Read I Am a Genius of Unspeakable Evil and I Want to Be Your Class President by Josh Lieb Free Online
Book Title: I Am a Genius of Unspeakable Evil and I Want to Be Your Class President|
Loaded: 1638 times
Reader ratings: 6.5
The author of the book: Josh Lieb
Date of issue: September 7th 2010
ISBN 13: 9781595143549
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 682 KB
City - Country: No data
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Not sure quite how to rate this one so I won't. I thought most of it was hilarious, inventive, and fun to read, but I was confused by the ending and what young readers are suppose to come away with. Is it pure fun or is there a moral within all that dark irony?
At first I thought it would be most appreciated by younger adults, Daily Show fans, who would remember well the horrors of middle school and get a kick out of how Oliver manages to pass by and over them. It is completely over the top and very,very funny. I figured that the Raymond Carver reference, and the irritated stuff about public television fund raisers might mean more to those who knew and had experienced them.
But as I read on I did think kids would get it and enjoy it too. Anyone who has ever been bullied or experienced anything even minor of the sorts of stuff Lieb accurately described about middle school is bound to eat this book up. That the class loser, be it what you think you are (or were) or one you knew (there has to be on Oliver sometime in everyone's life) is secretly an evil genius who does have world domination is something everyone can get. And Lieb presents Oliver's life and world absolutely brilliantly --- everyone's dream realized from invisible bodyguards to take care of every slight in school, world domination (cause a coup to get a toy to bribe a school official), and so forth. This part of the book --- Oliver's secret world is mostly total wish-fulfillment and terrific! All those wonderful Rube Goldbergish secret things and places. I think my favorite may be the water fountain with the two secret buttons disguised as discarded gum that provide chocolate milk or root beer or both although the cigarette messages are pretty fun too while being on the adult side again, how to pronounce Nabokov, Gravity's Rainbow, etc.
Where it didn't quite work as well for me was the underlying theme about Oliver wanting "daddy's" approval; I mean, he is so scathing about "daddy" that the reunion at the end rang false for me. The man seems like a complete idiot (as, of course, channeled through Oliver) that seeing him at the end as decent (again through Oliver) didn't fly for me, just puzzled me. Maybe I didn't get it, but it seemed to be sincere and with all the rest being so over-the-top ironic and mean, this seemed off to me. I guess it is just more irony of the opposite sort, but I just didn't quite get those last few pages, I must admit.
I also wasn't sure about Oliver's feelings, behaviors, and relationships, with the other kids and even teachers. At first he clearly hated them all and that was fine and worked in a two-d comic book sense, but that ending --- again, very confusing to me. Was Randy okay in his eyes by the end or not? What about Verna? Titania? That teacher with the cigarettes? Much of the humor was of the "Arrested Development" sort and very funny, but the nicer side of things that seems to also be in this book didn't fly for me. It fell pretty flat (or maybe it didn't exist and I just got taken by Oliver at the end for it.) I guess, because Oliver is truly mean for most of the book about everyone, dorks, good teachers, bad teachers, mother, father, everyone. The evident change at the end didn't seem believable to me.
All that said, I do recommend it because it is unique, has some hysterically funny bits, and is a highly entertaining read.
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Read information about the authorJosh Lieb is an Emmy-winning Executive Producer of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, and has worked on such shows as The Simpsons and NewsRadio.
I Am a Genius of Unspeakable Evil and I Want to Be Your Class President is his first novel. He lives in New York with his wife and family.