Saturday, July 28, 2007
Tom Henderson is a lovable high school loser. He and his best friend, Sam Hellerman, make up band names and album titles without ever really getting around to forming a band. (My favorite entry: Band name: the Nancy Wheelers, me on guitar, Sam Hellerman on bass and ouija board. first album: Margaret? It's God. Please Shut Up.) The plot contains two mysteries: Tom's attempts to track down a mysterious girl he makes out with at a party and his attempts to make sense of his father's death after finding his father's marked-up copy of The Catcher and the Rye. Several of the Amazon reviews compare King Dork to the TV show Freaks and Geeks, and I agree that the book's tone is a good match for that series. There isn't a whole lot of resolution, though, and I found the book lost some momentum in the last third, but it is a good portrait of the alienation of high school.