Thursday, December 21, 2006

The Gospel According to Larry

Sorry for the delay in getting this posted...I had everything ready to go early and was going to "publish" on the date I sent everyone...but with the holiday etc...I forgot!!! We're touring Pittsburgh for a few days and in the middle of the Andy Wharhol museum I remember I didn't post this! Thank goodness for hotel internet access. So here we go!!!

Can't wait to hear what everyone thought! I originally read this book a few years ago and was immediately intrigued by the premise...the author as a character in the novel- claiming to be stopped in a grocery store by a young man with a story he wanted told. I worried that students wouldn't understand the premise...but those students that I've recommended it to over the years were fine with it...the book has been a hit with anyone who read it.

What I loved most about this book were the messages about our culture and its obsession with consumerism, materialism, celebrities, and a general lack of global concern and activism. I think this is something to which our students definitely need to be exposed. I also loved the parallel story line about Beth- Josh's secret love. The story was face paced and exciting...and I loved the format the author used- the footnotes, sermons and pictures of his possessions were very effective. My only concern with this novel...and to be honest it wasn't a concern when I first read the book...but I later thought the bible passages could be an issue to some folks. Curious to see what you thought? In fact the first time I read this book I was so enthralled with the story line I didn't even make note of the passages until someone pointed them out to me!

I found the character of Josh to be both endearing and intriguing. Who wouldn't love a kid whose mother had to tell him, "no science homework after dinner" to get him to behave? And I really like how he goes to Bloomingdales to talk to his Mom! Josh's voice is clear and clever and has tremendous teen-appeal.

There is a sequel to this book I would highly recommend to anyone interested, this is titled Larry for President. I actually think I liked the sequel better...if that's possible!

I enjoyed this book on many levels- I thought the writing was sharp and funny, I was taken in by the characters, but I was mostly impressed with the messages: What do people need to live happy lives? Why are we so wrapped up in material possessions? Is our obsession with ME ME ME irreversible? Are activism and volunteering a lost causes? Maybe this book could spur discussion groups to discuss these issues. As Tashjian shows, there's plenty to talk about.