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King Dork | [Frank Portman]

King Dork

Tom Henderson (a.k.a. King Dork, Chi-mo, Hender-fag, and Sheepie) is a typical American high school loser until he discovers the book, The Catcher in the Rye, that will change the world as he knows it.
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Publisher's Summary

Tom Henderson (a.k.a. King Dork, Chi-mo, Hender-fag, and Sheepie) is a typical American high school loser until he discovers the book, The Catcher in the Rye, that will change the world as he knows it. When Tom discovers his deceased father's copy of the Salinger classic, he finds himself in the middle of several interlocking conspiracies and at least half a dozen mysteries involving dead people, naked people, fake people, ESP, blood, a secret code, guitars, monks, witchcraft, the Bible, girls, the Crusades, a devil head, and rock and roll. And it all looks like it's just the tip of a very odd iceberg of clues that may very well unravel the puzzle of his father's death and, oddly, reveal the secret to attracting semi-hot girls.

Being in a band could possibly be the secret to the girl thing, but good luck finding a drummer who can count to four.

©2006 Frank Portman; (P)2006 Random House, Inc. Listening Library, an imprint of the Random House Audio Publishing Group

What the Critics Say

"The author's biting humor and skillful connection of events will keep pages turning." (Publishers Weekly)
"This dazzling novel will linger long in readers' memories." (School Library Journal)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (129 )
5 star
 (48)
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3 star
 (17)
2 star
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Overall
3.8 (33 )
5 star
 (13)
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Story
4.0 (33 )
5 star
 (13)
4 star
 (11)
3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Norman Tarrytown, NY, USA 08-23-06
    Norman Tarrytown, NY, USA 08-23-06
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
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    9
    1
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    Overall
    "Good but raunchy"

    I bought this to listen in the car with my age 12 and 15 boys. The frank talk about oral sex and sex in general was surprising to me.

    I guess it didn't hurt them, but rate this one R. It's not PG-13.

    N

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    T. C. Pile Millwood, NY 12-07-08
    T. C. Pile Millwood, NY 12-07-08 Member Since 2004

    audiobookaholic

    HELPFUL VOTES
    221
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    163
    52
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    15
    1
    Overall
    "YA lit for Adults, too"

    I checked out King Dork to see if it might be something my teenage son might like, and ended up loving it myself. The bumbling teenager that I was long ago was suddenly present front and center, radar out for slights and bullies, longing for validation, convinced that life has no meaning outside of friends and music, and desperate for sexual experience of any kind. Took me right back there, and helped me remember that being a teenager is still the hardest time of life. It's amazing that any of us survive. Frank Portman has told a story that will resonate with teenagers, and with anybody who has ever been a teenager.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Evelyn M Kloepper 07-10-06 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    44
    ratings
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    461
    11
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    "a gem of a novel"

    What an absolute delight this audio book is! I don't give out five stars lightly, but this work deserves it. I'm well into middle age, but King Dork made me feel like a teenager again. A wonderful smart protagonist brought to life by the perfect reader. You'll be in stitches. An added plus to the audio version is a short interview with the author, who also performs a few songs he wrote for King Dork. All in all, a gem.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mary Denver, CO, United States 08-23-07
    Mary Denver, CO, United States 08-23-07 Listener Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
    56
    ratings
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    288
    35
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    3
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    Performance
    Story
    "It's not just for teens"

    In fact, it's really more for adults or anyone who thought high school was a farce. If you liked the TV show, "Freaks and Geeks," this book is for you. A smart, hilarious story that will have you laughing and reminiscing. The author defintely did his research of 1970s music, which added to my enjoyment of the story. I am so glad I listened to this one! Note to parents: if you're liberal and open with your teens, this book is great for them. If teen sex references aren't your thing, don't share it with your kids.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Courtney Springboro, OH, USA 10-11-06
    Courtney Springboro, OH, USA 10-11-06
    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    38
    2
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    0
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    Overall
    "A Hit for Any Age"

    I couldn't love this book more! I am an adult but when I read the description of this book I thought, "why not?" I was so glad I did!
    You can't help but fall in love with the main character: his trials and mishaps that shuttle you back to the that age and his obervations that make you want to giggle behind your hand.
    The narrarator captured the attitude and personality of the character and the feel of the book perfectly.
    This is definately a repeat listen.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anita Raleigh, NC, USA 08-21-06
    Anita Raleigh, NC, USA 08-21-06 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    59
    ratings
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    425
    26
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    "Delightful"


    Love this author and his style of writing. This is my first exposure to both him and the narrator. It was quirky and memorable. This is quite different from your normal hero or book subject, but does a fantastic job of painting a portrait of a admirable nerd.

    Qualifies as a great book you are sad to hear it end.

    Was completely pleased with the narrator and the book content.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael kansas city, MO, United States 01-31-11
    Michael kansas city, MO, United States 01-31-11 Member Since 2007

    Say something about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    21
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    55
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    6
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    Overall
    "Very Good."

    this story was great.. found myself making up band names according to my day to day situations.. the main character was a cool kid..

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nicholas Newhall, CA, United States 12-08-10
    Nicholas Newhall, CA, United States 12-08-10
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    1
    Overall
    "started off well, but"

    This book started off well, but got really stupid towards the end.To add insult to injury I found the songs included painful to listen to.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marc Pinetop, AZ, United States 05-23-07
    Marc Pinetop, AZ, United States 05-23-07 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    19
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    77
    3
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    "A blast"

    This book was a blast! A fun look at adolescent and high school society from the perspective of a high school student as he moves through the trials, tribulations and discoveries of adolescence, with a sarcastic, tounge-in-cheek analysis of various family and peer events and relationships. I was ready to give the book to my high-school son, which it seemed to describe almost perfectly, until I came to the casual sex. Nonetheless it was a fun, entertaining "read" that as a former high school nerd myself I could relate to and laugh at. Listen to this one when you need to relax and laugh a bit. Both my wife and I found ourselves laughing out loud, and continue to make references and share favorite anecdotes of the book with each other.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Richard Lithia, FL 03-25-07
    Richard Lithia, FL 03-25-07 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    42
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    30
    7
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    Overall
    "mixed reaction"

    This is a contemporary American bildungsroman with a mystery motif and a lengthy review of 'Catcher in the Rye'. There's plenty of 'shock' language, which may be an accurate reflection of today's HS student for all I know. Tom (King Dork) clearly is a precocious boy in many respects, although still filled with the usual confusions of adolescence. His best friend is addicted to hard liquor and stealing antidepressant medications from Tom's mother. The student social world at Tom's HS comes across as a kind of Baghdad of warring factions. The faculty have arrested development that keeps them in the 1960s. Lincoln Hoppe does an excellent job of telling the story. I found myself more interested in how the matter of the death of Tom's father would play out. To my disappointment, this theme is unresolved, and we never know the truth of the matter. The ending is very strange. It consists of Tom reading a long list of terms more or less relevant to the storyline, and supplying his own post-modern definitions. I thought the ending did not contribute to the storyline, which ends rather abruptly with Tom recessing into a philosophical haze while his best friend falls into a drug/alcohol stupor. A good knowledge of rock bands from the 1960s through the 1990s is needed in order to understand many of Tom's comments.

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
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