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King Dork by Frank Portman

King Dork

by Frank Portman

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1,110None7,490 (3.84)61
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I liked this book a lot at first. The story is, in many ways, charming. But by the end, i concluded that the frequent amount of blow jobs and other sexual activities portrayed as happening among high school kids was entirely unrealistic. At least among the high school kids I knew.
It's a damn shame, too, because this book was very funny and I started out really liking it. But every girl he encounters can't wait to give him a blow job, and I dont know, wishful thinking on the part of the author perhaps?
Still, there are good things about this book. ( )
  KristySP | Apr 21, 2013 |
Best part besides being brutally funny is the band names the characters come up with. ( )
  akmargie | Apr 4, 2013 |
King DORK, more like...oh wait. ( )
1 vote | AlCracka | Apr 2, 2013 |
Don't like the way the girls in this book are portrayed (I definitely got the feeling that the book was written with the fantasies of teenaged boys in mind and without thinking too hard about the reactions of a female audience). On the other hand, I really liked the way the awkwardness of the relationship between Tom and his mom and stepfather was described: that was genuinely funny and kept me hooked.

I heard the audio version of the book, which (although perfectly well-performed) perhaps doesn't work as well as the text would in print (the reading out of the code letters, the 'devilhead' repetition). ( )
  AJBraithwaite | Mar 31, 2013 |
Arianna Pogact
12 January 2012

What do Tom Henderson and The Catcher in the Rye have in common? An old copy can help him solve some mysteries about his dad. King Dork by Frank Portman is a fiction novel with some mystery and sarcastic comedy mixed in. This story follows a typical high school loser for 4 months as you discover things about his school, his friend, his family, the band he’s trying to start, a drummer who can’t count to four, and how The Catcher in the Rye has to do with any of this.
Tom Henderson refers to himself as King Dork because, as he puts it: “I’m small for my age, young for my grade, uncomfortable in most situations, nearsighted, skinny, awkward, and nervous. And no good at sports.” Tom’s dad died when he was eight in what the newspaper’s vague details call a car accident, but to Tom it always seemed like there was more to it. He keeps trying to connect the dots with the time of the accident, who else might have been there, why was he there, and the way the crash was set up (as if it was planned). Since his mom isn’t the best person to talk to about his dad, his step- dad is just awkward, and the rest of Hillmont High School is filled with people who make fun of him, the only person he has to talk to about all of this is his only friend Sam Hellerman. Sam’s the bassist in their band.
Sam and Tom actually don’t talk about his dad at all. Instead they talk more about what their band is going to be called and what part they will play in it. That is, until their school makes them read The Catcher in the Rye and Tom goes into the attic to find an old copy of his dad’s. In the old copy there are weird codes and underlinings that Tom feels may all be connected somehow. Now, I can’t go too much more into the story without giving it all away, so you should read the book if you want to find out what happens.
I felt that this book was a good and I don’t regret reading it. The little sarcastic remarks throughout the story provided a comic relief that made me laugh through the whole story no matter what was happening. If you’re into music, mystery, comedy, or just easy leisure reading, then I think you will love this book. ( )
  apogact | Jan 13, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 55 (next | show all)
A teenage angster deals with high school: parental units, cliques, drugs, dorkometers, sex (the good and the ugly) and Rock and Roll. The teenager's dad has died of mysterious circumstances. He finds his dad's old books. The books offer clues. The clues are kind of a Hamlet like Ghost thing; helping him deal with high society in a strange teenage wasteland. The book offers insights on how music can be a powerful force in a youth's life. It shows how writing fan zines help a kid have a voice where his voice is powerless in a world not quite ready for his opinions.

I loved the relationships described in the book. One relationship that was developed very well was the main character and his step dad. The step dad is so out of touch, but he wants to be liked by his stepson. He ends up playing a role not suited for him the "adult teenager". Older guys looks so fake when they try to be hip.

The book is definitely from a different culture than the one down here in the bible belt. Psychology is the parent's religion. The parents often want to discuss feelings. And violence is frowned upon. Down here in 863 Christianity is the religion. The parents want to discuss the bible. And violence and hunting are things dad and sons do on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday Nights. (This is a generalization it does not imply that all are like this.)

The book is a great examination of the idea of validation. We all want to be recognized, have some sort of power, and some control of our lives.

I am glad I picked up this book and gladly give it a big clucks up!
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And afterwards, in radiant garments dresed
With sound of flutes and laughing of glad lips,
A pomp of all the passions passed along
All the night through; till the white phantom ships
Of dawn sailed in. Whereat I said this song,
"Of all sweet passions Shame is loveliest."
-Lord Alfred Douglas
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Book description
A realistic/mystery novel in the same vein as Catcher in the Rye. Our protagonist is a social misfit/outcast trying to not only fit in, but also get laid and solve several mysteries throughout the novel.
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High school loser Tom Henderson discovers that "The Catcher in the Rye" may hold the clues to the many mysteries in his life.

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