King Dork – Frank Portman

As a rule I don’t like “buzz books”, it is a matter of principal. I read them and I am disappointed because they don’t live up to the hype. Or I have already read them and I think there is something better out there and I wish that was getting more attention. For instance – why is everybody so thrilled with The Da Vinci Code? I didn’t find the notion of Jesus and Mary Magdalene having a child all that earth shattering, I heard it before. (The Last Temptation of Christ maybe? I don’t know . . .somewhere.) And I knew a third of the way through that the chick was the descendent for crimeny’s sake. It wasn’t that difficult to figure out. And The Lovely Bones – please if I was brutally raped and murdered the first thing I’d do if I came back to Earth (?!?) would be to have sex, not to mention all those badly over written metaphors. Oh – Harry Potter, read the first one about 6 months before the hype hit. The Golden Compass, sooo much better. And Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants? I like it just fine – but why is this the ONLY book girls know about? Well besides Gossip Girls and A List.

Ok all this ranting is to say that: King Dork – lives up to the buzz.

Any teen book that shows up in Entertainment Weekly (which I love don’t get me wrong) is going to make me a little dubious. but once again:

King Dork – lives up to the buzz.
I have so many sticky notes in this thing that everyone has to ask me what it is about – funny you should ask. Its about:

half a dozen mysteries, plus dead people, naked people, fake people, teen sex, weird sex, drugs, ESP, Satanism, books, blood, Bubblegum, guitars, monks, faith, love, witchcraft, the Bible, girls, a war, a secret code, a head injury, the Crusades, some crimes, mispronunciation skills, a mystery woman, a devil-head, a blow job, and rock and roll. Its about the monotony of standard, generic high school, which somehow manages to be horrifying and tedious at the same time. See brilliant huh?
And guaranteed to be challenged based on the second paragraph alone.
It took me a while to read this, but mostly because I was enjoying it, and when I read I wanted to give full attention – I didn’t want to think about work, or life or anything else. Of course he had me with the Catcher cult because, and I don’t often admit this, I do no get the appeal of The Catcher in the Rye. I have tried 5 times to read the book, and :::gasp::: I have never finished the thing, I hate Holden Caufield. I know, I know it is English teacher, librarian heresy but it is true and I think I can come out of the closet on this one now.
They live for making you read it. When you do read it you can feel them all standing behind you in a semicircle wearing black robes with hoods, holding candles. They’re chanting “Holden, Holden, Holden . . .” And they’re looking over your shoulder with these expectant smiles, wishing they were the ones discovering the earth-shattering joys of The Catcher in the Rye for the very first time.


See – the Catcher cult.
So now its done – I’ve finished, I can stop harassing people with Daily Dorkism via email – he should just go read the book anyways, although I’ll send a few more for good measure. And I hope if you read this book (Read this Book!, I’ll stand behind you in a black hooded robe with a candle and smile expectantly – well in spirit at least, or not) that you enjoy it, that you don’t think I’ve lost my mind and that I shouldn’t contribute to the buzz because it just turns out to be a buzz kill.

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One Response

  1. […] So I am in Borders to pick up Good Girls by Laura Ruby (Yea!)  and while I am waiting for my sixth grader to select a book in the Intermediate fiction , grades 4-8, I come across King Dork.  King Dork DOES NOT belong in the intermediate fiction section where a) no self respecting teen will select a book from, and b) will potentially blow the mind of any 10 year old who tries to read it, and not necessariy in a good way.  This is a huge pet peeve.  I get that corporate headquarters has sent you this “children’s book” but please!  the children’s section???????????  Honestly.  So I moved it.  Next time I am going to be the crazy cutomer that gets blogged about and demand that they place in the rightful teen section.  Seriously.  Do it right people. […]

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