Sunday, May 30, 2010

book review - spanking shakespeare by jake wizner

my two cent(ence)s: fast paced, easy read that doesn't shy away from discussing bodily functions with great detail. very fun and unique voice, but lacking a clear plot.

i know spanking shakespeare has been under my "currently reading" label for weeks, but not because the book is a chore to get through. in fact, it is a really easy read, and keeps you coming back for more.

this novel is the record of a high school senior. he comes from a crazy family, he REALLY wants a girlfriend, he's a gifted writer, though tends to write about inappropriate subjects, and he is extremely self-conscious.
i'd say the best part about this book is the voice.
you know when you hear agents talking about "voice" and how it needs to be strong and unique?
well, this book certainly fits that bill! 
shakespeare's take on the world is unique and comical, and honestly i was laughing out loud during some parts.

but although i loved the voice, i felt the plot was really lacking. it felt more "stream of consciousness" as opposed to a flushed out novel. the story just kind of happens, which if the author did this intentionally to mirror how things just "seem to happen" to teenagers, well: kudos. but honestly it felt more like he had this funny character and wanted to showcase his thoughts and humor.

personally i could have done without some of the more graphic descriptions of bodily functions, but i'm sure teenage boys were cracking up during these parts. the "oh wow, i finally got a girlfriend" resolution at the end seemed a bit too convenient, but on a whole the book was pretty fun.

this was the author's debut novel, and i'm looking forward to reading his sophomore effort, castration celebration, to see if he can keep the awesome voice and add a bit more plot.


SkippyMom said...

Sounds like a good read - especially for a beach kind of afternoon - not too heavy, but entertaining?

I will keep in mind his next effort too. Thanks.

Dawn said...

I love the title of this book so much it makes me WANT to read it. Your review solidified it for me. Thanks!

Great review.

mi said...

skippymom - it is fun, but be prepared for his potty mouth, haha!

dawn - thanks! i feel usually that i suck at reviews because i only actually give my impression of the book - not what it's really about.

Neurotic Workaholic said...

Spanking Shakespeare and Castration Celebration. Wow, those are definitely too original titles. Sometimes the title alone is enough to bring in, but your review made me even more curious to read the book.

Christine Fletcher said...

Just the title makes me want to read it. After your review, it's on the TBR list!

Sling said...

I get the uneasy feeling I could relate to the kid.

mi said...

neurotic workaholic - the author teaches 8th grade english, so you two have some things in common!

christine - i wonder if your TBR list is as long as mine, haha!

sling - i'm laughing because i think it's probably true.

Creepy Query Girl said...

Thanks for the review! I'm not all for 'stream of consiousness' books either. But you gotta admit, his title is frickin awesome.

HELP ME said...

HIHI can anyone with the book please copy out the portion of introduction in which charlotte uses in her memoir. The part about her mother dying mentioning something about revolving about an axis. Thought that it was a rather good description. THANK YOU! :)

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