- My wife and I are in the middle of packing for our anticipated move. We started with the books because the task dwarfs every other. We are still working on that. One of the stacks I did pack was my To Be Read pile. As I did so, one of the books caught my eye, like I forgot it was there. So I pulled it from the box and decided to read it next.
- My wife thought I would like An Abundance Of Katherines by John Green, which is how it found its way to my pile. At the start of the book, Colin Singleton, a seventeen year old child prodigy, has been dumped by the nineteenth consecutive girl he has dated named Katherine. To get him out of his funk, his best friend Hassan suggests a summer road trip. Together they end up in the town of Gutshot, Tennessee where they meet new people, get to know themselves better, discover that the future isn't as bad as they suspected.
- After seeing John Green at the LA Times Festival of Books, I was interested to see what he wrote. However, I was initially hesitant about this book. First, describing Colin as a boy who has dated nineteen girls named Katherine makes him sound like a freak. (He's not really. There's an explanation and everything.) Second, my wife thought I would like it because of the math. (Don't worry, it's story math. You don't really need to know it for the book to work.) But I'm glad I picked it up anyway because it was a well-written book.
- John Green's greatest strength in the novel is how well he crafts believable, if quirky, characters. Colin in questioning himself, trying to figure out how to leave a mark on the world, and mourning his failed relationship. Hassan is avoiding all thought of responsibility while enjoying his time in the world. Hollis and Lindsay, a mother and daughter they meet in Gutshot, are dealing with their own issues, which I will fail to disclose in the interest of not spoiling the book. But all of their troubles are very human and they deal with them with humor, determination, and not a little pain.
- I really enjoyed An Abundance Of Katherines and I would like to read more by John Green. His book was very readable and very authentic. As a matter of fact, I think there is another book on the shelf that I might have to pick up.
© 2011 Marty Runyon. All rights reserved.