I am clearly not one of the cool kids in the literary world.
I, um, kind of. . . hated this.
I couldn't even finish it -- and it bothers me to post about something I couldn't finish, but damn, the fact that I couldn't finish it must mean something. Yes, the protagonist has a unique, realistic voice. Yes, many of the band names were funny. Yes, there are moments of agonizing truth in the author's depiction of high school life (though the inanity of what passes for curriculum troubled me a bit).
But. But. It's -- how do I say this? -- boring. Mind-crushingly BORING. Every moment, every thought, every bit of meaningless minutiae (sp?) in this loser's sorry life - gaaaaaaak. Snore. The Catcher references were kind of funny, but the crazy-ass secret code subplot with his late father's high school library just made no sense. (Too much Chasing Vermeer, with its indefensible reliance on coincidence and randomness above all.) And his relationships with his family, with his friend(s, sort of) -- no substance, just talky talky talky talk blah blah blah.
So despite all of its fabulous reviews, I just can't concur.
King Dork by Frank Portman. Delacorte, 2006. 352 pages.