Told from the perspective of Tom, a "brainy, freaky, oddball kid who reads too much, [and is] so bright that his genius is sometimes mistaken for just being retarded," this debut novel expresses a cynical view of high-school life and a teen's passion for rock music. Much of the story focuses on a seemingly endless string of humiliations and tortures dished out by Tom's teachers and sadistic "psychotic normal" classmates. A more compelling and subtly drawn subplot details mysteries that Tom is trying to solve: Was his father's death a few years earlier really an accident? What is the meaning of the coded messages found in his father's copy of The Catcher in the Rye? The key role of Salinger's novel is hinted at by this book's telltale vintage burgundy cover, on which "King Dork" is written over Salinger's title. When he's not playing Sherlock Holmes or dodging bullies the types who "try to trip you anonymously and knock you over as you go by in the hallway" , Tom daydreams about the band he plans to form with his only friend Sam.

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Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Preview — King Dork by Frank Portman. In this coming-of-age, rock-and-roll, Da Vinci Code-style tale, high school loser Tom Henderson discovers his deceased father's copy of The Catcher in the Rye and finds himself in the middle of several interlocking conspiracies and at least half a dozen mysteries.

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To ask other readers questions about King Dork , please sign up. Is a good book as a overall look? David Baker If you don't like to laugh so hard you pee your pants, don't read this book. If you don't like sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll, don't read this book. If …more If you don't like to laugh so hard you pee your pants, don't read this book.

If you're squeamish about nipple-pinching and various kind of -jobs including hand and blow , don't read this book. If, on the other hand, you like to read a funny, dirty, weird story about a high school kid with a lot of problems and a large vocabulary, read this book. Read "Catcher in the Rye" first, though, if you haven't already been forced to read it multiple times by members of the "Catcher Cult.

See 1 question about King Dork…. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 3. Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Start your review of King Dork King Dork, 1. Jul 02, Amy rated it did not like it. Frank Portman OMG, he used to be in a band! View all 24 comments. Oct 22, Jackie "the Librarian" rated it it was ok Recommends it for: don't bother.

Shelves: youngadult , humor , hated-it. This book started out so strong, and so funny, I loved it. And then, the plot kicked it, and the relationships between Tom and the girls he meets were so stupid and unbelievable, it ruined the book for me. I feel betrayed by the direction the book took - instead of focusing on the feelings Tom had for his dead father, and the mystery of the notes in his father's old books, the book instead strays into shallow hookups and cynical attitudes toward relationships.

I think I wouldn't have such disdai This book started out so strong, and so funny, I loved it. I think I wouldn't have such disdain for this book if I hadn't loved it so much at the beginning. Maybe I'm just naive. Maybe nowadays girls are interested in giving blowjobs to guys they just met, and having them come back on a regular schedule for more, on the nights their regular boyfriends aren't around.

Say there are hookups like that. That doesn't mean I want to read about them, or think they make for a good plot. I wanted more of the plot where Tom was learning about his father through the margin notes and codes in his father's old books.

But that must have been less interesting to the author, because that part of the story was shuffled to the side, and all but ignored. Too bad, because the rest of the book left a bad taste in my mouth. A couple of months ago, I read a similar book called Miracle Wimp. It, too, had a kid without a lot of friends, who wanted to have a girlfriend. And somehow, he makes a few good friends, and he manages to meet a girl and they have interests in common, and they hang out.

It was funny, and true, and while nothing much happened, I was happy to spend some time with those characters. So for those of you looking for a book to give to your teenage kid, don't give him King Dork. Actually, don't give him Miracle Wimp either. Just leave it around the house, nonchalantly, for him to pick up on his own. Not exactly an updated version of Catcher in the Rye , but Tom, the main character, certainly has strong ideas about that American classic: "Oh, wait: I should mention that The Catcher in the Rye is this book from the fifties.

It is every teacher's favorite book. The main guy is a kind of misfit kid superhero named Holden Caulfield. For teachers, he is the ultimate guy, a real dreamboat. They love him to pieces. They all want to have sex with him, and with the book's author, too, and they'd probably even try to do it with the book itself if they could figure out a way to go about it.

It changed their lives when they were young. As kids, they carried it with them everywhere they went. They solemnly resolved that, when they grew up, they would dedicate their lives to spreading The Word.

When you do read it you can feel them all standing behind you in a semicircle wearing black robes, with hoods, holding candles. They're chanting "Holden, Holden, Holden View all 16 comments. Jan 21, bibliogrrl rated it liked it. I liked it, but really Dr Frank? Why do you need to mess up the minds of adolescent teenage boys more than they already are?

The narrator of the book is funny and engaging. But the portrayals of women in this book fall into 2 classifications: The saints - moms and sisters or The sinners - everyone else, also known as the blow job machines. It's pretty annoying.

View all 4 comments. Sep 25, Rebecca McNutt rated it really liked it Shelves: young-adult , coming-of-age , comedy , school , humor , fiction. King Dork isn't wonderful or anything, but I like how it introduces younger readers to the importance and fun of reading classic novels like The Catcher in the Rye.

A lot of kids today just don't read the classics anymore because they're too busy swooning over Twilight and The Hunger Games.

View 1 comment. May 10, Leslie rated it really liked it. King Dork is a near-perfect YA book. The narrator is engaging, acerbic, hilarious, and totally relatable for anyone who ever was a punky freak at the high-school level. Thank God this book is in the first person. Tom is preoccupied not only with individual identities but generatio King Dork is a near-perfect YA book. Tom is preoccupied not only with individual identities but generational identity, and part of what made this book personally interesting is that it is preoccupied with the relationship between baby-boomers and late-era gen X folks.

This was a brilliant way for Portman to avoid having to incorporate text messages and social media, neither of which were missed by me. Bits of my life simply disappeared.

The other area of controversy is that Tom tends to shock! That said, I think each of these girls has the clear upper hand in their respective situations. I am pretty disturbed that so many reviewers are using the word "slut" to describe these characters in the same breath as the word "feminism. Ugh and puh-lease. So Tom doesn't "really care" about these girls.

Do these girls care about him? Better this glamorous model than the one most of my high school friends suffered through.


King Dork Approximately

Dec 09, Minutes Young Adult Buy. Dec 09, Minutes Young Adult. Clearview High is filled with the nauseating odor of school spirit. Worse than the scent, though, is the total lack of Sam Hellermans, and the confusing abundance of girlfriends.


King Dork is the first novel by Frank Portman , published in A work of young adult fiction , the first-person narrative follows 14 year-old Tom Henderson during the first few months of his sophomore year of high school. Tom navigates the daily difficulties of a school filled with cruel peers and uncaring administrators, attempts to start a rock and roll band with his only close friend, negotiates the complexities of relating to girls, tries to piece together information about his deceased father through clues found in old novels, and evolves his relationship with his mother, stepfather, and sister. Titled after a song by Portman's band The Mr. T Experience , King Dork makes many references to rock bands, albums, and musicians. The events of King Dork take place between late August and early December

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