“The Perks of Being a Wallflower”

I know my posts come in bunches divided by long silences, and for that I apologize. The energy required to sit down and write something comes and goes. Mostly, it doesn’t come at all, but sometimes I get a little bit.

So here’s my effort to keep the book list thing from getting out of control right from the start. I read a book last night, and I’m posting it now: The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. I have no idea who this guy is, if he’s any good, whether the title is supposed to be capitalized or not (there’s no LOC card data in the front of the book), or why MTV has a publishing arm. Before I buy most books, I read at least a few reviews on Amazon. It helps weed out the junk, but it also lets me know what everyone else thinks of a book before I even open it, which is not a good thing. But the only thing I’ve heard or read about this book is a vague comment about it being good or something. I didn’t even realize MTV was involved in it or I would probably not have read it… oh well.

The book is good. So good that I stayed up and read it in one night. Despite my misfortune in reading a copy that some annoying person had highlighted to death (I have no idea who did it, because it’s been passed around three or four times since) and desecrated with all of these stupid little comments about how that “really makes you think” or how this passage is “so sad… so beautiful,” I still enjoyed the book.

(The problem with this blog is simple: it’s not anonymous enough to post what I really think about some things, and but it’s so uninteresting that no one would read it if they didn’t already know me. So can I comment on how my high school life resembled the narrator’s? No, not really. Just understand that I think the book is is a caricature of real life apt enough to make some people consider their own experience.)

What is it about recalling memories — people, places, events — that is so painful but so attractive?

My favorite section of the book: “Do you always think this much, Charlie?” — “Is that bad?” — “No necessarily. It’s just that sometimes people use thought to not participate in life.”

Just like that, the whole thing is pretty upfront, shallow writing; no rereading or trying to dig beneath the surface is necessary. To me, that’s just fine.

EDIT: This is the third time I’ve gotten in trouble for not attributing things on this blog and website to Amy Shiefer — our good friend, instrumental in getting us to move to the city, our city tour guide on the weekends (Friday it was aerial dance/acrobatics at the Aloft Loft), and the supplier of the aforementioned, annotated copy of this book.

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