Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Andromeda Klein by Frank Portman!

You know what's odd?  All the major online booksellers use the same cheap scan of this book's cover.  What's up with that??  [Erm...on closer inspection that's just what the cover of the book looks like.] So I'll have to use this picture of John Waters reading it instead (as featured on Jersey Beat).

No matter.  Andromeda Klein is the second book by Frank Portman (Dr. Frank of the punk band Mr. T Experience), and it's tons of fun.  I loved his first book, King Dork, so I was excited about this one without knowing a thing about it.  And when I read the first few pages I had that feeling I sometimes get when I start a book where I could tell it was going to be a good time, so I settled in happily and just let it wash over me.

I'm a sucker for books about passionate, hard-working experts of all sorts, from giant-pumpkin-growing teenagers (Joan Bauer's Squashed) to English professors (Wallace Stegner's Crossing to Safety), and Andromeda is a startlingly well-versed and hard-working teen occultist.  There's an enormous amount of information about tarot and magic[k] and A. E. Waite.  There's amusing wordplay.  And also libraries!   (I am so checking out the 133s next time I'm at the BPL.) Plus her father is a bit of a paranoid anti-government conspiracy guy and I am a fan of that sort of thing as well.  But aside from that, it's really just a smart and funny book about high school culture and about how one "misfit" navigates it.  The plot goes a little wild by the end, but whatev.  It's good.  Read it.

Also, I've discovered that Frank Portman actually recorded a couple of the terrible songs Tom Henderson wrote in King Dork.  They're on the book's amazon page. Take a listen to my favorite,  I Wanna Ramone You"If we won't be chaperoned, and if you wanna get ramoned, come on come on come on...." 

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