Townhouse Books

Monday, September 03, 2007

I Love You, Beth Cooper: Larry Doyle

If you've read Larry Doyle in the New Yorker & seen his new novel in the bookstore, you probably thought, "those humorists never sustain the funny for the whole book; it will get awkward and dull and I won't want to finish reading it."

Well, this is worthwhile. Short chapters, all funny, chronicling the radical decline from his graduation ceremony to the end of the wildest night of the valedictorian's life. Led me to reflect on the innate meanness of coaches who also teach driver's ed. Doyle embraces the Hollywood tradition of high school movies -- uses a quote from a character under a cartoon of the progressively harried & bloodied protagonist to start each chapter. Some, like Lloyd Dobler, were immediately recognizable; others would take some Googling.


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