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The Poison Pen of Aberdeen Prep Paperback – May 20, 2008

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New Adult Fiction by Rainbow Rowell
Acclaimed author Rainbow Rowell's latest book, Landline, offers a poignant, humorous look at relationships and marriage. Learn more

Product Details

  • Paperback: 278 pages
  • Publisher: BookSurge Publishing; First edition (May 20, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1419699555
  • ISBN-13: 978-1419699559
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 5.9 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,508,025 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Greg Beesch was born in 1966 and misspent his youth with an ease that eludes most other dilettantes. His years at boarding school were spent seeking the true meaning of modern rakishness and attempting to develop a formal curriculum for mordant raillery and raconteurism, to no avail. Beesch's years working for The Man at the standard cubicle gulag were the crucible for his passionate war against social and intellectual pretension. His accurate categorization of the traditional publishing industry as 'a tyranny of inefficiency and pretense so pernicious it ranks with something out of the forced constructs of Soviet and Chinese communism' is well known, and he fights against that tyranny in his writings as well as in his personal life. His slogan "Editors = Failed Writers, Agents = Failed Editors" has seen widespread use on t-shirts, especially at the annual Book Expo America show.

His first book, 'The Poison Pen of Aberdeen Prep', acknowledged as probably the greatest bathroom reading novel of all time, sets a standard of humor and satire in line with the likes of P.G. Wodehouse and Hunter S. Thompson.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By The Boleyn Girl on October 22, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I picked up The Poison Pen of Aberdeen Prep somewhat skeptically. I mean, the author pretty much admitted he pays no attention to the regular rules of grammar and standard usage (which would normally give me a heart attack, grammar geek that I am), but I was surprised to find that once I started reading, the mistakes didn't bother me. Okay, maybe they bothered me a little, but not so much that they got in the way of the plot. I also must take my hat off to Mr. Beesch for self-publishing.

The Poison Pen of Aberdeen Prep doesn't take itself very seriously as a novel, which is the main reason it ended up being so much fun. It didn't try to impart wisdom and experience upon its teen readership, or even teach us a lesson, which might work with some novels but quickly becomes tiresome. That stuff is best left to Aesop. What Aberdeen Prep did was give me a nice and much needed vacation. I couldn't believe it: here was a novel that didn't make me cry, didn't give me any reason to look around at the world and feel depressed, or make me throw it against the wall in frustration over its characters. In fact, I liked these kids--the main character, Tommy, is this delightful Virginian man-child who you can't help but love. Another thing I appreciated was Beesch's willingness to have his characters use witty banter. Sure, high school students don't normally talk like that, but it was entertaining, so why not? It seems that many authors are afraid of criticism, so they give up on trying to be funny. Beesch obviously did not have this qualm, and that's all for the better. Every sentence was a colorful surprise... honestly, that's the only way I can think to explain it.
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Format: Paperback
High school junior Tommy Parrish is in his second year at Aberdeen Preparatory, and hates almost every minute of it.

It's not that he leads a bad life, and he knows it, but for him, prep school is just plain boring. He and his best friend, Henry, do just about all the things that average fictional boarding-school boys do: complain about school, obsess over girls, and, well, that about covers it. And yet, despite their typicality, they give off an ineffable air of completely owning the school.

The novel starts off slowly--very slowly--and if the author's intent is for the reader to feel some of the same ennui that the character is, well, he succeeds. I can't say it's an enjoyable experience, but the result is that, by the time Tommy decides to do something other than describe the school life he finds boring in excruciating detail, the reader is more than ready to read it.

The result of this teenage angst and ennui is the "seditious" news sheet entitled The Poison Pen that Tommy writes and posts around his school. While Tommy finds the inspiration for this format of distribution in Martin Luther's famous act of nailing his 95 Theses to the door of Wittenberg Church in Germany, beginning the Protestant Reformation, there doesn't seem to be anything quite that revolutionary going on in The Poison Pen.

Early editions read more like a satire of satirical newspapers such as The Onion rather than as seditious tracts against authority. But I guess that if you go to Aberdeen Prep, even stories about the faculty denying that your chem teacher is a zombie are better than the monotony of day-to-day life.

The novel's first-person point of view has its hits and misses.
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By NYK on June 29, 2008
Format: Paperback
If you're looking for a great summer read, I highly suggest Mr. 'Laugh Riot' Greg Beesch, author of The Poison Pen ([...]), self-described man of "twisted steel and sex appeal", dis-ser of all things 'traditional publishing model', and creator of a most 'impeccable' ;) role model for boys ( and girls) ages 15 to 115. And to all of us whose childhood memories are soaked with Enid Blyton's Mallory Towers series, dig into some Americana Boarding School lore! You'll love it. The author and his book are hilarious. Check him out in an interview on [...]. I just had to get to know him better!
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