Sometimes I get books that are highly enjoyable, but they're basically review-proof: They're short entertainments that don't really need a whole lot of explanation. Earlier this year, I read T Cooper's The Beaufort Diaries and I've wondered how to write about it ever since. If you like strong new voices in fiction, you should already know the name T Cooper: Lipshitz Six or, Two Angry Blondes is a brilliant novel about immigration, Charles Lindbergh, and the fine art of Eminem impersonation.
But Beaufort isn't really a successor to Lipshitz Six. It's not reallly a novel, for one thing; it's slighter, more like a fable or a fairy tale. It's about a polar bear who winds up in Hollywood and becomes a star with the help of Leonardo DiCaprio. The book is profusely illustrated (Alex Petrowsky's full-page illustrationss are sketches and collages of Beaufort on lobster boats, by pools, flirting with skinny girls at malls) and it's a slight little thing; you could (and should) read it in an afternoon.
And it just works, you know? Cooper introduces us to a strong voice that manages in the span of less than a hundred pages to become likable and real. It's a delicious little treat of a book (like Fup, or The Tale of the Unknown Island). It's perfect for when you're feeling a little different from everyone else in the world, and it leaves you feeling happy. It'd make a fine Christmas gift, but you should make sure you read it before you share it.