Me and Mr Booker
Me and Mr Booker
by Benjamin Law, Author
In some senses,* Me and Mr Booker* is your conventional coming-of-age story. Sixteen-year-old girl is bored; sixteen-year-old girl falls in love; sixteen-year-old girl learns many important lessons about life. But by the end of Chapter One, you know this novel’s different. For starters, very few opening chapters end with hilariously dry English banter, before the teenage protagonist matter-of-factly takes a guy’s balls into her mouth. And in most coming-of-age novels, that guy wouldn’t be twice the girl’s age and married.
One of the most unsettling things about Me and Mr Booker is how wry and funny it is, especially considering the plot is actually pretty grim when you boil it down. Martha is 16 years old and lives in a dull Australian town hours away from a big city. Viktor, her father, is insane – in the clinical sense of the word. Martha’s mother can’t shake Viktor off, and her brother is largely absent. Bored and lonely, Martha becomes smitten with the charming and hilarious Mr and Mrs Booker, and Mr Booker becomes smitten with Martha in a way that can’t end well.
For obvious reasons, some critics have already drawn comparisons between Me and Mr Booker and Nabokov’s Lolita. But Taylor’s novel flips the dynamic, examining teenage female sexuality from the girl’s perspective without ever dismissing her agency in the relationship. For that reason alone, some will find it an unnerving read. What helps is that it’s blisteringly entertaining. I was sent the final manuscript of the book, printed out half of it, greedily inhaled it on a plane, read the rest on a laptop until the batteries ran out, then desperately resorted to reading the last few pages on my phone. I should note here that Taylor is a friend of mine, but it’s really rare that I find any book that compulsive. Deftly written, Me and Mr Booker is a cracking read. And like the best coming-of-age stories, it reminds us that while teenagers grow up fast, it’s only because they’re surrounded by adults who behave like children.
Benjamin Law is the author of The Family Law.
In-stock items ship within Australia in 2-5 business days.
Items that are not in-stock can still be ordered but shipping times will vary.
Our stock data is updated overnight, and availability may change throughout the day for in-demand items. Please call the relevant shop for the most current stock information. Prices are subject to change without notice.
Night Games: Sex, Power and Sport
The Long Weekend In Alice Springs
High Sobriety: My Year without Booze
The Days of Abandonment
How Should a Person Be?
In Pieces: a Collection of Surrealist and Silent Short Stories, Inspired by Everyday Life and Human Relationships
Behind the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death, and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity
Bring Up the Bodies
The Biggest Estate on Earth: How Aborigines Made Australia
The Amateur Science of Love
All That I Am
1835: The Founding of Melbourne and the Conquest of Australia
The Song of Achilles