Cover Image: Dead Kennedys

Dead Kennedys

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This was my first book by this author, It was pretty enjoyable. I would give this book a 3.5 star rating! It was a pretty Quick and easy read!
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This was a DNF for me. I did not like the writing style and while the intent was for the main character to be an antihero, the MC felt a bit too reckless for me.
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It is hard to put a label on this book. It is at one time a very strange trip inside the mind of a young aristocrat and an epistle to the decline of a once golden family in American politics. John Kennedy, not THE John Kennedy but a descendent, stumbles through life attempting to make sense of his brothers suicide. He is a rebel in the classic sense of the word. He is not a likeable individual. I found his disdain for women, and some men, somewhat distasteful. He is a user, plain and simple.
What I did like was John's unbridled cynicism. He expressed thoughts, and often verbalized them, that I personally would have liked to have used in my own situations. He has a generous helping of snarkiness that I found strangely refreshing.
Dead Kennedys is not everyone's cup of java. You'll either love it or hate it. Be that as it may, I found it worthy of my time.
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Scott Reardon's "Dead Kennedys" could be the next novel for an angsty, confused generation. I've never read any of his books before but might have to after this one. The language and inner monologue of the narrator is interesting but sardonic, and I agree with other reviewers that his own insightful edginess tends towards that of Holden Caulfield from Salinger's "The Catcher in the Rye."
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i *wanted* to like this book as i'd enjoyed The Dark Continent but it's hard to reconcile that it is the same author.

while TDC was full of plot, DK had barely a plot at all, just a lot of inner monologue from a privileged, disaffected boy from a political family.

imagine Catcher in the Rye but with an absurdly onanistic, improbably articulate, & impractically profane holden.
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John Kennedy is close to his older brother Joe.  The Kennedy family is at dinner when Joe yells at his father and storms off to get his belongings and leaves.  Joe never comes back home.     John ends up searching for Joe and finally finds him in a low-rent apartment.  Joe is down in spirits.  John is so disappointed as Joe’s place smells and filthy.  He stays the night due to his falling asleep.  John wakes up wondering what he can do to help him.  Joe doesn’t seem so down and agrees to go out.  The day ends up in the park playing with a crazy looking ball with an illustration of Pegasus on it.  They have a fantastic day that John doesn’t want to end.  Returning to Joe’s apartment, Joe closes the door on John.  Why?  What will John do?

The novel is fiction which I suspect people may forget as there are Kennedy “devotee will read this and forget it’s fiction.  There is a multitude of bad language and profanity.  I don’t necessarily think the author needed to use it.  I did enjoy seeing the happy relationship that John had with Joe.  I also felt the heartache of John over the loss he felt.  The novel describes relationships between brothers and the family.  It’s a reminder that no family is perfect.    Even though there are parts of the book I wasn’t crazy about, it’s a good novel to read.
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Unfortunately Scott Reardon's third book does not hit a home run like his two previous Prometheus Man novels.
Some reviewer's have compared this to J.D. Salinger ...  however although it covers some of the same themes of the Catcher In The Rye ...  it certainly does not have the same panache.  If your looking for a book about the political misadventures of the famous Kennedy Clan ... this is not it!  In a similar, but misguided attempt, the themes of teenage angst and alienation, along with the superficiality of our society are explored through the eyes of a despicable, sarcastic, and misogynistic eyes of  seventeen year-old  John Kennedy,  His bipolar brother is killed while trying to intervene on a mugging.  In his post-traumatic response, he leaves boarding school and goes on a purposeless bender in Washington, D.C.  .... over drinking and picking fights with anyone in his path.  He displays obnoxious behavior without purpose and wreaks havoc and leaves a path of destruction. If anything, this unlikeable character undergoes dysfunction and disintegration without a relevant catharsis.  I doubt this book will become a beacon for teenage rebellion.
     Thanks to NetGalley and Aspen Press for providing an Uncorrected Proof in exchange for an honest  review.
  ( at readersremain.com )
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I was intrigued by the idea of this book, but sadly I didn't like it once I got into reading it.  It's sordid, bombastic, and doesn't have likeable characters.  The book is crude and it really didn't add to the story.  I'm really not a prude, but I can't recommend this book.  Not only is it about dysfunction, I found the book to be dysfunctional.  As one who has dealt with many people with mental illness, it is sad to see it not being addressed.
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It's one of those marmite books, you can love or hate them. I had fun but I wasn't a fan of the characters and sometimes it's a bit over the top.
Not my cup of tea.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine
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“You know how sometimes there’s this line everybody knows about but you? And when you cross it, everyone turns on you? I cross that line frequently, but I still live in terror of it.”

Dead Kennedys by Scott Reardon: His brother, recently diagnosed bipolar, disappears from home and is killed intervening on behalf of a mugging victim. During semester exams, John signs out of his private boarding school and goes on a solo, unsupervised romp through DC underage drinking in bars, picking fights with a taxi driver, breaking into his brother’s old apartment and generally wandering in his grief and lack of ambition. John is offensive, misogynistic and racist. He’s intentionally unlikeable. He doesn’t even like himself. He’s too sarcastic, too arrogant, too deliberately aloof to be likeable. The world handed him every opportunity, every responsibility that goes with that opportunity and he couldn’t carry the weight. His reaction is to run, hide and self destruct, spectacularly.

If you are looking for a narrative around the Kennedy family, you will be disappointed. If you are looking for an abrasive, sometimes funny read that feels like The Dead Kennedy’s performing live, this is a good pickup. If you like books that talk about male genitalia, potential sex a lot, and angrily, aggressively criticise everything about society, you will like this. While I wasn’t the target audience, I can see people connecting with John’s angry, off putting behavior. His self defense is to be so abrasive no one will interact with him. He intentionally becomes so offensive everyone has no choice but to hate him. This libartes him from their judgment of him and his brother at the core where it really matters. Ultimately, I saw slivers of honest kindness that allowed for sympathy and opened the way for a satisfying character arc.
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Dead Kennedys is about John Kennedy who after a tragedy goes on a binge through Washington DC.  I despised the main character so it made the book unreadable for me, I could care less about what happened to him.  I found none of it funny, most of it filled with misogyny, racism, and violence.  Nice cover though.
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This book is really polarizing, if you like you'll like it but if you don't its definitely not the book for you. I saw some reviews that definitely didn't recommend it and some that were more favourable but polarizing is definitely the best way to describe it. While it handles the Kennedy legacy in a bit of of an outlandish way, it's definitely not wrong for it to be described as controversial. The characters are really unlikeable and while that's not necessarily a bad thing it makes it harder to relate and cheer for them.
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Very interesting idea for a book but it reminds me of being on a long road trip with a car full of petulant argumentative teens. This was not a book that grabbed me. I think it would do better with a younger audience.
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I've heard great things about Scott Reardon and he comes recommended on the book side of YouTube (at least that's where I THINK I heard of recommendations from. This is a great weekend or holiday read!
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I received a copy of this ebook in exchange for an honest review
This is not what I was expecting at all. It was coarse and sharp and not to my taste at all.
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I want to thank NetGalley and Aspen Press for a copy of Dead Kennedys for an honest review. I honestly don't know where to begin. This book is supposed to be for teens and young adults. Not in my opinion. I'm not a prude, but I wouldn't recommend this book for teens or any adult that has a few brain cells.
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Well I'm as finished with this book as I ever will be! Next time, when I read multiple reviews that say "don't bother", I will take that advice!
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Heartbreaking, savagely funny, Dead Kennedys is a book of dissent. It's the modern-day story of John Kennedy, 17-year-old member of the famous Kennedy family, who after a shattering tragedy goes on a reckless binge through Washington DC he may not survive.

In his third novel, Scott Reardon presents a wise-cracking antihero—unfiltered, beaten by life and unwilling to bow to modern pieties.
Unfortunately, this didn’t really click with me! Maybe the next book will be more to my liking.  Let’s see what this author brings out next.  I’m sure it was a hit for many however.
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From the first words of this book I was drawn in-- the voice is that strong. It reminds me of my first time reading The Catcher in the Rye, when I was much, much younger. "Can he really say that?" I kept asking, and yet the voice was so compelling that I believed everything John said.

There's a conceit here that made me a bit uncomfortable-- that "John Kennedy" and his brother Joe are somehow offspring of the famous Kennedy clan. I don't think the book needs that hook, because the characters are so strong and the voice so compelling that I would have read it without that overlay. Of coursed that would mean a different title...

I can't rave enough about this book, which I think captures the zeitgeist in the same way that Catcher did, with many of the same conceits (alienated prep school boy on a wild weekend).
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I was granted a free copy of this text by Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. I had high hopes for this text as a history buff, so this coming of age story did not impress me. I am sure others will love it, but it was not what I wanted.
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