King Dork

King Dork

Paperback - 2008
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" King Dork will rock your world." --John Green, New York Times bestselling author of The Fault in Our Stars

When Tom Henderson finds his dead father's copy of J. D. Salinger's The Catcher in the Rye , his world is turned upside down. Suddenly high school gets more complicated: Tom (aka King Dork) finds himself in the middle of mysteries involving dead people, naked people, fake people, a secret code, girls, and rock and roll. As he goes through sophomore year, he finds clues that may very well solve the puzzle of his father's death and--oddly--reveal the secret to attracting semi-hot girls. (The secret might be being in a band, if he can find a drummer who can count to four.)

This unruly cult classic features song lyrics throughout and now includes a glossary and a bandography. And look for the sequel, King Dork Approximtely , available now.

Praise for King Dork:

"Basically, if you are a human being with even a vague grasp of the English language, King Dork will rock your world." --John Green, author of The Fault in Our Stars

"[No account of high school] has made me laugh more than King Dork. . . . Grade A."-- Entertainment Weekly

"Impossibly brilliant."-- Time

"Provides a window into what it would be like if Holden Caulfield read The Catcher in the Rye."-- New York Post

"Loaded with sharp and offbeat humor."-- USA Today

"Original, heartfelt, and sparkling with wit and intelligence. This novel will linger long in readers' memories."-- School Library Journal, Starred Review

"A biting and witty high-school satire."-- Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review

"Tom's narration is piercingly satirical and acidly witty."-- The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, Starred Review

"King Dork is smart, funny, occasionally raunchy and refreshingly clear about what it's like to be in high school."-- San Francisco Chronicle

" King Dork : Best Punk Rock Book Ever."-- The Village Voice

"I love this book as much as I hated high school, and that's some of the highest praise I can possibly give."-- Bookslut.com
Publisher: New York : Delacorte, 2008
ISBN: 9780385734509
0385734506

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CRRL_CraigGraziano Jul 16, 2015

What's most impressive is how Portman builds an entire social ecosystem of losers, bullies, populars, and stoners and their behavior toward each other. The book's humor is scathing and its hormones are raging. As a mystery, King Dork is intriguing and, as a coming-of-age novel, it is absolutely s... Read More »

Tom Henderson attempts to navigate high school while also solving the mystery of his father's death with an encoded copy of The Catcher in the Rye in this debut by Mr. T Experience frontman Frank Portman.

Tom Henderson discovers a clue in his dead father's copy of The Catcher in the Rye that leads to conspiracies, make-outs, and the greatest concert ever.


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CRRL_CraigGraziano Jul 16, 2015

What's most impressive is how Portman builds an entire social ecosystem of losers, bullies, populars, and stoners and their behavior toward each other. The book's humor is scathing and its hormones are raging. As a mystery, King Dork is intriguing and, as a coming-of-age novel, it is absolutely sublime.

Read more at: http://www.librarypoint.org/king_dork_portman

l
lukasevansherman
Feb 11, 2015

I'm not a young adult, but some of my best friends used to be. The debut novel from Frank Portman, who also plays in the long running pop-punk band the Mr. T Experience (sample song: "Even Hitler Had a Girlfriend"), is pretty smart and pretty funny. Here's what it's not: it's not as sad as "The Fault in Our Stars," it's not as sweet as "Perks of Being a Wallflower," it's not as terrible as "Please Don't Kill the Freshman," it's not as grim as "Speak." Portman keenly remembers the awkwardness and humiliations of the teen years and conveys it in a way that both adults and teens will appreciate. He also has a knack for coming up with band names, as his protagonist and friend are constantly changing names and sounds (Green Sabbath, Stoned Marmadukes, Balls Deep). If there's a fault, it's that in the final third, the plot gets in the way of the story and there's too much going on, which gets jumbled. Oh, the hero also hates the "cult" of "Catcher in the Rye," which he repeatedly mocks. I like "Catcher," but totally see his point. Followed by a sequel. Also check out "Youth in Revolt."

m
missbaseball
Dec 12, 2013

Loved this book. One of the best parts were the names of the bands, and albums and song titles, this guy came up with for his 'musical career'.

On the audio book the author even performs some of the songs. :)

JewelMcLatchy Dec 16, 2012

This book falls into the category of loved it/hated it and probably no one who reads it will actually feel ambivalent toward it. I'm also not a teenage boy (being a still young-ish woman), so naturally there were parts I didn't really care for, but the rest of it was just so spot-on high school that I was easily able to overlook the "nasty" bits. I'm sure there were several references that escaped me, but the ones I did catch were fabulous, intelligent, quirky, fiendishly clever at times...A great book overall, it made me laugh so hard I cried, particularly during the Advanced French "Advanced Conversation" bit, and many other passages. Would definitely recommend this for mature teen readers because of sexual and drug related content.

i
ireadwords
Jan 29, 2012

Thinking back on this book I loved it. Although I'm certain that while I was reading it I absolutely hated it. It was very, very, clever and funny, but at the same time just terribly clever and funny, in a way that makes me disgusted. The explanation for this is probably that this is a guy book, and I, being a girl, had no place reading it. I really want to like it, I liked the voice and the jokes, and I feel like saying I loved it and could relate would make me a hard core rebel or something, but I just can't do it. So honestly I can't tell you if you should read it or not. However, if you happen to be an ironic, slightly depressed teenage male who hates all women's dumb un-unnecessary 'personality', I highly suggest this book.

LibraryPixie Jan 04, 2012

I know others who have enjoyed this which is why I picked it up to begin with but I just couldn't finish it. It became a chore to read. I disliked the narrator as a character and kept waiting for something to happen. When I was just over half way someone told me the ending was bad i just put it down thinking well what's the point then?

s
shoothorses
Nov 15, 2009

"anti-catcher, pro-rock'n'roll"

i
Iralob
Sep 24, 2009

I liked this book, but would suggest it for teen readers

k
kalio
Jun 26, 2009

Tom Henderson has read The Catcher in the Rye for practically every English class of his high school career. When the classic is assigned again, Tom digs out his deceased father?s old copy and makes an interesting discovery: what seems to be a secret code is scribbled in the margins. Suddenly a commonplace book might just be able to end the cycle of humiliation and suffering that is Tom?s life as the king dork of Hillmont High. As intriguing as the mystery of the beat-up copy of Catcher in the Rye is, it is Tom?s unique character that makes King Dork stand out. From his hilarious hobby of making up band names and album titles (even though he doesn?t play an instrument) to his self-deprecating wit, Tom is a remarkably engaging and likeable teen voice. With Tom leading the way through a story that?s chock full of sex, drugs, and rock-n-roll, King Dork will appeal to the wannabe teenager rebel in all of us.

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RobertELPL Mar 04, 2017

RobertELPL thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over

JewelMcLatchy Dec 07, 2012

JewelMcLatchy thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

LocketLibrarian Apr 23, 2011

LocketLibrarian thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

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JewelMcLatchy Dec 16, 2012

Refer to p. 144-6 for the full context of the quote. This is from Advanced French: "...Therefore, my little friend," she said quietly and with a sad smile, "all the world very much loves the automobile who calls himself a cat." "You are correct," I said hopelessly. "I am enchanted. Our little green hat is orange on the head of this very interesting horse."

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