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Literature / The Eyes of Kid Midas

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The Eyes of Kid Midas is a Young Adult Novel by Neal Shusterman. It stars Kevin Midas, an Ordinary Middle School Student who stumbles upon a pair of Reality Warping sunglasses. At first, it's great—Kevin can have anything he wants. In the mood for an ice cream cone? Bam: there it is. But it doesn't take long before things start to fall apart, as Kevin quickly discovers how dangerous godlike powers can be...


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The Eyes of Kid Midas contains examples of:

  • All Just a Dream: Played with. Josh and his teacher discuss the concept of the "Dreamtime," the idea that real life is just a dream. Later, reality merges with Kevin's dreams, evoking this trope.
  • Addictive Magic: As the story progresses, Kevin finds it harder and harder to stop using the glasses.
  • Black Best Friend: Josh.
  • Bully Hunter: Once Kevin discovers the power of the glasses, he takes it upon himself to humiliate the bullies who picked on him. It goes a bit farther than he would have liked.
  • Clingy MacGuffin: As Kevin uses more and more of the glasses' power, they gradually become a part of his body.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Lampshaded; Kevin is scolded for what he does to Bertram. "Nobody deserves that."
  • Dragged Off to Hell: Kevin tells Bertram to "Go to Hell." The ground promptly opens up and swallows him.
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  • Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Bertram's Berserk Button is when his mother is insulted.
  • Fantastic Drug: Intense highs, crippling addiction and withdrawal—pretty straightforward metaphor.
  • From Bad to Worse: Reality is warping. The world is going mad. Things look pretty dark for Kevin. That's when Josh gets wiped from existence by the glasses. And then time stops. And then the glasses shatter. Crap.
  • Keepaway: Hal and Bertram play Keepaway with Kevin's (ordinary and mundane) glasses in the beginning of the book, breaking them.
  • Love Potion: Kevin attempts to use his powers to get his crush to fall in love with him. It doesn't work; all it does is creep her out.
  • My Future Self and Me: At the end of the book, Kevin encounters a future version of himself who is visiting the past in a dream and exits accompanied by the sound of a ringing alarm clock.
  • Ordinary High-School Student: Seventh grade. Close enough.
  • Porn Stash: Josh and Kevin find one of their dads' Playboy magazines and put it back, feeling mildly embarrassed.
  • Power Incontinence
  • Power Limiter: The glasses can do anything... except undo what they've already done.
  • Real After All: Kevin's class is out on a camping field trip with his class, visiting a mountain that's sacred to the local native tribe. His teacher tells a campfire story about how the mountain is supposedly the eye of God, and once a year, the tip of its shadow falls exactly on another sacred spot in the valley below. It's just a story, as the teacher later admits, but when Kevin climbs the mountain, guess what he sees? Kevin was wearing the glasses, so his believing in the story made it come true.
  • Reality Bleed: Towards the end of the book, Kevin's subconscious thoughts start to bleed into reality, inadvertently reshaping the world.
  • Reality Warper
  • Reality Warping Is Not a Toy
  • Reset Button: At the very end, Kevin returns the glasses to the top of the mountain, and everything suddenly reverts back to normal.
  • Rhetorical Request Blunder: See Dragged Off to Hell.
  • "Sorcerer's Apprentice" Plot: The Sorcerer in this case being God.
  • Time Stands Still: Kevin yells "Stop". And it does.
  • Unusually Uninteresting Sight: The first clue that Kevin's power is getting out of control is that people stop noticing the changes he makes, believing that things have always been that way.
  • With Great Power Comes Great Insanity
  • Your Mom: "Your mother's a pine cone."

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