Posts Tagged ‘gotta love the nerds’

An Abundance of Katherines
by John Green
Dutton Books, 2006
Source: public library

It was after reading the second review of Will Grayson, Will Grayson (first Birdbrain(ed) Booksreview and then Ana and Renay’s joint review on Subverting the Text) that I decided to stop wondering who this John Green guy was (and why every mention of him was accompanied by gushing) and read one of his books already.  The sample of Will Grayson, Will Grayson I read failed to captivate me so I went an earlier work, An Abundance of Katherines.

I understand the gushing now.

An Abundance of Katherines stars Colin Singleton, the biggest nerd on the planet.  (And I mean that in the nicest way possible.)  He has strange quirks, like his ability to anagram everything and his inability to whisper, and is a cornucopia of random information.  He’s also dated, and been dumped by, nineteen Katherines.

What I loved about the book (in no particular order):

  • Colin’s never-ending supply of facts (which meant I learned lots of useless information that promptly went in one ear and out the other).
  • the footnotes.  After reading Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, I fell in love with footnotes in fiction.  When I saw that An Abundance of Katherines contained footnotes – and that they were just as entertaining and wonderful as Susanna Clarke’s – I wanted to hug John Green. 
  • Colin’s best friend, Hassan.  That guy is fugging hilarious.  He’s not just an amusing sidekick, though, which I really loved.  There’s more depth to Hassan’s character than you see in most best-friend-to-the-main-character characters.
  • Colin’s declaration that love is graphable.  I nearly fell off the bed, I was laughing so hard.  This declaration was followed by pages upon pages of him attempting to graph, and create a formula for, all of his Katherine relationships.  (And yes, the graphs and formulas were included in the novel.)
  • the dialogue.  Green’s dialogue not only sounded realistic, but revealed more about his characters’ personalities than pages of description and back history ever could.
In short: better than I expected.  It’s definitely one I would read again, if only to re-experience the dialogue and graphs.  So tell me, John Green fans, how do his other books measure up?

Other reviews:

Birdbrain(ed) Book Blog

things mean a lot

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