JOHNNY CHESTHAIR by Chris Lynch

JOHNNY CHESTHAIR

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Still reeling from classmate Monica's knockout punch five years ago, eighth-grader Steven gathers three other nerdy misfits into the He-Man Women Haters Club, also the name of the series of which this unsubtle satire is the first entry. Steven escapes all but a minor bruising from Buster, his borderline-abusive dad, by assuring him that it's a club of Johnny Chesthairs, not Sally Sweetboys. So what do they do? Not much: hang out in Steven's immobile 1956 Lincoln, parked in Uncle Lars's repair garage since 1971; meet Lars's conspiracy-freak, Soldier-of-Fortune--reading friends, who are older, more entrenched versions of the teenagers; and, for a grand climax, appear on a TV talk show (theme: ""The Men's Movement and the State of American Manhood""), during which Steven upchucks in front of the dreaded Monica. Sound attractive? So is the cast: melon-headed Jerome; huge, doughy Ling Ling; and Wolfgang, also known as ""Wolfi"" and ""Wolfbang,"" who comes with a wheelchair and a big, big attitude. Female characters don't appear much, but are all smarter, taller, and more self-assured. Lynch, fresh from the Blue-Eyed Son trilogy (Mick, 1996, etc.), sets out some distinctly non-PC characters and their beliefs; readers who like to feel superior to people they meet in books will--unfortunately--lap this up.

Pub Date: April 30th, 1997
Page count: 132pp
Publisher: HarperCollins