"And you've never heard of Ishmael Leseur's Syndrome consider yourself lucky. It's been known to destroy the 'normal behaviour' gene and expose a person's innermost idiot to the world."
— Ishmael Leseur, the world's one and only sufferer.
A light-hearted trilogy of Young Adult novels written by Michael Gerard Bauer and centering around cheery loser Ishmael Leseur
and his friends, in an Australian all-boys school. Notable largely for an infectious enthusiasm, which suggests that Bauer enjoyed the novel as much as his characters, and for being highly quotable, to the extent that the series named a trope
before receiving its own page on the wiki.
Characters with major roles in all works of the series include:
- Ishmael Leseur, generally mopey everyman.
- Orazio "Razz" Zorzotto, Ishmael's eventual best friend and self-professed master of all things romantic.
- James Scobie, unlikely champion for losers everywhere.
- Bill Kingsley, dreamy geek, described as "still waters, running shallow".
- Ignatius Prindabel, socially-awkward nerd that eventually develops astounding chick-pulling abilities.
- Kelly Faulkner, the weatherman's sunny daughter, serving as Ishmael's love interest.
- Sally Nofke, Kelly's friend, a math geek that serves as Razz's.
- Prue Leseur, Ishmael's sister, a bright lass that, funnily enough, serves as Scobie's love interest.
- Miss Tarango, Ishmael's eternally cheerful homeroom teacher.
- Mr Guthrie: environmentally-conscious teacher, serving as Miss Tarango's love interest.
This series is the Trope Namer for:
- Thanks for the Mammary: The first entry into the series. Having fainted due to nerves, Ishmael is mortified to discover to whom he had lunged.
It also provides examples of:
- Badass Adorable
- Book Dumb: Razz.
- Break the Cutie: Kelly, in the third book.
- Briar Patching: Scobie was always totally afraid of bugs. Totally.
- Brick Joke: Apparently, Razz is rather well suited to writing Heavy Metal lyrics.
- Character Development: Ishmael's name barely earns a mention in the third book due to growing self-confidence.
- Chekhov'sGun: Of all things, a character's habit of proffering an index finger whilst quibbling over itty bitty issues of semantics.
- The Chew Toy
- Cool Loser
- Cool Teacher: Miss Tarango, and others.
- Deadpan Snarker: Near everyone. A chapter in the first book is dedicated to allowing Scobie to mock the resident bully in the most deadpan tones imaginable.
- Demoted to Extra: Scobie, after the first book.
- Dogged Nice Guy: Hugely and unapologetically built around this trope.
- Embarrassing First Name: Beyond Ishmael, we also have a chap Slobo and another named Emerson.
- Embarrassing Nickname: Several, courtesy of school bully Barry Bagsley.
- First-Person Peripheral Narrator: Ishmael serves this role for Scobie for much of the first book.
- Freudian Excuse: Implied with Bagsley.
- Hot for Teacher
- Hidden Depths: A major theme of the second book. Barry Bagsley, Mr Barker and Orazio are all seen through new eyes.
- Hippie Teacher: Mr Guthrie.
- Hurricane of Puns: Crap, mega-crap, the crap to which other crap aspires, crème da la crap...
- Kissing Under the Influence: In the third book, Ishmael kisses Sally when he accidentally gets drunk on vodka.
- Kavorka Man: Bizarrely, Ignatius.
- Lampshade Hanging: Often, and cheerfully.
- Loads and Loads of Characters
- Love Dodecahedron: Notably averted. Despite the sheer volume of romances teased in the book, there are very few conflicts of interest displayed.
- Malaproper: Running joke fueled by Razz: "elephant of surprise", "male chauffeuring pigs".
- The first example is somewhat justified. All things being equal, an elephant would be more surprising than an element.
- Master of the Mixed Message: At times, Kelly.
- The Matchmaker: Razz.
- My God, What Have I Done?: Ishmael feels this way in book three, after drunkenly kissing Sally.
- New Meat: Subverted with the self-assured Scobie, much to the shock of the class.
- Overprotective Dad: Razz's uncle Henry to his daughter Cindy.
- Prom Is for Straight Kids: In the third book, Bill Kingsley initially doesn't want to bring a date to prom, because he doesn't want to make trouble for the school. However, Razz sets up a Win-Win-Win-Win-situation by suggesting that Bill and his date Jimmy officially go with two girls from Sally's school who were in the same situation and couldn't attend their own prom.
- Put on a Bus: An odd case. After the second book, Barry Bagsley does not appear. He still attends the school, presumably, but is simply "not bothering us anymore".
- Scandalgate: In the second book, an event at a pool-party later discussed as Piss-in-the-watergate. It was cordial.
- The first book also: Buggate.
- Refuge in Audacity: Occasionally lampshaded. Bauer typically sets up as many over-the-top climaxes as possible.
- Teen Genius: Prue.
- Unlucky Everydude