March 15, 2006

Where's Captain Kirkus?

Kirkus is an important book review journal that is notorious for its anonymous, often quite snarky reviews. Almost since the beginning of the recent launch of my so-called literary career people have been warning me to brace myself for a possible Kirkus bloodbath, some even going so far as to console me in advance for the inevitable eviscerating review: don't worry, reviews don't matter that much, they'd say. It's word of mouth that sells books. You know who else got a bad review? Beethoven, that's who. Look it up.

So I was greatly relieved to discover that the Kirkus review of King Dork was favorable. Who knew? They even put a little star by it. So I felt like throwing a big party for myself, which I in fact did last night. It was great. You should have been there.

You have to be a subscriber to read the entire review on-line. I'm including the link to the review page here just to prove I'm not lying about the whole thing, but be warned (and I'm mainly talking to you, Manda) that the first line displayed on this page contains a minor spoiler. Here's the review, with the spoiler edited out:

A biting and witty high-school satire explores cross-generation mysteries and music. Tom Henderson is used to being a nobody, and entertains himself by designing band names: Baby Batter, Oxford English, Tennis with Guitars. Every year Tomís teachers force him to read CATCHER IN THE RYE, the book that changed their lives. Though Tom scoffs at what he calls ďthe CATCHER cult,Ē the book is about to change *his* life, too, if not in Mr. Schtuppe-approved ways. Tom finds his dead fatherís copy of CATCHER in a box of old books, chock-full of margin notes and mysterious scribbles. Further investigation reveals murder, suicide and illicit sex comprising both current and 40-year-old mysteries. Tom investigates his fatherís past while forming a real (terrible) band, discovering blow jobs and surviving a skull fracture. He gains personal revelations that both reject and embrace his parentsí generation and its Holden Caulfields, in a story richly flavored with 1960s cult novels and 1970s rock-and-roll. The open-ended conclusion is unexpectedly satisfying.
Not bad. Saved me 350 bucks, too. Posted by Dr. Frank at March 15, 2006 07:55 PM | TrackBack

For my money "Baby Batter" is the grossest phrase in the English language.

Posted by: josh at March 16, 2006 01:46 PM

Back in college my friend Dave used to say "I've mixed up a lot of baby batter but I ain't never had no kid!"

Now he has two and one one the way.

p.s. I anyone wants to read my first book review, just click on my name. I think I have a career in this.

Oh and did you see how much it costs to subscribe to that kirkus website? Crazy.

Posted by: MArk at March 16, 2006 01:56 PM

2 more months until I can read it.....(*twiddles thumbs*)

Posted by: Zaphod at March 16, 2006 03:31 PM

Thank you!

Posted by: Manda at March 17, 2006 08:02 AM

A starred review in Kirkus is a Very Big Deal -- many libraries automatically receive from their book jobbers all of the titles that have received starred reviews in the major review periodicals. This gets your book in front of more librarians (aka book pushers), and therefore in front of more teen readers! Excellent news, Frank.

Posted by: sophie at March 20, 2006 05:44 PM

Thanks, Sophie! I guess it *is* all about the pushers...

Posted by: Dr. Frank at March 20, 2006 11:57 PM