Tuesday 4 June 2013

An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

When it comes to relationships, Colin Singleton's type is girls named Katherine. And when it comes to girls named Katherine, Colin is always getting dumped. Nineteen times, to be exact. On a road trip miles from home, this anagram-happy, washed-up child prodigy has ten thousand dollars in his pocket, a bloodthirsty feral hog on his trail, and an overweight Judge Judy - loving best friend riding shotgun - but no Katherines. Colin is on a mission to prove The Theorem of Underlying Katherine Predictability, which he hopes will predict the future of any relationship, avenge Dumpees everywhere, and finally win him the girl. Love, friendship, and a dead Austro-Hungarian archduke add up to surprising and heart-changing conclusions in this ingeniously layered comic novel about reinventing oneself.

This is my second John Green book, and after Looking For Alaska, it had a lot to live up to. Surprisingly, I liked it! I did not understand the maths, but Colin was an annoyingly relatable character in his search for purpose in life, and having just finished university, I could totally understand. 

As he embarks on a, rather short, road trip with his best friend, Colin is still mourning his latest break up with Katherine number 19. His re-telling of his past relationships are inter-spaced within the main story of Colin and Hassan meeting Lindsey in Gutshot. What fascinated me most about this story was the characters. They all were very complex and intriguing in their identities and personalities. Plus I could really relate to Lindsey's issue that she was a different person for everyone; I thought that was a simplistic but really nice attitude to the human condition, at least in teenagers. As for Hassan, he was really funny and pretty adorable and played the role of brain-to-mouth filter for Colin when he was being boring. Not that all the random facts were boring, just some of them. 

The other main point of this book, as already mentioned, was the maths. That, I didn't always understand; maths and I don't get on but I really tried, because it was important to Colin! The other thing was language. Now that I loved. Anagramming has never been my strong suit but I loved that it fascinated Colin. That with the historical knowledge made Colin just plain awesome, but maybe that's just me!

This might not be John Green's best book but still a great read, if only for the slightly-useful facts you might learn, for life or about yourself. 

Published 10th May 2012 by Penguin Books. 

1 comment:

  1. I think I need to re-read this again. I think I may have missed how seriously awesome it was when I read it originally. Not to say that I didn't enjoy it, obvs.