An Abundance of Katherines Paperback – Oct 16 2008
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From School Library Journal
Grade 9 Up–Printz medalist John Green's main character in this novel (Dutton, 2006) is a loner who has a hard time making friends (though no trouble finding girlfriends) and a quirky taste for anagrams and odd facts. At the end of his senior year of high school, Colin Singleton has just been dumped by a girl named Katherine (it's the 19th time he's been dumped). Stuck in a quagmire of indecision about his future and egged on by his friend Hassan, Colin sets out on an aimless road trip until his attention is caught by a sign for the burial place of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in the middle of rural Tennessee. Colin and Hassan find friends, jobs, and fulfill Colin's quest to understand why he is always being dumped by his girlfriends. He develops a mathematical theorem that focuses on predicting the outcome of romantic relationships. Along the way, there is plenty of humor in the story. Narrator Jeff Woodman creates a distinct and lively persona for each character, complete with accents and inflections. Colin's uniquely naïve attributes combine with his obvious intelligence and checkered romantic past to create a character that Woodman brings to life quite vividly. The math angle and humorous anagrams may create additional interest for some teens. Although the story line is a bit thin, the plot's identity concerns make this an interesting choice for high school and public library collections for older teens.–Jane P. Fenn, Corning-Painted Post West High School, NY
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
Gr. 9-12. Green follows his Printz-winning Looking for Alaska (2005) with another sharp, intelligent story, this one full of mathematical problems, historical references, word puzzles, and footnotes. Colin Singleton believes he is a washed-up child prodigy. A graduating valedictorian with a talent for creating anagrams, he fears he'll never do anything to classify him as a genius. To make matters worse, he has just been dumped by his most recent girlfriend (all of them have been named Katherine), and he's inconsolable. What better time for a road trip! He and his buddy Hassan load up the gray Olds (Satan's Hearse) and leave Chicago. They make it as far as Gutshot, Tennessee, where they stop to tour the gravesite of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, and meet a girl who isn't named Katherine. It's this girl, Lindsey, who helps Colin work on a mathematical theorem to predict the duration of romantic relationships. The laugh-out-loud humor ranges from delightfully sophomoric to subtly intellectual, and the boys' sarcastic repartee will help readers navigate the slower parts of the story, which involve local history interviews. The idea behind the book is that everyone's story counts, and what Colin's contributes to the world, no matter how small it may seem to him, will, indeed, matter. An appendix explaining the complex math is "fantastic," or as the anagrammatically inclined Green might have it, it's enough to make "cats faint." Cindy Dobrez
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
When he's dumped by the love of his life, Katherine XIX, he finds himself in a bad place. He can no longer call himself a child prodigy, since he's graduated from high school. He's not a genius, because he's never come up with anything that will change the world. There's an empty place inside of him where his latest Katherine's love used to live, and he doesn't know what to do with himself. Until Hassan Harbish (Muslim, but not a terrorist) devises a way to get Colin out of his funk--a road trip. With no destination in mind, the two set off in The Hearse, Colin's car, and go where the road leads them.
Where it leads them is a small town called Gutshot, Tennessee, where Colin gets the urge to see the supposed grave of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. It's also where the two meet Lindsey Lee Wells and her mother, Hollis. Not to mention where they get to live in a giant Pepto Bismol-pink house on a hill, interview employees of a factory that makes tampon strings, and eat Monster Thickburgers at the local Hardee's.Read more ›
This is the type of book that you pick up with lots of expectations. John Green is a such a talented author that I admit I wanted to drift away in some beautiful tale. But I got Colin instead. He is socially awkward, and his fascination with being dumped (although I get it, love hurts) makes little sense when he was seeing his last flame for less than 15 days. In fact, some of his relationships lasted mere hours. Eventually his pain just seemed vain.
Plus the road trip was cut extremely short as both friends found a ''job'' (paid for doing nothing. Are they still hiring?). Leaving only subplots like Hassan's wavering Libralike decisions of going to school or not, drinking or not, dating or not -- to hold the story down, until Colin got the idea of creating a mathematical formula that could determine your relationship outcome before it begins.
Another Papertowns. Gave it two stars due to the math calculations and annotations.
Colin, the young genius who looks to theorize everything, even relationships
Hassan, his friend, who wonders what he should do with his life
Lindsey, the girl they meet after they decide to go on a road trip together.
The cast of characters includes parents, city slickers and country folk, and a matriarch with a town factory to oversee. The story unfolds like a road trip. It is quickly moving with lots of philosophy and humor thrown in. Great read!
This book contains mentions of drinking, swearing and sexuality. It's most appropriate for those in high school, recent graduates, and older.
Most recent customer reviews
The book is about a boy named Colin Singleton, who has dated 19 girls named Katherine, all of which have dumped him.
The storyline is interesting. Read more
Hilarious and thoughtful, this novel elucidated the worth and point of attempting a life of decency and compassion. Profoundly delightful.Published 5 months ago by Brad G Miller
I could not get into this book. After enjoying TFIOS I bought all of Green's novels, nothing was quite as good but this one was blah.Published 18 months ago by Amelia1991
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