Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Review: Son of Interflux

The Superbowl threw off my blogging schedule, but I'm back on track!

Son of Interflux by Gordon Korman, first published 1986, 288 pages

Possibly my most favorite funny book ever. I fell in laugh-out-loud love with Korman's work when I was in middle school, and I've been reading and rereading his classic stuff ever since.

Simon Irving's dad is the vice president of Interflux - the world's largest manufacturer of useless things (useless by themselves, that is. For example: there was the seat, and there was the toilet - Interflux invented the device that connected the two). Mr. Irving sees a brilliant corporate career for his only son, but all Simon wants is to pursue his talent for painting at the exclusive Nassau School for the Arts. And when he finds a way to screw Interflux by buying a crucial piece of development land with the school's party money, he suddenly finds himself leading the highly talented and wildly eccentric student body in a crusade against the powerful corporation - and his own father.

I can't decide whether what I love most are Korman's crazy characters, his sense of comedic timing, or his eye for the ridiculous. Take heart breaker Sam, who could have any girl in school and gets himself kicked out of art class because he can't stop painting camels. Or Mrs. Irving, who tries one diet after another and drives her family to the haven of Burger King. And then there's Simon himself, a lovably average guy who screws up his second, third, fourth, and fifth chances with the girl of his dreams. Put them all together and I laugh until I cry. Ultimately, Son of Interflux is a celebration of creativity, friendship, and the utter unpredictability of life.

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