Coming-of-age stories are generally personal experiences and observations told through the eyes of one character. They can be heartfelt, emotional and even insightful, but still, it’s one person’s journey.
The King of FU is all those things, and more.
The narrator has a natural curiosity and endless questions, but he also has explanations.
Don’t expect those explanations to be delivered with childlike, wide-eyed curiosity and innocence though.
They’re irreverent, sarcastic, profane… and spot on!
Separated by a generation in age, the author’s childhood journey and musings were relatable to my own. We didn’t have the advent of technology, but upgrading televisions from black and white to color was a huge deal.
Covering topics from sibling rivalry to family pets, extended family, and parochial school, this read is too cute and humorous.
Sections about the opposite sex, masturbation, and porn are jaw-dropping and hilarious.
The King’s recollections of friendships and suicide made me stop and think… and not necessarily about the past.
But my favorite part is the King’s descriptions and relationships with his parents-the Computer Science Major and the Insurance Underwriter. Their names will change, as he changes, but it’s when the Computer Science Major, who has morphed into the Homeopathic Doctor, becomes MOTHER, I cheered. Great scene! *Waves goodbye to the Big Red-Headed Mutant!*
The King isn’t as out of step with life as he believes and appears to have a better grasp on life than some adults.
Which is the cusp of the problem—the King doesn’t understand the big deal about being an adult when most spend so much time behaving badly.
The King of FU is unique because it is not written in a traditional book format. It’s also not poetry, prose, rhythmic or metered. And while certain words may wear quotation marks, exclamation points, and question marks for emphasis, this read is punctuation light. I can remember three periods offhand and one of those is at the end of the book.
However, the lack of punctuation doesn’t hinder or confuse. The author’s delivery enhances the story and I don’t believe it would have the same impact if written in a regular book format.
From dead squirrels to childhood mishaps, to learning to drive, this short read can be enjoyed by all readers, regardless of preferred genre, because if you look past the horns and fur, you just may see a bit of yourself.
The King of FU is a magically realistic poetic memoir about growing up in America in the nineties on the cusp of the age of the internet. It is a voyage that navigates through family tribalism, supervisors, white-gloved Sheriffs, bullies, sex, suicide, dead prisoners, drugs, porn, middle school, and Jesus; all in search of answering one of life’s greatest mysteries: what is the point of adults? This artistic masterpiece comes from the mind of author Benjamin Davis with illustrations by Russian artist Nikita Klimov.