Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Booktalk: An Abundance of Katherines

An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

Colin Singleton.

Colin Singleton has just been dumped by Katherine XIX, the 19th Katherine to dump him in the course of his short life.

Colin Singleton, former child prodigy, has just graduated high school, as the valedictorian, of course, has $10,000 from his winnings on a little watched children’s quiz show, and no desire to do anything other than lay in his bedroom floor and try not to vomit.

Luckily for Colin, his best friend Hassan, an overgrown Arab guy with a taste for Hardee’s Monster Thick Burgers, is fresh from his gap year, the year after high school in which he did nothing at all but watch Judge Judy every day, and raring for some action. Well, not so much raring for action as sick of watching Colin wallow in his rejected love for Katherine XIX.

So, they embark on a road trip in Colin’s broken down old car, affectionately referred to as “Satan’s Hearse.” After leaving Chicago, they pass up the opportunity to see the world’s largest crucifix in Kentucky, but Colin insists that he and Hassan go out into the middle of nowhere, to Gunshot, Tennessee, to see the grave of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the man whose death sparked the start of World War I.

While they do find a grave in Gunshot, Colin and Hassan’s encounters with a girl named Lindsey, another guy named Colin and the folks that work at factory that produces tampon strings determine the outcome of the entire road trip.

…and then there are the abundance of Katherines who have dumped Colin, and he will use this trip to determine the theorem, the mathematical equation, that will predict the course of all relationships and explain his tendency to be the dumpee. And why wouldn’t a theorem make it possible for him to get over Katherine? It will. Of course it will. Won’t it?

An Abundance of Katherines by John Green.

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