All the Dirty Parts
by Daniel Handler
Cole is the boy your friends will warn you about.
Handsome and athletic, with just the right amount of artsy thrown in, he’s every teenage girl’s dream — on the surface. But he’s starting to get himself a reputation as less of a lady’s man and more of a lady killer. He’s rifled through the girls in his high school class like a rabid raccoon the night before trash pick-up day, and the result is something just as unsightly.
He has the same problem every high school boy has — he can’t stop thinking about sex. He thinks about it at the breakfast table — mom and oatmeal notwithstanding. He thinks about it every time a girl pushes past him to get to her locker and he’s left in a cloud of her intoxicating perfume. He thinks about it while practicing on the high school’s track, and it’s really not his fault because who wouldn’t be thinking about sex with the cheerleaders practicing their stretches and high kicks just a few feet away? Cole is obsessed, and when he can’t get it from the girls at school, he has to resort to what is arguably his second favorite pastime — girls on film.
All the Dirty Parts is a hilariously tragic tale of a high school boy and his fixation on the appendage hanging between his legs. While the insight into the boy’s mind is sometimes crude, raunchy, and cringe-worthy, it’s also something that leaves readers sharply aware of the differences between men and women and how early these differences come about. While Cole is ruled primarily by his most basic of instincts and dominated by his body, the fairer sex involved in the story has a firm hold over her brain and a sharp cunning that is a marvel to behold.
Readers will travel along with Cole as he transitions from a playboy to the one getting played, and how sex plays a pivotal part in not only his world, but the immediate lives around him. Once he catches feelings for the exotic new girl in town (who sought him out primarily because of his sexual reputation), his obsession with sex turns from one of basic release to actually. . .performing an act of love. Readers won’t be surprised at how things eventually play out for Cole, but they may be surprised at how they feel just a tad bit sad for the boy who lost control of his heart before he even realized what was happening.
I give All the Dirty Parts a 4 out of 5 star rating, and I recommend it to anyone who is curious about the inner-workings of a teenage boy or need a reprieve from serious tomes in the way of a humorous tale. I do stress that this book is not for readers under the age of 18, as there is a lot of graphic sexual language and scenes throughout the entirety of the book. And when I say entirety — I mean WHOLE BOOK. I really loved the humor and how the author poked such fun at his main character, but in such a clever way. . . the perspective is very unique in that while it is first-person, it is much more simple — seeming to be told directly from the bare mind of Cole and all of his teenage glory. The supporting characters, primarily his best friend, are rich and welcome attachments to the progression, and I did not blame their decisions one bit, in the end.
This book lives true to its title and is indeed. . . all the dirty parts.