Tuesday, July 21, 2009

I Love You, Beth Cooper -- Larry Doyle

I thought it would be a long time before I ran across another literary allusion that tickled me as much as John Green's reference to Fireball Roberts in An Abundance of Katherines, but I did get a big smile out of this introduction to a section of I Love You, Beth Cooper on page 167: "A screaming came across the room."

Here's the set-up. High school valedictorian and uber-nerd Denis Cooverman decides that he'll regret it forever if he doesn't declare his love for Beth Cooper in his graduation speech. Until that moment Beth was hardly aware of his existence. Denis' declaration leads to a long night of sex, drugs, and rock and roll. Also movie quotes and incredible mayhem, most of it visited on Denis by Beth's homicidal boyfriend. All of it's pretty cartoonish, no surprise, I suppose
since Larry Doyle's worked on The Simpsons and other stuff. It's also downright laugh-out-loud hilarious, with plenty of wonderful lines. It would make a great movie.

Okay, I didn't even know it was already a movie until I'd read the book, but now I know, and it's already in the local theaters, getting creamed by some movie about a boy wizard and another one with lots of explosions. Who cares? Read the book instead. It's great.


Ben Rehder said...

I read this when it first came out and enjoyed it quite a bit. But I remember thinking, "Yeah, this guy is a successful TV writer, but that won't necessarily translate into success in the book world."


Anonymous said...

Well, the movie got hideous reviews and tanked big time.

I'll try the book instead.


Vince said...

This was originally written as a screenplay, but when no one expressed any interest Doyle turned into a novel. Et voila. It didn't work perfectly, though; I enjoyed the book so much that I decided to skip the movie.

Romy said...

I love comic novels, but so many of them are barely amusing. This one was hilarious.