I Love You, Beth Cooper

I Love You, Beth Cooper

by Larry Doyle


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I Love You, Beth Cooper by Larry Doyle

Denis Cooverman wanted to say something really important in his high school graduation speech. So, in front of his 512 classmates and their 3,000 relatives, he announced: "I love you, Beth Cooper."

It would have been such a sweet, romantic moment. Except that Beth, the head cheerleader, has only the vaguest idea who Denis is. And Denis, the captain of the debate team, is so far out of her league he is barely even the same species. And then there's Kevin, Beth's remarkably large boyfriend, who's in town on furlough from the United States Army. Complications ensue.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061236181
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 04/15/2008
Series: P.S. Series
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 263,718
Product dimensions: 5.31(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.68(d)
Lexile: 850L (what's this?)
Age Range: 14 - 18 Years

About the Author

Larry Doyle goes by thelarrydoyle on Facebook, Twitter, and in real life. Too much information about him is available at larrydoyle.com.

Read an Excerpt

I Love You, Beth Cooper

Chapter One

The Valedict

Just once, I want to do something right.
Jim Stark

Denis Cooverman was sweating more than usual, and he usually sweat quite a bit.

For once, he was not the only one. The temperature in the gymnasium was 123 degrees; four people had been carried out and were presumed dead. They were not in fact dead, but it was preferable to think of them that way, slightly worse off, than contemplate the unbearable reality that Alicia Mitchell's ninety-two-year-old Nana, Steph Wu's overly kimonoed Aunt Kiko and Jacob Beber's roly-poly parents were currently enjoying cool drinks in the teacher's lounge with the air-conditioning set at 65 degrees.

Ed Munsch sat high in the bleachers, between his wife and a woman who smelled like boiled potatoes. Potatoes that had gone bad and then been boiled. Boiled green potatoes. Ed thought he might vomit, with any luck.

Anyone could see he was not a well man. His left hand trembled on his knee, his eyes slowly rolled, spiraling upward; he was about to let out the exact moan Mrs. Beber had just before she escaped when his wife told him to cut it out. "You're not leaving," she said.

"I'm dying," Ed countered.

"Even dead," said his wife, at ease with the concept. "For chrissakes, your only son is graduating from high school. It's not like he's going to graduate from anything else."

Tattoos of memories and dead skin on trial the Sullen Girl sang, wringing fresh bitterness from the already alkaline lyrics, her wispy quaver approximating a consumptive canary with love trouble and moneyproblems. She sang every song that way. At the senior variety show, she had performed "Happy Together" with such fragile melancholy during rehearsals that rumors began circulating that, on show night, she would whisper the final words, I can't see me loving nobody but you then produce an antique pistol from beneath her spidery shawl and shoot Jared Farrell in the nuts before blowing her brains out. Nobody wanted to follow that. Throughout the final performance, Mr. Bernard had stood in the wings clutching a fire extinguisher, with a vague plan. Although the Sullen Girl didn't execute anyone in the end, it was generally agreed that it was the best senior variety show ever.

Behind the sullen girl sat Denis Cooverman, sweating: along the cap of his mortarboard, trickling behind his ears and rippling down his forehead; around his nostrils and in that groove below his nose (which Denis would be quick to identify as the philtrum, and, unfortunately, would go on to point out that the preferred medical term was infranasal depression); from his palms, behind his knees, inside his elbows, between his toes and from many locations not typically associated with perspiratory activity; squirting out his nipples, spewing from his navel, coursing between his buttocks and forming a tiny lake that gently lapped at his genitals; from under his arms, naturally, in two varietals—hot and sticky, and cold and terrified.

"He's a sweaty kid," the doctor had diagnosed when his mother had brought him in for his weekly checkup. "But if he's sweating so much," his mother had asked, him sitting right there, "why is his skin so bad?"

Denis worried too much, that's why. Right now, for example, he was not just worried about the speech he was about to give, and for good reason; he was also worried that his sweat was rapidly evaporating, increasing atmospheric pressure, and that it might start to rain inside his graduation gown. This was fully theoretically possible. He was also worried that the excessive perspiration indicated kidney stones, which was less likely.

I hope you had the time of your life the Sullen Girl finished with a shy sneer, then returned to her seat.

Dr. Henneman, the principal, approached the lectern.

"Thank you, Angelika—"

"Angel-leek-ah," the Sullen Girl spat back.

"Angel-leek-ah," Dr. Henneman corrected, "thank you for that . . . emotive rendition of"—she referred to her notes, frowned—" 'Good Riddance.' "

The temperature in the gym reached 125 degrees, qualifying anyone there to be served rare.

"Could we," Dr. Henneman said, wafting her hands about, "open those back doors, let a little air in? Please?"

Three thousand heads turned simultaneously, expecting the doors to fly open with minty gusts of chilled wind, maybe even light flurries. Miles Paterini and Pete Couvier, two juniors who had agreed to usher the event because they were insufferable suck-ups, pressed down on the metal bars. The doors didn't open.

People actually gasped.

Denis began calculating the amount of oxygen left in the gymnasium.

Dr. Henneman's doctorate in school administration had prepared her for this.

"Is Mr. Wrona here?"

Mr. Wrona, the school custodian, was not here. He was at home watching women's volleyball with the sound turned off and imagining the moment everyone realized the back doors were locked. In his fantasy, Dr. Henneman was screaming his name and would presently burst into flames.

"Let's move on," Dr. Henneman moved on, mentally compiling a list of janitorial degradations to occupy Mr. Wrona's summer recess. "So. Next. Yes. I am pleased to introduce our valedictorian for—"

Jah-juh jah-juh jah-juh jah-juh

Lily Masini's meaty father slammed the backdoor bar violently up and down. He turned and saw everybody was staring at him, with a mixture of annoyance and hope.

Jah-juh jah . . . juh!

Mr. Masini released the bar and slumped back to the bleachers.

"Denis Cooverman," Dr. Henneman announced.

As Denis stood up, his groin pool spilled down his legs into his shoes. He shuffled forward, careful not to step on his gown, which the rental place had insufficiently hemmed, subsequently claiming he had gotten shorter since his fitting. Denis had been offered the option of carrying a small riser with him, which he had declined, and so when he stood at the lectern barely his head was visible, floating above a seal of the Mighty Bison, the school's mascot. The effect was that of one of those giant-head caricatures, of a boy who told the artist he wanted to wrangle buffalos when he grew up.

I Love You, Beth Cooper. Copyright © by Larry Doyle. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

What People are Saying About This

Kurt Andersen

“Larry Doyle has created a perfect literary hot fudge sundae: sweet, naughty, delicious, irresistible.”

Tom Perrotta

“...an instant classic, right up there with great end-of-school landmarks like American Graffiti and Dazed and Confused.”

John Searles

“…this book is laugh-out-loud funny…”

David Schickler

“...a one-night-only joyride through Larry Doyle’s brilliant sense of humor.”

Dave Barry

“If this book doesn’t make you laugh out loud, something is wrong with you.”

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

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I Love You, Beth Cooper 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 76 reviews.
Brent Tedder More than 1 year ago
Doyle takes the everyman fantasy and makes it a reality but with so many humerous actions. We have all had one of those nights that starts out one way but goes so much further than ever expected. Definately worth the time plus it will make you laugh out loud.
sugarpy18 More than 1 year ago
This is a hilarious coming-of-age story that happens on just one absolutely crazy night. This book is perfect reading for anybody who's been a little different in high school and it shows what may happen when you finally take a risk in your life.
billy_swelding More than 1 year ago
i thought it was pretty good, the movie is almost exactly the same as this.
xmickeyx on LibraryThing 7 days ago
Larry Doyle wrote some of the better Simpsons episodes, which I think is a reasonable frame of reference for this book. Those looking for a deep or meaningful account of adolescence may want to look elsewhere but if you want a clever, funny work of fiction about adolescence will enjoy this. The blend of real and fictionalized pop culture references kept me entertained. I'd read another book by this guy.
libasst on LibraryThing 7 days ago
Updated risky business. Might be more funny to a high school boy.
DaveFragments on LibraryThing 7 days ago
I took away a half a star for dirty words. BUT, I've been laughing on every page. I'll probably give it to my Niece's boy (12 y/o) late this summer
cassieguthrie on LibraryThing 7 days ago
We follow our protagonist Denis Cooverman from his high school valedictorian speech, during which he professes his love for the head cheerleader, through the next 24 hours, when he is pursued by a crazed Marine in a Hummer and expertly beat up in various and humiliating ways. Very funny.
leadmomma on LibraryThing 7 days ago
This book was a quick read, and it so captured the excited turmoil of high school. Thank goodness I don't have to go back. Once you get started, you won't put this down until it's over. Funny, charming and memorable.
omphalos02 on LibraryThing 7 days ago
Really funny and often even poignant writing, tells of Denis Cooverman (and his buddy Rich) and what happens when Denis uses the title phrase in his valedictorian speech. All the action takes place in the one night, and gets ridiculous in a hilarious ways. Very fun reading.
mollyduckpond on LibraryThing 7 days ago
I found this book irresistible. It was an easy read, extremely hilarious, and the characters were a riot.
blueslibrarian on LibraryThing 7 days ago
Dennis Cooverman is the archetypal geek, and in an attempt to break the stereotype, he confesses his unrequited love for the cheerleader of his dreams during his valedictorian speech to his senior class at graduation. This sets in motion a series of events that results in one of the funniest novels I have read in some time. Imagine Christopher Moore writing a coming of age novel filled with teen hormones, parties and the age old geek vs. jock dynamic and you get the idea. Doyle turns the very cliche on it's head, treating teenagers as real flesh and blood human beings much like Frank Portman did in the wonderful novel King Dork. The author is a former scriptwriter for The Simpsons and it shows as the jokes both high and low brow come fast and furious. This is a laugh-out-loud funny novel and is very highly recommended.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. I haven't laughed so hard while reading in - I don't even know how long. Anyone who was, or still is, an dorky teen should give this book a read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Bost like book
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