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I Love You, Beth Cooper (P.S.) Paperback – April 15, 2008
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From Publishers Weekly
Former TV writer and magazine editor Doyle frenetically chronicles in his debut a long night of goofy teenage antics. After concluding he has nothing to lose, geekazoid valedictorian Denis Cooverman declares, during his graduation speech, his love for Beth Cooper, the way hot chief cheerleader. He is amazed to discover Beth is not completely repulsed by his feelings for her, although her army boyfriend, Kevin, is enraged. Beth, implausibly, later shows up at Denis's graduation party with two interchangeable sidekicks, Cammy and Treece. The party comprises exactly two guests, Denis (aka "The Coove") and his possibly gay best friend, Rich. Once Denis and Rich recover from the shock of being in the presence of pretty girls, they attempt to party, but the awkward celebration is cut short when Kevin arrives with his bruiser friends. Denis and Co. make their first of what will be several escapes, the circumstances of each providing Denis with evidence that Beth isn't the flawless goddess he'd imagined her to be. Overly rapid pacing, unlikely turns of events and quirky, funny dialogue reveal Doyle's TV roots (he has written for The Simpsons and Beavis and Butt-head). Doyle wrings from his typecast crew just enough teenage agony and ecstasy to keep readers interested. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Speaking in "the stilted manner of adolescent public speakers throughout history," and sweating so profusely that he develops a "groin pool," Denis Cooverman interrupts his high-school valedictory address to say what's truly on his mind: "I love you, Beth Cooper." His confession kicks off this outrageously funny novel, set during a single graduation night that Denis miraculously spends with the object of his desire, a head cheerleader who, for the first time, registers his existence. Doyle has written for Beavis and Butt-Head and The Simpsons, making it no surprise that his first novel both celebrates and mercilessly satirizes all things teen with razor-sharp humor: "The sullen girl sang, wringing fresh bitterness from the already alkaline lyrics." The homage to teen movies is obvious, from the stock characters and scenarios (including the ubiquitous naked-drunk-girls scene) to direct quotes from legendary teen-film characters. It's the nonstop jokes and wry, uproarious descriptions that set this apart, and like the shows Doyle has helped create, the text is filled with phrases ("benevolent cliquetator") and lines readers will savor. Gillian Engberg
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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Top Customer Reviews
Don't read it if you are offended by kids behaving badly; but if you aren't, this is a funny book!
However, if author Larry Doyle ever wrote even novelization to any of the aforementioned movies, I would buy it in a heartbeat. His writing style is witty and comical, with an air of sincerity and honesty, and enough of a deviation from generic characters and storylines to keep you interested throughout the novel.
Doyle takes an old formula-invisible geek adores popular cheerleader girl-and bends it to develop an entertaining read. Denis is in love with Beth Cooper, who is nothing like he imagines. Beth turns out to be generally devoid of admirable qualities, more of an antagonist, though Denis would never accept it. Her character serves as a far more unique plot device than her insipid Army ex-boyfriend, who chases Denis around, beating him into a pulp.
This more than anything is what brings Doyle's novel down a notch for me. It's true, this book was only made to hype up interest in a movie; thus, a `strong' antagonist needs to be portrayed in light of the fact that Beth is not quite the hook needed for box office media. However, it's over exaggeration (even if one argued it as tongue-in-cheek) to create this `coked-up military ex-boyfriend' character; his wild dialogue/antics has off-the-wall, inacurate `stereotype' of Army ex-boyfriends (even if I do kind of appreciate Doyle spreading overtly-machoistic stereotypes of us).
The illustrations and extras added into the Movie Tie-In Edition are worth sacrificing the purchase of the old school paperback/hardcover in deference to mass media paperback. I'm not pleased whenever I have to shelve mass media paperbacks, but as I said, there is enough added to justify to switch.
Overall it is enjoyable and entertaining. Larry Doyle is a good writer, good enough that I'll keep an eye out for his next work.
The movie was very funny, but the book was hilarious! The book allows the reader a more in depth experience, plus offers some alternate takes on key scenes. For the movie to cover everything the book did would probably require it to be an hour longer and rated R. Author Larry Doyle explains in the preface that when he adapted the book for the screen, he had to censor a number of things to fit ratings standards. But it's not the more explicit nature of the book that makes it better than the movie, it's the fact that you learn more about the characters than the movie can cover with dialogue. And that makes the experience all the more satisfying. Ultimately, the thing that sets this book (and movie) apart from the standard teen comedy is not so much that it's about the nerd, but that it never loses it's human side.
So go ahead and buy/rent the movie (I'm sure it's due out on DVD any day now), but make sure at some point in time you read the book. Whether it be before, after or alongside your viewing of the film it will definitely give you a better appreciation for the characters.
That being said. This book is hilarious.
I loved all the characters, and they were, CHARACTERS! My graduation was so lame in comparison.