The Extraordinary Adventures of Alfred Kropp
|The Extraordinary Adventures of Alfred Kropp|
|Genre||Young adult novel|
|Media type||Print (Paperback)|
|LC Class||PZ7.Y19197 Ext 2005|
|Followed by||Alfred Kropp: The Seal of Solomon|
Publishers Weekly gave the book a starred review upon release and named it one of their "Best Books for Children" in 2005, the book was a Carnegie Medal nominee in 2006, and the film rights to the book were picked up by Warner Bros. in 2005.
The story is based on the modern times, with the obvious conspiracy with stealing the sword "Excalibur", said to be wielded by King Arthur himself in his time. It is said he threw it back to The Lady of The Lake before he died. Therefore, humans of modern times maybe placed another cover-up story to shield the Knights of the Round Table, who actually had the rights to the sword. The villain is an ex-knight, Mogart.
A teenager named Alfred Kropp lives in a small apartment with his Uncle Farrel, who is a security guard. He stays mostly secluded, both at home and at school. A man named Arthur Myers calls Alfred's uncle at work, and offers one million dollars for the return of an object stolen from him by Uncle Farrell's boss. Basically, Alfred has to break into the main office, find the safe, and steal the object himself, accidentally cutting himself on the blade of the sword. Then when he is about to leave, he is attacked by three monks. A battle ensues, but Alfred manages to defeat them with Excalibur. Alfred and Uncle Farrell manage to escape, where they are attacked by Arthur Myers. He steals the sword, and kills Uncle Farrell, sparing Alfred.
Alfred meets Bernard Samson ( Bernard is Alfred´s dad), who explains to him that Arthur Myers was an alias of an international terrorist, who wanted control of Bernard's sword, which was Excalibur. Bernard Samson, the heir of Lancelot, goes off to Jativa, in Spain, to try to reclaim the Sword from Myers, whom he knows as Mogart. A member of an international organization called OIPEP interjects that their codename for Mogart is 'The Dragon'. When Alfred asks Samson if there is anything he can do to help, Samson replies, "Pray." Alfred returns to his normal life unwillingly, and is taken into a foster home owned by a family called the Tuttles.
Alfred, unsatisfied with his normal life, takes to hanging around the nearby town, particularly the cafes. There, Alfred meets Bennacio, a knight protector of the sword (and the lead monk who attacked him); he reveals that all the defenders, including Samson, were killed, and the sword was lost. After relating this, Bennacio leaves the coffee shop they were in and Alfred follows him. Alfred sees Bennacio get attacked and attempts to save him. They go to Bennacio's room at the Marriott, where Bennacio uses Alfred's blood (where he cut himself) to heal the wound. Bennacio explains to Alfred that Excalibur has the power to heal, and that having been cut by it, Alfred has been granted the power to heal.
The next day, Bennacio is ready to leave without Alfred, but he pleads to the knight to help in any way he can. Bennacio offers Alfred a chance to drive him. They drive to Canada (In a Koenigsegg CCX) and steal a Ferrari Enzo, but are attacked by more of Mogart's henchmen. Bennacio kills them when he has the chance and then continues on their journey. They stop at a deceased knight's house, where Windimar's mother lets them stay. They leave the next day, and get attacked once again. This time there are six of them on Suzuki Hayabusas.
Alfred and Bennacio continue through Nova Scotia, and hijack a Jaguar because their Ferrari was critically damaged. They then fly to France. In France, Bennacio tells Alfred that he is a descendant of Lancelot, making him the heir to his father's title. Then OIPEP offers to trade 10.5 billion dollars for the sword; however, Mogart double crosses them and kills Bennacio in the process, leaving Alfred as the last man standing. Mike Arnold, a member of OIPEP who set up the exchange, is also revealed as a traitor at this time.
Bennacio's daughter, Natalia, is taken by Mogart, and held for a ransom. Alfred personally travels to Merlin's cave in England in order to save Bennacio's daughter. Here, in Merlin's Cave in Tintagel, Kropp finds his true destiny as the master of the Sword. Mogart is unable to kill him with it even though Kropp is impaled upon the sword and pinned to the wall of Merlin's Caves underneath Tintagel. As in the original King Arthur stories, Mogart is unable to pull the sword out of the stone as only the Master of the Sword can claim it. Kropp, having healed himself with the sword, pulls the sword out of the stone, finishes off Mogart, and returns home as a hero. At the end of the story, Alfred finds that he yearns for more excitement and calls OIPEP, wanting a job fighting "agents of darkness."
- Alfred Kropp: The narrator and title protagonist of the story. A tall kid who likes to read and watch television and never seems to fit in. He is later found to be descended from Lancelot.
- Uncle Farrell: A security guard at Samson Industries and Alfred's uncle and guardian. Mogart hires him to steal the sword, and later kills him with Excalibur.
- Bernard Samson: Leader of the knights and descendant of Lancelot. He dies in a battle trying to retrieve the sword in Jativa Spain. He is also revealed to be Alfred's true father.
- Mogart/Mr. Myers: The main antagonist. He hires Uncle Farrell to steal Excalibur, and later impales him by stabbing him with the sword. He wanted ownership of the sword and leadership of the knights, but this became impossible with the birth of Alfred, the heir of Lancelot and the true leader of the Knights. He is cast out of their Order and wants revenge.
- Bennacio: The last knight from the Order. He is the only survivor from the attack on Mogart's castle in Jativa, Spain and was sent to Alfred by order of Bernard Samson. He and Alfred spend most of the book trying to retrieve the sword.
- Mike Arnold: An agent of the organization OIPEP who betrays Alfred, Bennacio, and OIPEP to gain the sword. By joining sides with Mogart, he set up the murder of Bennacio and Alfred, though Alfred escapes.
- Abigail Smith: A high level OIPEP agent. At the end of the book, she offers Alfred a job at OIPEP, but later (in The Seal of Solomon) tells him that he is not old enough.
- Natalia: Daughter of Bennacio. At first she has negative feelings toward Alfred, but later readjusts her views when he comes to rescue her from Mogart.