An Abundance of KatherinesBook - 2012
New York : Speak, an imprint of Penguin GRoup (USA) Inc., 2012
From the critics
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RobertELPL thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over
violet_elephant_757 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over
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"Yeah. God. We could, couldn't we? We could just keep going."
--Lindsey Lee Wells
(Part 2) But there’s another way. There are stories. Maybe stories don’t just make us matter to each other – maybe they’re also the only way to the infinite mattering he’d been after for so long. Say I tell someone about my feral hog hunt. Even if it’s a dumb story, telling it changes other people just the slightest little bit, just as living the story changes me. And that infinitesimal change ripples outward – every smaller but everlasting. I will get forgotten, but the stories will last, and so we all matter – maybe less than a lot, but always more than none. And it wasn’t only the remembered stories that mattered. There’s a place in the brain for knowing what cannot be remembered.
That brief walk – from the screened-in porch outside to the Hearse – was one of those moments he knew he’d remember and look back on, one of those moments that he’d try to capture in the stories he told. Nothing was happening, really, but the moment was thick with mattering.
(Part 1) Collin all of a sudden realized: you can make a Theorem that explains why you won or lost past poker hands, but you can never make one to predict future poker hands. The past is a logical story. It’s the sense of what happened. But since it is not yet remembered, the future need not make any sense at all.
In that moment, the future stretched out before Colin: infinite and unknowable and beautiful.
Collin’s brain was spinning with the implications: if the future is forever, then eventually it will swallow us all up. Even Colin could only name a handful of people who lived, say, 2,400 years ago. In another 2,400 years, even Socrates, the most well-known genius of that century, might be forgotten. The future will erase everything – there’s no level of fame or genius that allows you to transcend oblivion. The infinite future makes that kind of mattering impossible.
Okay, here’s the thing about storytelling: you need a beginning, and a middle, and an end. And you need a good, strong moral. Or a theme or whatever. And the other thing is romance and adventure. You’ve got to put some of those in. If it’s a story about peeing into a lion cage, give yourself a girlfriend who notices how gigantic your winky is and then saves you from the lion at the last second by tackling you, because she’s desperate to save that gorgeous, ginormous winky. In the beginning, you need to pee; in the middle, you do; in the end, through romance and adventure, your winky is saved from the jaws of a hungry lion by the pluck of a young girl motivated by her abiding love for giant winkies. And the moral of the story is that a heroic girlfriend, combined with a giant winky, will save you from even the most desperate situations.
"What is the point of being alive if you don't at least try to do something remarkable"
"The morning after noted child progidy Colin Singleton graduated from high school and got dumped for the nineteenth time by a girl named Katherine, he took a bath."
La ilaha illa-llah. The Islamic statement of faith, in transliterated Arabic: there is no God but God.
And so we all matter,... maybe less than a lot, but always more that none.
“Books are the ultimate Dumpees: put them down and they’ll wait for you forever; pay attention to them and they always love you back.”
"...she liked to take me for walks on the lakeeshore, where we'd watch the waves crashing against the rocks on the shoreline, and she said there was only one one metaphor, antd that the metaphor was water beating against rocks-because, she said, both the water and the rocks ended up worse off in the bargain, and then when she dumped me in the same coffee shop where we'd met three months before, she said she was the water and I was the rocks and we were just going to keep going at each other till there was nothing left of either of us-and when I pointed out that, really, water doesn't suffer any negative effects whatsoever from slowly eroding the rocks on the lakeshore, she allowed as to how that was true but dumped me anyway."
SummaryAdd a Summary
Colin is a child prodigy, but that doesn't stop him from making the same mistake, falling for girls named Katherine. Colin's parents want him to get out of the house and so he and his friend, Hassan, go on a road trip. Many adventurous and funny moments occur throughout their spontaneous journey. Will Colin break his bad habits of dating Katherine's? Or is his doomed to repeat this mistake of the past?