KING DORK by Frank Portman
Kirkus Star

KING DORK

Age Range: 14 & up

KIRKUS REVIEW

A biting and witty high-school satire explores cross-generation mysteries and music. Tom “Chi-Mo” (short for “Child Molester”) Henderson is used to being a nobody, and entertains himself by designing band names: Baby Batter, Oxford English, Tennis with Guitars. Every year Tom’s teachers force him to read Catcher in the Rye, the book that changed their lives. Though Tom scoffs at what he calls “the Catcher cult,” the book is about to change his life, too, if not in Mr. Schtuppe-approved ways. Tom finds his dead father’s copy of Catcher in a box of old books, chock-full of margin notes and mysterious scribbles. Further investigation reveals murder, suicide and illicit sex comprising both current and 40-year-old mysteries. Tom investigates his father’s past while forming a real (terrible) band, discovering blow jobs and surviving a skull fracture. He gains personal revelations that both reject and embrace his parents’ generation and its Holden Caulfields, in a story richly flavored with 1960s cult novels and 1970s rock-and-roll. The open-ended conclusion is unexpectedly satisfying. (Fiction. YA)

Pub Date: April 11th, 2006
ISBN: 0-385-73291-0
Page count: 352pp
Publisher: Delacorte
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 15th, 2006




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