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EW Exclusive: Frank Portman's theme song for his new novel, 'Andromeda Klein'

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androWhen Frank Portman released his smart and witty 2006 debut novel King Dork, he accomplished something that was no small feat: mixing literature with rock ‘n’ roll. (EW’s Jennifer Reese ranked it among the top 10 novels of 2006.) Portman’s tale of a burgeoning teenage songwriter struck a cord with readers, as well as fans of his punk band, The Mr. T Experience. “I found early on when I started doing book appearances, it went better if I brought my guitar along and played songs,” says the Oakland, Calif.-based writer.

So even though Portman says his new novel, Andromeda Klein, “is not really a rock ‘n’ roll book in the same way [King Dork] was,” the author is incorporating a big musical element into its Aug. 25 launch. He recorded two tracks to help promote the book, which follows a teenage occultist with a most unusual name. “Andromeda Klein,” which Portman calls “a theme song” for the title heroine, is available for an exclusive first listen below. (A second song, “Bethlehem,” will be released separately as a 7-inch vinyl single.) “It very much reminds me of the kind of stuff I was doing 15 years ago,” says Portman of the tracks, which he recorded without his Mr. T Experience bandmates. “It’s a very punk rock kind of thing to do.”

Download this: “Andromeda Klein”

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Portman, who is currently working on a King Dork sequel, promises that his next book will stay loyal to his deliberately offbeat voice in both Dork and Andromeda. “There is something universal that cuts across, especially with adolescents,” he says. “Alienation in society and with one’s peers is probably the one thing we do all share. I would really find it hard writing a ‘normal’ person. Outcasts, introverts, anxiety-ridden basket cases, I think I’ve got a handle on those.”

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