 9:03 am UTC

Just now I remember this one short story I rather liked:

A rich man walks past a legless street musician who plays the most beautiful music he's ever heard. At night, in bed, the man hears the music playing out on the street, and feels intense pain, as if his soul wants to escape his body. This happens several times.

It's hinted that the musician is the god Pan. And that's all I can remember... =(


Anyone know what this is?
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Re: Things you remember reading, but can't remeber the name of

Postby Jesse » Fri Dec 28, 2007 9:39 pm UTC

Child goes fishing, meets the devil, stuff happens, he goes home to find his mother dead (Killed by a bee). Someone find me this, and find it now.
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Re: Things you remember reading, but can't remeber the name of

Postby liza » Sat Dec 29, 2007 3:42 am UTC

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Re: Things you remember reading, but can't remeber the name of

Postby The Sleeping Tyrant » Sat Dec 29, 2007 4:30 am UTC

I read this story in grade school, about a couple of boys, one white and the other Native American, who get stranded/sent up into the northern wastes of Canada for a year, and have to survive on their own.
Have to do stuff like make their own house, at one point a bear almost kills one of them and the other almost dies running to save him.

Can't remember the author either. Help please?
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Re: Things you remember reading, but can't remeber the name of

Postby Kabann » Sat Dec 29, 2007 7:06 am UTC

nevskey1 wrote:...Anyway, this was a story I read (or skimmed, really) in 9th grade, about 8 years ago now. For the life of me, I swear I think it was called "By the Waters of Babylon," but I can't seem to find that title anywhere. It was a short, post-apocalyptic tale about nuclear survivors and how they reorganize simple civilizations and the way they live. I may be wrong but I think I remember it being by Bradbury. I'm not sure though. A few years later I started wondering what that story was and wanting to go back and check it out. Well, I'm still wondering...


Possibly Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank? Read about it here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alas%2C_Babylon
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Re: Things you remember reading, but can't remeber the name of

Postby Jesse » Sat Dec 29, 2007 2:42 pm UTC



Liza wins.
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Re: Things you remember reading, but can't remeber the name of

Postby Ended » Sun Dec 30, 2007 10:30 pm UTC

Pai wrote:Just now I remember this one short story I rather liked:

A rich man walks past a legless street musician who plays the most beautiful music he's ever heard. At night, in bed, the man hears the music playing out on the street, and feels intense pain, as if his soul wants to escape his body. This happens several times.

It's hinted that the musician is the god Pan. And that's all I can remember... =(


Anyone know what this is?

...I have definitely read that, but can't remember title/author. I have the impression it was someone like M.R. James, Poe, Kipling, Conan Doyle...?

This will bug me for ages now :?
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Re: Things you remember reading, but can't remeber the name of

Postby Jesse » Tue Jan 01, 2008 7:24 pm UTC

Another job for you all.

A novel about some guy, mostly focusing on his weird relationships with people, and a toad. I'm sure the title had something to do with 'angels'.
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Re: Things you remember reading, but can't remeber the name of

Postby LoopQuantumGravity » Wed Jan 02, 2008 11:31 am UTC

Ok, this one's going to sound kind of weird...

It was a science fiction story. Possibly a short story, or a choose your own adventure book. I don't remember. Humans are at war with some aliens, and a human pilot gets somehow (by other aliens?) put on a planet with the aliens who he's fighting. The aliens turn out to be these weird ball things. I believe there was also some kind of forcefield between them. That's all I can remember.

But I think about it every time I see that futurama episode with the bouncing ball aliens, and it's driving me crazy.
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Re: Things you remember reading, but can't remeber the name of

Postby Jesse » Wed Jan 02, 2008 2:03 pm UTC

Jesse wrote:Another job for you all.

A novel about some guy, mostly focusing on his weird relationships with people, and a toad. I'm sure the title had something to do with 'angels'.


Also, there was incest, and they had an albino baby (Possibly blind).
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Re: Things you remember reading, but can't remeber the name of

Postby M.qrius » Wed Jan 02, 2008 2:19 pm UTC

LoopQuantumGravity wrote:Ok, this one's going to sound kind of weird...

It was a science fiction story. Possibly a short story, or a choose your own adventure book. I don't remember. Humans are at war with some aliens, and a human pilot gets somehow (by other aliens?) put on a planet with the aliens who he's fighting. The aliens turn out to be these weird ball things. I believe there was also some kind of forcefield between them. That's all I can remember.

But I think about it every time I see that futurama episode with the bouncing ball aliens, and it's driving me crazy.

Heh, exactly my thought when you mentioned weird ball aliens... Futurama is brainwashing us!
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Re: Things you remember reading, but can't remeber the name of

Postby tdubose » Fri Jan 04, 2008 1:25 am UTC

@Nevskey1: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/By_the_Waters_of_Babylon
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Re: Things you remember reading, but can't remeber the name of

Postby TheAmazingRando » Sat Jan 05, 2008 9:36 pm UTC

There's a short story (or maybe it's a segment of a novel, even) that's been bugging me for a year or two now:
A man wakes up in a large underground chamber with stone walls, a well in the middle, and thousands of people mingling around with clothing from various different centuries. Every now and then, a person will jump into the well in the middle of the room. Sometimes a blue light flashes, and they disappear. Other times, they keep falling, presumably forever. The narrator realizes he is in purgatory. Whenever he wishes, he may jump into the well. He might be taken to paradise (blue light flashing, taking him away) or he may continue falling forever, which would be hell.

I'm thinking this was something by Neil Gaiman, but I just cannot seem to find it.
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Re: Things you remember reading, but can't remeber the name of

Postby Narsil » Sun Jan 06, 2008 1:03 am UTC

Fuck dammit, I remember that story too. Now you have me thinking of it. I don't think it was Neil Gaiman though.
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Re: Things you remember reading, but can't remeber the name of

Postby Jesse » Sun Jan 06, 2008 2:55 am UTC

I'm pretty sure I've now read everything Gaiman, and I can't recall that being his.
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Re: Things you remember reading, but can't remeber the name of

Postby TheAmazingRando » Sun Jan 06, 2008 3:14 am UTC

Jesse wrote:I'm pretty sure I've now read everything Gaiman, and I can't recall that being his.

Yeah, I can't think of what book of his it would be in, it just seemed like something he would write.
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Re: Things you remember reading, but can't remeber the name of

Postby scowdich » Sun Jan 06, 2008 4:38 am UTC

I get the strangest feeling that may also be from Everything's Eventual, by Steven King. I'm not sure, though, and I don't have it handy. Sorry...
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Re: Things you remember reading, but can't remeber the name of

Postby ponzerelli » Sun Jan 06, 2008 6:24 am UTC

Jesse wrote:


Liza wins.


Nathaniel Hawthorne's version was in my American Literature textbook last year, I didn't know King did his own version. I have Everythings Eventual too....I don't remember it...Well, of to go look.
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Re: Things you remember reading, but can't remeber the name of

Postby Malice » Sun Jan 06, 2008 7:59 pm UTC

scowdich wrote:I get the strangest feeling that may also be from Everything's Eventual, by Steven King. I'm not sure, though, and I don't have it handy. Sorry...


It isn't. I can't remember the last time King wrote a heavy-handed parable like that. He tends to ground his stuff very much in the real world; an entirely fantasy setting like "a man in purgatory" isn't really his style at all.
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Re: Things you remember reading, but can't remeber the name of

Postby Ian Ex Machina » Sun Jan 06, 2008 8:09 pm UTC

Ooh I have one from my childhood,

The plot had something to do with a family (or just two children) and there was some evil white mould (white something) that made things evil/wrong (razor metal sharp sheep) and it was out to get the aforementioned children.
There was something to do with blue mould too which wasn't evil.

I really wish I knew what the book was (I don't think I even liked it but it's annoying me now.)
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Re: Things you remember reading, but can't remeber the name of

Postby Jesse » Sun Jan 06, 2008 8:21 pm UTC

It was a short series of maybe six books. I can't remember the name though. Bugger. I know what you mean though.
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Re: Things you remember reading, but can't remeber the name of

Postby TheAmazingRando » Sun Jan 06, 2008 8:50 pm UTC

Malice wrote:
scowdich wrote:I get the strangest feeling that may also be from Everything's Eventual, by Steven King. I'm not sure, though, and I don't have it handy. Sorry...


It isn't. I can't remember the last time King wrote a heavy-handed parable like that. He tends to ground his stuff very much in the real world; an entirely fantasy setting like "a man in purgatory" isn't really his style at all.


I know it isn't King, I've never read more than a few pages of any of his books.
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Re: Things you remember reading, but can't remeber the name of

Postby spi » Tue Jan 08, 2008 12:14 am UTC

The Sleeping Tyrant wrote:I read this story in grade school, about a couple of boys, one white and the other Native American, who get stranded/sent up into the northern wastes of Canada for a year, and have to survive on their own.
Have to do stuff like make their own house, at one point a bear almost kills one of them and the other almost dies running to save him.

Can't remember the author either. Help please?


That made me think of Hatchet by Gary Paulson that I read in grade school but it isn't quite the same. In Hatchet there is only the main character.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hatchet_%28novel%29

This thread made me think of a book I read about a young boy who had the ability to create and manipulate magnetic fields. He could turn his hands into an electromagnet. It dealt with him going to a new foster home and having to adjust in the new school.
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Re: Things you remember reading, but can't remeber the name of

Postby JayDee » Tue Jan 08, 2008 12:27 am UTC

spi wrote:That made me think of Hatchet by Gary Paulson that I read in grade school but it isn't quite the same. In Hatchet there is only the main character.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hatchet_%28novel%29
That's a book I had entirely forgotten. One of those rare books I enjoyed reading for school.
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Re: Things you remember reading, but can't remeber the name of

Postby tenohsix » Tue Jan 08, 2008 1:01 am UTC

spi wrote:This thread made me think of a book I read about a young boy who had the ability to create and manipulate magnetic fields. He could turn his hands into an electromagnet. It dealt with him going to a new foster home and having to adjust in the new school.


I've not actually read anything like this but was curious enough to do a bit of googling. Is it by any chance The Secret Life of Dilly McBean, by Dorothy Haas?
There's no Wikipedia article, but there's a bit of a summary on Amazon:

School Library Journal wrote:Orphaned Dilly is rich and has a secret power: he can make himself magnetic when he chooses. After he attends a succession of private boarding schools, one of his guardians arranges for him to attend public school in a rural town. He acquires a dog, whose disobedience provides comic relief. The guardian, who knows his secret, arranges for a famous physicist to help Dilly experiment with his power. Meanwhile, a mad scientist plots to kidnap Dilly for ransom. Dilly foils the villain by magnetizing his computer, just as his school friends break into the bad guys' hideout to rescue Dilly. The loss of his parents and the need to keep his power a secret add dimension to Dilly's character, which is otherwise awfully sweet.


Also, from Google Book Search:

Kirkus Reviews wrote:Orphaned Dilly is wealthy, can turn magnetism in his hands on and off at will, and is being raised by a bank till the mysterious Mr. Orbed becomes his guardian and sets him up in a magnificent home in a small town. So begins an adventure with the classical elements of boy making friends in new environment, mystery, learning to use a remarkable ability which must be kept secret (Dilly is helped by eminent physicist McEvoy, as intelligent as she is motherly) and an evil kidnapper who would like to misuse the ability.
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Re: Things you remember reading, but can't remeber the name of

Postby PatrickRsGhost » Tue Jan 08, 2008 1:31 pm UTC

spi wrote:
The Sleeping Tyrant wrote:I read this story in grade school, about a couple of boys, one white and the other Native American, who get stranded/sent up into the northern wastes of Canada for a year, and have to survive on their own.
Have to do stuff like make their own house, at one point a bear almost kills one of them and the other almost dies running to save him.

Can't remember the author either. Help please?


That made me think of Hatchet by Gary Paulson that I read in grade school but it isn't quite the same. In Hatchet there is only the main character.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hatchet_%28novel%29


I enjoyed that book as well. I had even bought it to read at my own leisure later on. I did the same thing with Phantom Tollbooth.

I tried to read the sequel to Hatchet, called The River, where Brian is asked to demonstrate his survival skillz for a government survival school. He has a psychologist with him, who brings along a plane with a buttload of supplies. The part that stuck out in my mind was Brian looked at all the stuff, and said they won't be needing all that. He told them that in most cases you're not going to have all the fancy things. You have to rely on your wits and what's around you. I think I quit reading it either because it was dragging out for a while, or else I put it away for some reason and never thought to finish it up.
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Re: Things you remember reading, but can't remeber the name of

Postby The Sleeping Tyrant » Tue Jan 08, 2008 11:23 pm UTC

spi wrote:
The Sleeping Tyrant wrote:I read this story in grade school, about a couple of boys, one white and the other Native American, who get stranded/sent up into the northern wastes of Canada for a year, and have to survive on their own.
Have to do stuff like make their own house, at one point a bear almost kills one of them and the other almost dies running to save him.

Can't remember the author either. Help please?


That made me think of Hatchet by Gary Paulson that I read in grade school but it isn't quite the same. In Hatchet there is only the main character.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hatchet_%28novel%29


I actually had to read that too. Liked it, but remembered it.
Thanks anyway.
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Re: Things you remember reading, but can't remeber the name of

Postby trickster721 » Wed Jan 09, 2008 10:28 am UTC

I read the one about the people in purgatory with the well and the flashes of light and everything. I feel like it was something classical-ish, maybe Poe? I remember thinking how modern it was for something written a while ago.

I eventually tracked down two books I read off the shelf in school, William Sleator's House of Stairs, and The Girl Who Owned a City, which is about a gritty feudal post-apocalyptic world ruled by children. Possibly the coolest children's book ever.

Still can't remember the one where a team of people uses machines to go into a parallel dimension that resembles the middle ages where the locals mistake them for elves. I keep thinking it must be Timeline, but it's not Timeline. It might have had a clock face on the cover?
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Re: Things you remember reading, but can't remeber the name of

Postby Ian Ex Machina » Thu Jan 10, 2008 1:15 pm UTC

Jesse wrote:It was a short series of maybe six books. I can't remember the name though. Bugger. I know what you mean though.


Well after searching I have found it, they were called Wicked (with a big book encompassing them all being totally wicked) and the authors were Paul Jennings and Morris Gleitzman.

No wiki for it though.
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Re: Things you remember reading, but can't remeber the name of

Postby spi » Fri Jan 11, 2008 4:16 am UTC

tenohsix wrote:
spi wrote:This thread made me think of a book I read about a young boy who had the ability to create and manipulate magnetic fields. He could turn his hands into an electromagnet. It dealt with him going to a new foster home and having to adjust in the new school.


I've not actually read anything like this but was curious enough to do a bit of googling. Is it by any chance The Secret Life of Dilly McBean, by Dorothy Haas?
There's no Wikipedia article, but there's a bit of a summary on Amazon:

School Library Journal wrote:Orphaned Dilly is rich and has a secret power: he can make himself magnetic when he chooses. After he attends a succession of private boarding schools, one of his guardians arranges for him to attend public school in a rural town. He acquires a dog, whose disobedience provides comic relief. The guardian, who knows his secret, arranges for a famous physicist to help Dilly experiment with his power. Meanwhile, a mad scientist plots to kidnap Dilly for ransom. Dilly foils the villain by magnetizing his computer, just as his school friends break into the bad guys' hideout to rescue Dilly. The loss of his parents and the need to keep his power a secret add dimension to Dilly's character, which is otherwise awfully sweet.


Also, from Google Book Search:

Kirkus Reviews wrote:Orphaned Dilly is wealthy, can turn magnetism in his hands on and off at will, and is being raised by a bank till the mysterious Mr. Orbed becomes his guardian and sets him up in a magnificent home in a small town. So begins an adventure with the classical elements of boy making friends in new environment, mystery, learning to use a remarkable ability which must be kept secret (Dilly is helped by eminent physicist McEvoy, as intelligent as she is motherly) and an evil kidnapper who would like to misuse the ability.


Yeah I am pretty sure that is the book. The mention in the google book search about being raised by a bank really sticks out as one plot point that I remember. I don't remember how the story actually went but the synopsis fits with what I remember.

Of course google answers all. I was just curious if someone else had happened to read the same book and could actually remember it. Thanks for being my lazyweb tenohsix :)

Edit: One other totally random memory I have of the book is that in his new home he had a light that would project the constellations onto the bedroom ceiling.
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Re: Things you remember reading, but can't remeber the name of

Postby LDJosh » Fri Jan 11, 2008 4:52 am UTC

I'm trying to remember the title of a short story I read in middle school. It was set sometime in the future, where the government is trying to rub out individuality and equalize mankind. Smart people are forced into wearing helmets that emit a sharp ear piercing squeel at irregular intervals to disrupt thought patterns so they don't become too smart, beautiful people are forced to cover themselves so that no one notices them, and athletic/well fit people must wear special weighted garnments that restrict their movements. eventually at the end, theres some kind of competetion on tv and a beautiful person sheds their garnment and an athletic person takes of their weights and they do some kind of awesome dance routine and the world is stunned. the government rushes in and bags the two individuals and carts them off, and everyone forgets about it and goes back to being mindless drones.

anyone remember that?
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