Ever wanted to know how long a relationship would last? Who would break up with who? Have a way to figure out if beginning the relationship in the first place is even worth the trouble? Receive all those answers by plugging in a few factors into a mathematical theorem, sounds simple enough to me, and to Colin Singleton. Colin is a new high school graduate, a soon-to-be-ex child prodigy, and this theorem, the theorem that could potentially make him a genius, is the problem he is facing.
You see, Colin has a problem. Colin falls in love very easily. That wouldn't be such a bad thing if it wasn't for the fact that all his "loves" have been named Katherine (exactly 19 of them). Each of those Katherines have broken up with him for whatever reason; and after the love of his life (Katherine XIX) leaves him in a terribly bad place he decides to use that to his advantage. He tries to make himself a genius by coming up with the Theorem of Underlying Katherine Predictability, to not only make himself known for something, but to also figure out why all nineteen Katherines have dumped him.
As a distraction, Colin and his best friend Hassan set out on a road trip to nowhere, in The Hearse (Colin's car). Seeing a sign for the grave of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the boys head to Gutshot, Tennessee; a small town, where they happen upon Lindsey Lee Wells, a girl who is nothing like any Katherine has been for Colin. She reads celebrity rag magazines, her friends, her boyfriend (also named Colin, aptly dubbed T.O.C. aka The Other Colin), and her wealthy mother Hollis, who offers the boys a place to stay. The palace-sized home on top of the hill being more than just large and full of interesting things, but it's also a shade of pink only rivaled by a bottle of Pepto Bismol.
Hollis hires the boys to accompany Lindsey with getting an oral history of Gutshot, which means visiting everyone that works in the factory (which produces tampon strings, just so you know), the people too old to work, and the people so old to work they are in the old folks home. Colin also decides his "Eureka" moment is finishing the Theorem of Underlying Katherine Predictability, but what he doesn't count on is better than finishing any theorem. He not only finds himself, but that there are some things (i.e. chance, memory recollection, the unpredictability of matters of the heart) that can't be solved in a theorem, math, or science. Some things have to be lived, and we follow these three through their adventures, learning to be somebody, mattering as a person without being world-famous, and just growing up.
There are so many things about this book that I love! Upon meeting Lindsey's friends, the boys immediately came up with amusing acronyms for them (J.A.T.T. aka Jeans Are Too Tight, hehe). As someone who lives in Tennessee, I still couldn't help giggle every time Gutshot was mentioned. The footnotes! I forgot how fun those could be! The characters are quirky, and there is the ability to relate to them in a sense, and real. And the book taught me things I didn't know! Just for amusement, here are five things I didn't know before reading An Abundance of Katherines:
- Nikola Telsa loved...pigeons (yea, I know)...and had the original electricity idea, not Thomas Eddison.
- Looking at it from a scientific point of view, there is no proof that drinking eight glasses of water will do a darn thing for your health.
- William Taft was not only the fattest president, but got stuck in a bath tub one time (hehehe, so funny)
- Abligurition is an actual word, that I can't pronounce, but means "the spending of too much money on food."
- Not only is there a World's Largest Crucifix, but it is in Kentucky.
This is one of the few books that I would recommend to everyone! Don't worry about all the math, there are footnotes and graphics to explain it all. This is a book that guys and girls alike can enjoy!
Colin Singleton is a washed up child prodigy who never quite achieved genuis status. Despite his impressive anagramming abilities, his sexy jew-fro, and winning $10,000 on a gameshow called KranialKidz, he is in a serious slump. He has just been dumped by K-19 (the 19th girl he has dated named Katherine), and he can't seem to find the missing peice of him she took with her.
Luckily for Colin, he has an underachieving best friend, Hassan, who is determined to prevent Colin from wallowing in self-pity. Hassan and Colin leave Chicago and embark on road trip that takes them exactly where they need to be. Green shows us that contrary to popular belief, sometimes it's not the journey that matters, but the destination. Set on proving a theorem on relationship predictability, Colin researches his past, analyzes the present, and attempts to predict his future using his mathematical abilities.
I have had this book for quite sometime but had put off reading it for several reasons. Mainly because I despise math, and between the math and the anagramming, I thought this book would be a nightmare. However, by page 11, I myself had a crush on Colin (and the anagramming is ironically entertaining). Green shows that even child prodigies can be unpretentious and lovably clueless. The randomness of Hassan and Colin's interations accurately depict young adult male friendships. Hassan provides comic relief (we're talking laugh out loud funny) and a necessary balance to Colin's serious demeanor.
Several quotable passages make this a thought-provoking read as well as an entertaining one.
"You can love someone so much, he thought. But you can never love someone as
much as you can miss them." (p.105)
"Books are the ultimate dumpees: put them down and they'll wait for you forever;Due to the abundance of four-letter-words and plenty of sexual references, I probably couldn't get this book into my classroom even if I begged, but I would definitely recommend it to friends. Green is a seriously talented writer with an amazing ability to capture audiences of all ages and both sexes. Colin is one of the most unique protagonists I have ever come across. Picture Adam Brody in the movie version, but quirkier and less confident. I can't wait to read Looking for Alaska!
pay attention to them and they'll always love you back." (p.110)
I gotta say, I loved the book before I even read it. Or more correctly, I loved the author's dream with this book, for lack of better words. I read about his book here and how he wanted to make things awesome for readers, by giving up making a profit and selling his book at 3.99. I think it's such a brave stand for all us avid readers who usually find ourselves low on money because of how much we spend on our books. So, that was totally awesome. Of course, 3.99 is still 3.99, but it was definitely money well-spent. I loved the book. The book was hilarious and amusing. You feel for the main character and you're ultimately rooting for him as a Dumpee, and hoping that he does get a girl who won't break his heart. I read that John Green is working on the screenplay for this novel, so I just wanted to say here that I would totally watch this movie if and when it ever came out.
Reprinted here with author's permission.
Colin Singleton is a child prodigy. Well, he used to be. He doesn't seem as smart now that he graduated. The story starts out when Colin is mourning over being dumped by his girlfriend, Katherine. That seems normal enough, but she isn't any ordinary Katherine. She's Katherine XIX, #19!
Colin's type is girls named Katherine. All 19 girls he's ever dated are named that.
To ease his pain, he goes on a road trip with his friend Hassan. They unexpectedly end up in the tiny town of Gutshot, Tennessee. There they meet a quirky, witty girl named Lindsey, the grave of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, and a crazed wild boar. Will Colin, using his Theorem for Underlying Katherine Predictability, be able to predict how long a relationship will last?
Personally, I really enjoyed the book. It was extremely interesting, funny, and had a great plot. A must read for any teen.
This was the most enjoyable book that I've read this year. The whole thing sounds like a conversation that you would have with your best friend. And eventhough sometimes the storyline seems a little farfetched (who could date 17 girls named Katherine?), the writing is so great that it's seems very realistic. Plus I totally want to marry the character Hassan.
An Abundance of Katherines by John Green is beautifully written. the characters are very complex and real; you can relate to most of them and most of the situations. this book is also perfect parts emotion, humer, philosophy, very interesting random facts; etc.
its about a former child prodigy finding himself and who he wants to become while on a road trip with his hilarious best friend. it has heartbreak; action and adventure, understanding, sadness, humer, everything a great book needs and more.
its absolutely positively one of my favorite books and I recomend it to anyone and everyone.
This book is amazing. I read Looking For Alaska by John Green too and instantly fell in love with his writing.
When Colin Singleton breaks up with his nineteenth Katherine, Colin and his best friend embark on a journey (a roadtrip) and find themselves in an isolated town with a few quirky characters. A theorem, a girl, and the grave of Archduke Franz Ferdinand may have the answers that Colin is looking for. All he wants is to matter.
From third grade through his senior year of high school, Colin Singleton, child prodigy, has dated nineteen girls. All of them have been named Katherine (anagrammed in the rake; ie, her tank), and all of them have dumped him. Not for the same reasons, and not in the same way. Katherine XVIII dumped him in an email, for example. And K-19 dumped him immediately after graduation. Now, faced with a Katherine-less summer, Colin and his best friend, Hassan, decide to take a road trip. They are short-stopped in Gutshot, Tennessee, home to Archduke Franz Ferdinand's grave, with a job offer. Since there are no Katherines in sight, only Lindseys and Katrinas, the two boys settle in for the summer to interview textile workers, and, in Colin's case, come up with a mathematical formula for predicting the end result of a romantic relationship -- his Eureka moment. Layered with fun and funky characters, anagrams, formulas, flashbacks, and footnotes, this complex yet easy-to-read novel is not only compelling, but one of the smartest novels I've read in a long time.