Otfried Preussler Doreen Norman - Essay

Doreen Norman

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

[The further adventures of the robber Hotzenplotz] is a gay, romping continuation of The Robber Hotzenplotz…. It is a charming story based on the escapades of villainous Hotzenplotz after he escapes from the lock up in the town's fire station, and told with gentle ease and good humour.

The boy Kasperl and his friend Seppel are the prime movers in Hotzenplotz's recapture, after a series of comic adventures and coincidences told with a relish which will evoke zest in young readers.

Altogether delightful reading with a brisk pace of action which never becomes breathtaking.

Doreen Norman, "'The Further Adventures of the Robber Hotzenplotz'," in The School Librarian, Vol. 19, No. 1, March, 1971, p. 86.

[The Robber Hotzenplotz, the hero of The Further Adventures of the Robber Hotzenplotz, is] a lot luckier than he is wily, which is partly why the mechanically programmed comedy is more farcical than it is funny, more stretched-out slapstick than sustained fantasy. Preussler entertained roundly with The Adventures of Strong Vanya (1970) based on the richer material of Russian literary legend, while Erich Kastner for one (in the fertile Little Man and its recent sequel) has the greater flair for the picaresque and can forever multiply his episodes without wearing out the joke. It does pall here, but the penalty for stopping midway is twofold: besides missing the lifting of the culinary moratorium, you won't get to see a certain familiarly smirking sandwich-man pulling a gladly forgivable plug on the last page: "Do you know why the robber Hotzenplotz was locked up in the fire station?" his sign queries, harking back to the very start. "You can read about it in The Robber Hotzenplotz …" (1965): chances are, where that clicked so will this; the inverse, however, is also true.

"Younger Fiction: 'The Further Adventures of the Robber Hotzenplotz'," in Kirkus Reviews (copyright © 1971 The Kirkus Service, Inc.), Vol. XXXIX, No. 6, March 15, 1971, p. 289.