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Having reviewed over 1200 books on this blog, I have now written two myself. Motherdarling is a story about a search for a missing Will which reveals long-hidden family secrets. The Kids of God is a thriller set in a dystopia ruled by fascist paramilitaries. Both are available as paperbacks and on Kindle through Amazon. I live in Canterbury, England. I lived for more than thirty years in Bedford. Having retired from teaching; I became a research student at the University of Bedfordshire researching into Liminality. I achieved my PhD in 2019. I am now properly retired. I love reading! I enjoy in particular fiction (mostly great and classic fiction although I also enjoy whodunnits), biography, history and smart thinking. Follow me on twitter: @daja57

Sunday, 19 August 2018

"An Abundance of Katherines" by John Green

Child prodigy Colin Singleton only dates Katherines (not even Catherines) and has just been dumped for the nineteenth time. His friend, fat Hassan, persuades him to take a road trip. They end up in Gutshot, a redneck town whose principal employer is a factory making tampon strings, and are hired to research an oral history of the town. Will Hassan get to second base with Katrina, will Colin complete his Theorem to predict the future of any relationship, and can he fall in love with a Lindsey?

Green, also wrote the brilliant The Fault in Our Stars , Turtles All the Way Down, and Paper TownsWhat he is so good at is taking normal life and finding in it both humour (I actually laughed out loud in a public mplace and I don't do that) and poignant truths about the human condition. These he expresses tersely and in the words of the characters so they seem part of the story but are actually very profound.
  • One of his general policies in life was never to do anything standing up that could just as easily be done lying down.” (p 1)
  • Mothers lie. It's in the job description.” (p 2)
  • Colin Singleton could no more stay cool than a blue whale could stay skinny.” (p 4)
  • Girls are very fickle about the business of kissing. Sometimes they want to make out; sometimes they don't. They’re an impenetrable fortress of unknowability.” (p 74)
  • They like their coffee like they like their ex-boyfriends: bitter.” (p 75)
  • Monotony doesn't make for painlessness. In the first century CE, Roman authorities punished St Apollonia by crushing her teeth one by one with pliers. ... After a while, having each tooth individually destroyed probably gets repetitive, even dull. But it never stops hurting.” (p 94) 
  • I think you can do whatever the fug you want to in your life, and that's a pretty sweet gig.” (p 131)
  • See, popularity is complicated, yo. You have to spend a lot of time thinking about liking; you have to really like being liked, and also sorta like being disliked.” (p 136)
  • Getting a gun in Gutshot, Tennessee, is easier than getting chlamydia from a hooker.” (p 137)
  • Katrina's easier than a four-piece jigsaw puzzle.” (p 142)
  • Moonshine can make you blind, and what I've seen of blindness so far hasn't really impressed me.” (p 145) What I’ve seen of blindness, Very good.
  • If people could see me the way I see myself - if they could live in my memories - would anyone, anyone, love me?” (p 147)
  • I'm full of shit. I'm never myself.” (p 148)
  • Nothing was happening, really, but the moment was thick with mattering.” (p 212)

Delightful. August 2018; 213 pages

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