GUY LANGMAN: CRIME SCENE PROCRASTINATOR by Josh Berk

GUY LANGMAN: CRIME SCENE PROCRASTINATOR

Age Range: 12 - 16
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

Hilarious wit and serious gloom blend seamlessly as Guy wades through the year after his dad’s death.

Everything is slightly offbeat here, from Guy himself (a contemporary Jewish teen who cares about bubble baths but not music) to his late father’s literal-treasure-hunting past to the forensics required right in the middle of the realism. Francis Langman had a long, colorful life before he met Guy’s (much younger) mother, so Guy tries to write “Rules for Living”: The Francis Langman Story as a tribute and quote-preserver (“Death is part of life, but so is the clap…. Seriously, Guy, wear a rubber”). Guy’s running inner monologue is sharply observational, sardonic, funny and sad. “Does replacing an ‘e’ with an apostrophe automatically make something sound more poetic? I lunch’d on school burritos.…” Best friend Anoop and other peers are freshly unusual, not recycled character types. Anoop corrals passive Guy into forensics club, and none too soon—a real death occurs at a forensics meet. Is someone trying to off Guy? The pals lift fingerprints and don golf attire to follow a hunch but instead find something surprisingly touching. It’s only too bad that Berk’s “rules for living” structure uses a stereotypical primitive-tribe trope to contrast with complex first-world humans.

Realistic grief, humor, camp, crime investigation—and plenty of good boner jokes. (Fiction. 12-16)

Pub Date: March 13th, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-375-85701-0
Page count: 240pp
Publisher: Knopf
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15th, 2012




NEW & NOTABLE BOOKS FOR TEENS: MARCH 2012:

ChildrenME AND EARL AND THE DYING GIRL by Jesse Andrews
by Jesse Andrews
ChildrenBOY21 by Matthew Quick
by Matthew Quick
ChildrenAFTER THE SNOW by S.D.  Crockett
by S. D. Crockett
ChildrenPANDEMONIUM by Lauren Oliver
by Lauren Oliver

MORE BY JOSH BERK

ChildrenSAY IT AIN'T SO by Josh Berk
by Josh Berk
ChildrenSTRIKE THREE, YOU'RE DEAD by Josh Berk
by Josh Berk
ChildrenTHE DARK DAYS OF HAMBURGER HALPIN by Josh Berk
by Josh Berk

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

ChildrenGIRLS LIKE ME by Lola StVil
by Lola StVil
ChildrenBETRAYAL by Gregg Olsen
by Gregg Olsen