Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Boxing Bob

by J J Cohen

There was a time -- and it was not all that long ago -- when I had co-bloggers. Remember them? People like Eileen, Karl, Mary Kate. Writers of considerable skill with whom I was sometimes confused.

Good times, good times.

Unfortunately they all seem to have gone to Ireland together. Or maybe they never returned from Celery World at Kalamazoo (I did not kill them, I swear I did not ... but the celery needed to be fertilized SOMEWAY). So it is just lonesome me, blogging away, and quickly running out of material. That's why today I will shamelessly promote a book composed by my son Alexander Cohen, who does NOT look like Harry Potter. Boxing Bob is a tall tale about an orphan child in the 1800s, raised in rural Kentucky with an emerald viper for a brother. The narrative is fascinating, and eventually involves robots and a moon launch, but what interests me even more is what Alexander (whom if you call "Harry Potter" will give you a look that can kill as swiftly as a basilisk) wrote on the first page:

All rights reserved. Published by Cohen and Company. If this book was purchased without a cover, please know that it has been reported as stolen property and should be returned to the place of purchase immediately.

Clearly my son (who does NOT have a lightning bolt scar) understands that codicology means you study the book in its entirety. The "About the Author" section is also interesting, perhaps most so because it does not mention any resemblance to a certain young wizard:

Alex Cohen was born in Washington DC in 1997. He has published many grade-wide hits every year in school, like Ants in second grade. He currently lives in Bethesda MD and can see his teacher's apartment from his house. And he thinks she is a great teacher.

Is it just me or is there something ominous about that penultimate line? Like an implication that if his teacher doesn't give him a good grade, he'll use his Dark Arts skills to cast a transmutation spell upon her?


Karl Steel said...

It's been a month, yes? Please god just let me finish the semester: Chaucer final papers come in today, then the theory set comes in Monday, and THEN, I'm done.

Boo hoo!

You left out the important bit: what is boxing bob about?

Another Damned Medievalist said...

oh my. I hope Alex goes to a school with lots of geeky kids, 'cos I used to get my ass kicked for being that geeky!

Clearly, he's on the path to greatness!

Jeffrey Cohen said...

The book details Boxing Bob's progression from orphaned child raised with a companion viper to ne'er-do-well adolescent to super fisticuffing adult with so much power in his punch that he can literally launch opponents into orbit. Lavishly illustrated and jauntily narrated, Boxing Bob is sure to amuse preadolescents everywhere. Warning: contains some crass and bodily humor. Not appropriate for prissy children or for those who do not like their rules of genre bent.

Jeffrey Cohen said...

Alex is fortunate, ADM, in that the geek quotient at our local public elementary school is quite high. He's fortunate, too, in that he has teachers that foster his nerdish inclinations.

Anonymous said...

Hi Guys,
I want to say I would not want to live without you. You return me to the desert paradise (hi, Nicola!)
I am in love with ITM and read it for my bedtime story every day, as well as between writing my own brilliant essays (the latest one I am really proud of compares Ester Hernandez's image of the Virgin of Guadalupe on her lover's back to medieval women mystics--cool, huh?). I loved the four Tuna and Karl always makes me so happy--the last one was the "Good job Eileen" comment which made me happy for 2 days,
Love, Anna
PS. Having you talk like this in the ITM makes my life better :o)
PS PS My respects to Alex, I love his work!

Laura said...

Is it available on Amazon? I, for one, would buy it.

dtkline said...

Sounds very like a medieval romance. Has he been reading Havelok or Horn again in the Middle English? Is he a student of "the sweet science"?

dan remein said...

Just for the record, I wrote a book once called something about 'THe Bear and The Knight,' in, I think, about the same year of age, and bound by the same sort of means, based on the look of the snapshot.

A couple of observations from this: your son is a better titler than I was at his age. 2, while I did insist on using the word 'eke' because I had recently learned some of its archaic meanings--I have NO IDEA how this came to pass--, and named a publisher (I think it was 'Remein Books, Bay Village, OH') and included an author bio, I did not think to put the coverless book warning in the book.

I am visiting my parents this weekend. Perhaps I will check out their 'archives' and see if the book is still around.

Does anyone else remember a title you produced at so young an age?

Mary Kate Hurley said...

You had co-bloggers? How did I miss that. I thought you were inventing my dissertation for me completely by accident. Dash it all. Does this mean it's still my responsibility?

On the bright side (eternally) : I have two posts up and coming. And am lost neither in Ireland or Celery World. And I'm mostly found now too.

As for Boxing cool is that. I'm deeply impressed by the codicological skillz.

And by the genre bending possibilities...I like the idea of the 1800s having to deal with the idea (and reality!) of space...

Anonymous said...

Fabulous kid! Lucky dad, and lucky boy to have a dad to appreciate and encourage his talents.

I wrote a science fiction novel over Christmas holiday when I was 8. I am now wishing I could remember the title. I vaguely recall it was a shameless rip-off of 1984, which I had found in my sister's book discards and just read for the first time.