Monday, September 6, 2010

Book Review: The Boy Who Couldn't Sleep and Never Had To

by DC Pierson

Score:  Hilarious, familiar, outrageous, creative - I give it 4 awkward blushes out of 5!

Synopsis:  Nerdly, friendless 15yo Darren Bennett is obsessed with drawing cyborgs - Actranian berserkers, AltraTroops, the evil Dr. Praetoreus to name just a few. Fascinated, fellow outcast Eric Lederer befriends him and the dorky duo spend countless hours creating the ever-expanding fictional world of TimeBlaze…“a ten-part movie maxi-series with the mythos filled in by comic books and graphic novels, culminating in a series-rebooting singularity at the end of the tenth movie, following which, using some technology not yet invented, all existing copies of all previous movies will have their stories altered.” Not to mention the merchandising tie-ins.

Late one night Eric reveals his deepest secret to Darren…Eric has never, ever slept. Never. Not once. And they’ve both watched enough movies to know that if word gets out about Eric’s “thing”, it will be just a matter of time before shadowy men in black show up to take Eric away to figure out how to use his powers for evil.

So of course…word gets out and the boys end up on the run from a shadowy man in black. Surely he’s from the government. Or could it be far more complicated than the boys ever imagined?

Snippets of snappy dialogue:

Darren on the perils of drawing in public: “No matter how well you’re drawing it, there’s nothing good you can be drawing. You can’t win. If you’re drawing superheroes, that looks nerdy. If you’re drawing landscapes or things girls might actually like, like animals, that looks girly. If you’re drawing the female figure, you’re a pervert. If you’re drawing the male figure, you’re gay. If you’re drawing superheroes and you haven’t gotten around to drawing the masks or capes or whatever yet, you’re gay. Do yourself a favor: Don’t start with the muscles. Start with the rocketpack and work your way out. You’ll still be nerdy, but everybody knew that already. I mean, come on: you’re DRAWING.

Darren and Eric speculating about future careers: “We sort of hope we were born late enough in history that by the time we are in our forties and fifties “existence engineer” and “clone wrangler” will be viable career paths.”

Darren’s resignation about his bullying brother’s friends: “I guess a bunch of seniors dressed as ninjas swearing and kicking each other in the chest for an hour before peeling away in their cars could be scary to some people, but I’m used to it.”

Darren on the difference between honor students and himself: “Creative assignments usually send most honors students into a seizure, because there aren’t predefined rubrics for being creative, you’re encouraged to do exactly what you’re not supposed to do in any other assignment, which is MAKE IT UP, you’re not even asked to provide a bibliography, and before long you have to put a belt in soon-to-be-valedictorian Alicia Henry’s mouth to keep her from choking on her own tongue.”

Darren’s reaction to finding out his new (and only) friend never sleeps: “”It’s like when you’re taking a standardized test with one of those bubble sheets and you’re humming along, filling in the circles and you go to fill in the answer for question 58 and you realize the empty circle is 59, you’ve been one number off for God knows how long…it might only be one number but now everything is wrong.”

Eric speculating about why the shadowy man in black is trying to catch him: “Maybe he’s a guy from the Vatican and I’m supposed to be the Christ child or something, meant to bring about the apocalypse.”

Darren’s counterproposal: “Maybe he’s from the government dispatched to bring you to Area 51 where they’ll run tests on you. There’s also a chance he’s just some guy from, like, an evil pharmaceutical giant and he’s bribed his way into the cops working for him.”

Darren describing their plan to manipulate his older brother into beating up the shadowy man in black: “We are tickling a very specific spot on my brother’s and his friends’ teenage lizard brains right now.”

Darren on training Eric to fight: “It’s basically Yoda teaching Luke how to use the Force if Yoda didn’t know anything about the Force and couldn’t use it himself.”

No comments: