Saturday, December 01, 2007

In Which I do not do Justice to a Genius

Hi! Today I'm going to talk about John Green. I've been putting this post off, mainly because I don't have anything interesting to say besides he rocks! If you doubt me, just check out the hilarity that is Brotherhood 2.0.

Go ahead, check it out. I'll wait.

Yes, I realize you won't come visit me for a week after watching that, but hey. It's worth it. You'll come back to me, if anything, because I turned you onto Brotherhood 2.0.

So, anyway, John Green is like, my age, which really isn't that old, despite what I may tell you. He already has 2 books published. His first one won the Printz and the second one was a Printz honor. I feel like such a failure.

His work is characterized by main characters with odd things (in the first, knowing the last words of everyone, in the second, being a genius who has only dated girls named Katharine) and quirky side-kick characters.

Yes, there is some sex. But nothing worse than what my dog does to random dogs at the dog park. (We've decided she needs to know a few basic commands--come, sit, lie down, and stop bringing shame upon the family.) And there is some language. I talked about this with Molly over at Bittersweet.

Anyway, so his first one is Looking for Alaska

I like this book a lot more now than when I first read it. The problem is that it's the basic boy meets girl who fascinates him and then she dies plot. And I read it right after reading As Simple as Snow, which has a similar basic plot, even though the two books are very different. (And when I say right after I mean, I read Snow, went to the kitchen and made a fresh cup of tea and read Alaska. I had to read a bunch of books for work (those two titles being two of them) and so I did read the entirety of both of them on the same day.

After the intricate puzzles of Snow I just wasn't ready for the intelligent humor of Alaska

It was Green's second book, An Abundance of Katherines that I came around to appreciate everything that was going on.

In Katherines a child genius who has just graduated from high school and his best friend go on a road trip. Their car breaks down and they end up spending the summer in this small little town that's dying, because the factory (which makes tampon strings) employs almost everyone and it's not doing so well.

Trust me, it's hysterical, and no one dies, so it's not depressing like Alaska was.

Green has an excellent sense of the plausibly absurd. (I mean, a factory that makes tampon strings?! So bizarre, and yet, someone has to do it, right? These factories must be out there somewhere.) Coupled with his quirky characters (Yes, I know I used that word already, but really, it just fits well), especially the best friends are wonderful.

Check him out.

No comments: