Tuesday, July 21, 2009

King Dork Tries to Live Up to Holden Caulfield's Standard

Fresh off reading Larry Doyle's excellent I Love You, Beth Cooper, I was ready to delve deeper into more infantile high-school humor. Looks like Mr. T Experience punk rocker Frank Portman has the antidote I need in King Dork. I started the book and here's what happens early on:

Tom "Chi-Mo" Henderson and his only friend, Sam Hellerman (who "has a taste for prescription tranquilizers"), go to Hillmont High School. They're in a band that has a name (Baby Batter), a logo, and "the basic design for the first three or four album covers."

Despite not putting any effort into his schoolwork, Tom finds out on the first day of school that he'll be in two AP classes. The only bonus of getting into AP classes, as Tom sees it, is that the teachers are generally "younger, more enthusiastic, easy to manipulate, and in pre-meltdown mode. The regular classes, on the other hand, are usually taught by elderly, bitter robots who gave up long ago and who are just biding their time praying for it all to be over." The AP teachers are part of the "Catcher in the Rye Cult," which means they're judging every student against the standard of Caulfield.

I'm going to get back to this when I need a quick, breezy laugh. I'll let you know how that goes.

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