Kirkus Reviews QR Code


by Jake Wizner & illustrated by Richard Ewing

Age Range: 14 & up

Pub Date: Sept. 25th, 2007
ISBN: 978-0-375-84085-2
Publisher: Random House

King of comedy Shakespeare Shapiro spins essays, poetry, letters and yearbook entries to chronicle the ups, downs, crushes, mishaps, perversions and general sense of hilarious melee that comprise his senior year. Infamously named by his hippie, occasionally alcoholic parents—his brother’s name is Gandhi—his adventures don’t veer too far off the usual teenage-boy-coming-of-age track. However, Wizner infuses his voice with an over-the-top, biting wit that punches his seemingly sane life episodes into knee-slapping, lewd-icrous territory. His lusts become blunter with every horny thought he lays down on paper. His best friend becomes far more scatologically inclined than any other teenaged boy to hit the young-adult market, and his yearnings for another budding essayist named Charlotte cause him to spout forth some utterly cheesy rhymes in pursuit of her favor. Alternating between Shakespeare’s reality and his writing, Wizner’s first novel packs the stitches in tight. Readers wishing he could get on with the story will most likely begin rolling their eyes at the main character’s expounding after the first 100 pages, but they’ll still be laughing. (Fiction. YA)