I Didn’t/Won’t See His Majesty Jeff Zentner

I screwed around with Jeff many months back by getting everyone to send him endless spam until he responded to my original email, citing the spam as the reason he was so slow in responding. I ended up revising the whole post after he responded; and in retrospect, what I did was counterintuitive and possibly some form of harassment.

While I don’t always spend my time delaying the release of books that are destined to be extremely popular that spread like wildfire through the ‘I am I hip ELA teacher’ vine, being an annoyance to Jeff is still extremely high on my list of things to do, as SERP juice is extremely hard to get and I need to tap into the goldmine that is Jeff Zentner before summer, as that’s when the search volume for ‘The Serpent King Summary Jeff Zentner’ overflows the banks of Google, allowing me to blissfully hope that my shabby Ndotsheni far past the river will actually benefit from the surplus.

“I would take The First Time She Drowned over any of Jeff Zentner’s books”
—The ELA teacher that assigned The Serpent King as a summer project that got me interested in Zentner in the first place.

So when I got the news that Jeff was coming to my school, my brain went into complete chaos.

  1. I was not aware that I was harassing a guy who can afford to fly a plane over to my school on a regular year-by-year basis. 1
  2. I was not aware that I was harassing a guy who flies on a plane over to my school on a regular year-by-year basis.
  3. I was not aware that I was harassing a guy with many ties to other extremely good authors, some of whom as not as wealthy or willing but just as cool and well-off enough to hire a hitman if they pool their money together under the direction of Jeff.

I decided not to go to the talk and to let my dreams die in the part of my heart that is accustomed to such self-loathing.

I’m not entirely sure why. I picked up the sign up paper, tore it in half, and threw it in the trash.

I wasn’t feeling any emotions or any desires at that moment, I just knew that if I didn’t restrain myself, I would end up happily listening to a bunch of extremely successful people getting asked extremely stupid questions for 3 hours straight.

Later, when the deadline passed, it dawned on me that I missed the only chance in my life to see Jeff and say, “you don’t know me or remember me, but I use you as the butt of my jokes.”

Damnit. I blame Jeff, by the way.

The Day of The Talk

I was instantly reminded of Jeff when I walked into my first period and everyone was missing.

However, the best part of Jeff’s visit was his Instagram post thanking one of the ELA teachers for inviting him. Of course, it wasn’t my ELA teacher, and he didn’t even tag the teacher in his post, he just mentioned her name.

I just thought that was funny.

Anyways, I also made a comment on one of his Instagram posts two weeks prior to thank him for coming to my school because I thought he was coming the next Monday, but I was off by an fucking month.

I also know that Jeff does guitar, so I’m thinking about emailing him again to ask him to create a tiny dataset for a thing I’m thinking about, so maybe that’ll happen(?)

The Serpent King Summary (and Bonus Interview with Jeff Zentner)

The Serpent King is a book written by Jeff Zentner. But nobody cares about that so let’s just get into this post.

Why I Read The Serpent King

My ELA teacher apparently likes His Majesty because he’s a “total package.” (A classmate’s words, not mine.)

Fun Fact: He has eleven tattoos.

Assigned to me as a summer assignment and read out of obligation, The Serpent King was an unlikely contender for all of the things in my head that make it to this blog. However, I ended up liking it too much so now we’re both here in this awkward one-sided conversation.

In order to help summarize the story for everyone who has already read a good summary (or the book itself), I’ll just use some MSPaint pictures to quickly go over some key plot points.


The story begins with Dillard Early Junior, son of Dillard Early Senior who is the son of yet another Dillard Early. It’s pretty confusing but just roll with it.

Anyways, Dill Senior is a pedo priest who is incarcerated because he had some child porn on his laptop. Dill Junior didn’t take the hit for him in court so Dill Senior was rightfully imprisoned.

Unfortunately, D.J. (Dillard Junior) is outcast at school and hates his abusive mother, is envious of his friend Lydia’s life, and is haunted by his family name. As you can tell, his life is filled with sunshine and rainbows.

After winning a shitty school talent show with his rad guitar skills, D.J. gets $50 bucks (the prize money) and plans out his future with Travis, his other friend (Lydia and Travis are his only friends)2.

However, Travis gets killed in a failed mugging and all these plans go down the drain.

D.J., already being in a very awful environment, decides to end his life as survivor’s guilt wracks his soul and grief consumes all sense and emotion he has left. This is supposed to be very emotional, but I dozed off because there were too many metaphors about storms and emotional shit but I think we got the main idea.

But just before he jumps off the bridge and ends the story with a bunch of unsatisfied readers, he finds strength in his other non-dead friend, Lydia.

Wanting to escape the shitty town of Forrestville and its equally shitty inhabitants, Dill lets Lydia push him forward in life into a college. Not exactly perfect, but Lydia is a busy person and she needs to go to a prestigious college as soon as she wraps up Dill’s life to ensure he doesn’t jump off any bridges behind her back.

After that, Lydia goes off to the big city to do her thing there and Dill has a new beginning in college. It’s one of the most tear-jerking moments of the story because we never know if Dill really lost his virginity.

Non-Biased Review

The story is good. Review done.Image result for the serpent king

You should go buy it to support His Majesty’s career.

Also, I know that most of the people who read this were high school students trying to get some quick and easy quotes and shit, but seriously, stop. The Serpent King is a great book, save the cheating for the Shakespeare, Alan Paton, and Jane Austen unit.

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