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Andromeda Klein Hardcover – August 25, 2009

18 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


Praise for Andromeda Klein:

[STAR] "With impish prose and ridiculously researched detail, Portman fully fleshes a one-of-a-kind character."-Booklist, Starred

"Andromeda is a compelling character...[with] unique and likable flavor."-Kirkus Reviews

"Portman's depiction of Andromeda's struggles in her claustrophobic world is skilled and affectionate...[readers] will find plenty of food for thought."-Publishers Weekly

"A vivid portrait of Andromeda...the teen addresses a variety of issues, from censorhsip to frienship to parental involvemnt."-School Library Journal

About the Author

Frank Portman (aka Dr. Frank) is also the author of King Dork and the singer/songwriter/guitarist of the influential East Bay punk band the Mr. T. Experience (MTX). MTX has released about a dozen albums since forming in the mid-1980s. Frank lives in Oakland, California. You can visit him online at


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers; 1 edition (August 25, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385735251
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385735254
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.4 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,500,501 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

I am also known as Dr. Frank, and I write books and songs.

I've put out a couple of solo records, and my band The Mr. T Experience (MTX) has released around a dozen albums or so over the years.

They can be found here:

and also here: (the two on the right at that last link -- the chubby German guy, that's not me.)

(Apologies for the ugly formatting: for some reason Amazon doesn't allow html links to its own content in these things.)

King Dork is my first novel. Andromeda Klein is my second. The forthcoming King Dork Approximately will be my third.

Behold, my web presence: (blog)

My interests include tomatoes, swords, guitars, calculators, movies, TV, and things made of vinyl, wood, and metal.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Anastasia on September 7, 2009
Format: Library Binding
I found this on the New Books shelf at my library on Friday, and after checking to see what sort of book it was I decided to grab it before anyone else could get it and read it immediately. I finished on Saturday and WOW! I love it. It's long, but it's totally worth it.

The book as a whole is sweetly awkward, quirky, and fun-in-a-slightly-dark way (like a clown crying while telling jokes, for example). Some parts remind me a lot of my own high school (and middle school) experiences, which is probably why I identified with Andromeda so much-- she could be an alternate me, and Daisy could be an alternate version of my best friend from that time. It was a little bit spooky, but mostly it was very cool.

I really liked Andromeda (not just because she's an alternate me). Even when she's acting crazy and ridiculous, mostly regarding boys and how she lets people treat her (read: like a doormat), I was interested in her life and what she was going to do next. I loved how she treated books like sacred things, and how she wanted to save the best books from being discarded from the library where she works. I also was really interested in how she preferred the more traditional sorts of occultism and shunned the more New Age, fluffier magic; it was very refreshing since so many new books seem to have only the Buffy-the-Vampire-Slayer-Wicca-magic-thing and I hate that. It's nice to see a character actually do something different from that for once, and as a bonus Andromeda doesn't even call herself a witch (she's an "occultist") nor does she cut herself and recite depressing poems to the moon (um, for example).

Andromeda is refreshing in a non-occult way as well.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By weezeruasox on September 23, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I read Frank Portman's first book, King Dork, and while it showed a lot of promise, I didn't love it. After just finishing Andromeda Klein, I'm happy to report that it's a simply stellar offering. The characters ring entertainingly and hilariously true, which was one of my major complaints about King Dork. The best advice I can give is to not get too bogged down in all of the references to the occult. It isn't necessary to Google what every foreign term means to really enjoy Andromeda and her story. Follow that suggestion and you'll be bummed you have to wait so long for Portman's next book -- just like me.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Daisy Dickinson on July 28, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
1) I've read it 3 times and it's in my bag to read at any moment I want 2) Every time I read it I find something new to admire 3) I have nearly completed my masters in English literature so I have at least some minimal standards ...
4) There is a hidden something in this book - something besides the story and the characters - maybe a spell embedded somehow, because it is profoundly, deeply satisfying to read in a way that never gets stale 5) Magic 6) Synaesthesia
7) Dreams 8) A library-temple 9) Books 10) A hard of hearing character! 11) A labor of love, obviously, love of someone?, an act of devotion ..this book teaches how to live with visions...and voices...
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By C. G. Weyhing on September 30, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I loved "King Dork" so of course I picked up this book. After fifty pages I couldn't get into it, so I came back to Amazon to read all the glowing reviews. Inspired, I tried again, I really tried, but one hundred and fifty pages later I still found myself unable to get into the story. I didn't like Andromeda, I didn't care about the mini mysteries like St. Steve, and I didn't find Andromeda's faulty interpretations of others' words funny. And above all else, I very quickly tired of reading about all the tarot cards, magic, etc.

I'll give Mr. Portman's next book a try because "King Dork" was so good, but this one is not for me. Two stars in deference to the other reviews and to my inability to finish the book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Carbon on November 20, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This review is intended for those who have read King Dork, Portman's brilliant first novel, and are considering Andromeda Klein.
Andromeda Klein is definitely a different book than King Dork (impressively so), and while it has a literary theme (to some degree) it doesn't match King Dork's marvelous theme of interpersonal-revelation-through-literature. Both a pro and a con of Andromeda is that it deals with topics and books I know next to nothing about -- tarot and the occult -- in rather exacting detail. That is to say, there are many opportunities for both befuddlement and education.

But, the other themes regarding mental processes and the various methods of "divination" are delightfully subtle and unexpected. Perhaps even too subtle -- some of the more pathological/disturbing aspects never get formally addressed. Portman's choice to go that route is incredibly bold, so much so that I spent the latter half of the novel waiting for a devastating revelation that never happened. Frankly and inexplicably, the suspense thereof and it's lack of denouement are really satisfying.

Also, weirdly, all of the men to whom I recommended King Dork LOVED it and all the women just liked it -- and there was some consensus that it was a "boy book." I'd not say that, but I'm not a woman -- then again, i like many "chick flicks" so I don't think I'm strictly gender normative. Anyway, I think Portman conjures a convincing and original experience of high school from a young woman's perspective. The female characters are really colorful, but believably so. And it's crazy-witty, with those contemporary references to cell phones and such that convince you an (approaching-)literary novel CAN mention "the internet" without seeming disingenuous.
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