“T Cooper is our new Don DeLillo.” —Alexander Chee, author of Edinburgh
It may sound like a familiar story-boy goes to Hollywood,boy befriends big star, boy gets almost as famous as big star, boy finds fame tricky-but T Cooper’s first illustrated novel is subversively different. For one thing, the “boy” is a polar bear. For another thing, the “big star” is Leonardo DiCaprio. And together, they decide to make an action movie…about the environment.
It’s a story that’s both wacky and edgy, as readers have come to expect from T Cooper (Lipshitz Six or Two Angry Blondes, Some of the Parts). But in this case, Cooper has pushed the envelope even further by enlisting illustrator Alex Petrowsky to help tell the story. Petrowsky’s poster-like, full color images combine photos with cartooning and painting for an arresting effect that’s both wildly humorous and hypnotically otherworldly.
It is, in short, a compelling tale with an edgy charm and a persevering conscience. And it’s all in a lush package, as if T Cooper’s gifts for wisdom and humor and social commentary had been boiled down to their essence for a devoted following, then blown up like fireworks for a much wider audience to ooh and aah over.
“T Cooper does the kind of thing that drives other writers mad: He takes the bones of stories told many times, in many ways, and shapes them into something singular and breathtaking…. Cooper’s nearly flawless prose is the meat of this work: It’s as if the author challenged himself to test his talents with a scenario that in less able hands would almost necessarily lapse into cliché and cheap satire. Instead, Cooper makes it original, humane, and deeply funny.” —Austin Chronicle
“An unlikely premise—a polar bear makes it big in Los Angeles and then crashes—but somehow Cooper makes it work…. Outlandish and frequently hilarious.” —Kirkus Reviews
“It’s a sad state indeed when polar bears have nowhere to go but Hollywood after being forced from their rapidly-diminishing natural habitat. With any luck, Beaufort’s epic, instructional journey will help make him the last bear on Earth to have to work for food and survival in the bear-eat-bear film industry.” —Tea Leoni
About T Cooper’s previous book, Lipshitz Six: Or Two Angry Blondes “This novel is more than just a smart, stylish page turner; you’ll find some of the most audacious thinking in America today between covers.” —Darin Strauss, author of Chang and Eng and The Real McCoy
“In this little gem we follow Beaufort, a polar bear, from the waters north of the Yukon, down along the Pacific coast, to the sake and sashimi of Southern California’s trendy Nobu restaurant…. The narrative is spot-on with quirky satire that’s as side-splittingly funny as it is revealing. Cooper’s dynamite wit finds the perfect tempo as Beaufort’s inner-dialogues evolve to perfectly echo every stage of his stardom, demise, and eventual East coast redemption…Petrowsky’s illustrations add depth, humor, and, at times, visceral awkwardness to Cooper’s warm tale.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)