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An Abundance of Katherines
 
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An Abundance of Katherines [Format Kindle]

John Green
4.7 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (3 commentaires client)

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Descriptions du produit

Extrait

(one)

The morning after noted child prodigy Colin Singleton graduated from high school and got dumped for the nineteenth time by a girl named Katherine, he took a bath. Colin had always preferred baths; one of his general policies in life was never to do anything standing up that could just as easily be done lying down. He climbed into the tub as soon as the water got hot, and he sat and watched with a curiously blank look on his face as the water overtook him. The water inched up his legs, which were crossed and folded into the tub. He did recognize, albeit faintly, that he was too long, and too big, for this bathtub—he looked like a mostly grown person playing at being a kid. As the water began to splash over his skinny but unmuscled stomach, he thought of Archimedes. When Colin was about four, he read a book about Archimedes, the Greek philosopher who’d discovered that volume could be measured by water displacement when he sat down in the bathtub. Upon making this discovery, Archimedes supposedly shouted “Eureka!” [1] and then ran naked through the streets. The book said that many important discoveries contained a “Eureka moment.” And even then, Colin very much wanted to have some important discoveries, so he asked his mom about it when she got home that evening.

“Mommy, am I ever going to have a Eureka moment?”

“Oh, sweetie,” she said, taking his hand. “What’s wrong?”

“I wanna have a Eureka Moment,” he said, the way another kid might have expressed longing for a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle.

She pressed the back of her hand to his cheek and smiled, her face so close to his that he could smell coffee and makeup. “Of course, Colin baby. Of course you will.”

But mothers lie. It’s in the job description.

Colin took a deep breath and slid down, immersing his head. I am crying, he thought, opening his eyes to stare through the soapy, stinging water. I feel like crying, so I must be crying, but it’s impossible to tell because I’m underwater. But he wasn’t crying. Curiously, he felt too depressed to cry. Too hurt. It felt as if she’d taken the part of him that cried.

He opened the drain in the tub, stood up, toweled off, and got dressed. When he exited the bathroom, his parents were sitting together on his bed. It was never a good sign when both his parents were in his room at the same time. Over the years it had meant:

1. Your grandmother/grandfather/Aunt-Suzie-whom-you-never-met-but-trust- me-she-was-nice-and-it’s-a-shame is dead.

2. You’re letting a girl named Katherine distract you from your studies.

3. Babies are made through an act that you will eventually find intriguing but for right now will just sort of horrify you, and also sometimes people do stuff that involves baby-making parts that does not actually involve making babies, like for instance kiss each other in places that are not on the face.

It never meant:

4. A girl named Katherine called while you were in the bathtub. She’s sorry. She still loves you and has made a terrible mistake and is waiting for you downstairs.

But even so, Colin couldn’t help but hope that his parents were in the room to provide news of the Number 4 variety. He was a generally pessimistic person, but he seemed to make an exception for Katherines: he always felt they would come back to him. The feeling of loving her and being loved by her welled up in him, and he could taste the adrenaline in the back of his throat, and maybe it wasn’t over, and maybe he could feel her hand in his again and hear her loud, brash voice contort itself into a whisper to say I-love-you in the very quick and quiet way that she had always said it. She said I love you as if it were a secret, and an immense one.

His dad stood up and stepped toward him. “Katherine called my cell,” he said. “She’s worried about you.” Colin felt his dad’s hand on his shoulder, and then they both moved forward, and then they were hugging.

“We’re very concerned,” his mom said. She was a small woman with curly brown hair that had one single shock of white toward the front. “And stunned,” she added. “What happened?”

“I don’t know,” Colin said softly into his dad’s shoulder. “She’s just— she’d had enough of me. She got tired. That’s what she said.” And then his mom got up and there was a lot of hugging, arms everywhere, and his mom was crying. Colin extricated himself from the hugs and sat down on his bed. He felt a tremendous need to get them out of his room immediately, like if they didn’t leave he would blow up. Literally. Guts on the walls; his prodigious brain emptied out onto his bedspread.

“Well, at some point we need to sit down and assess your options,” his dad said. His dad was big on assessing. “Not to look for silver linings, but it seems like you’ll now have some free time this summer. A summer class at Northwestern, maybe?”

“I really need to be alone, just for today,” Colin answered, trying to convey a sense of calm so that they would leave and he wouldn’t blow up. “So can we assess tomorrow?”

“Of course, sweetie,” his mom said. “We’ll be here all day. You just come down whenever you want and we love you and you’re so so special, Colin, and you can’t possibly let this girl make you think otherwise because you are the most magnificent, brilliant boy—” And right then, the most special, magnificent, brilliant boy bolted into his bathroom and puked his guts out. An explosion, sort of.

“Oh, Colin!” shouted his mom.

“I just need to be alone,” Colin insisted from the bathroom. “Please.” When he came out, they were gone.

For the next fourteen hours without pausing to eat or drink or throw up again, Colin read and reread his yearbook, which he had received just four days before. Aside from the usual yearbook crap, it contained seventy-two signatures. Twelve were just signatures, fifty-six cited his intelligence, twenty-five said they wished they’d known him better, eleven said it was fun to have him in English class, seven included the words “pupillary sphincter,” [2] and a stunning seventeen ended, “Stay Cool!” Colin Singleton could no more stay cool than a blue whale could stayskinny or Bangladesh could stayrich. Presumably, those seventeen people were kidding. He mulled this over—and considered how twenty-five of his classmates, some of whom he’d been attending school with for twelve years, could possibly have wanted to “know him better.” As if they hadn’t had a chance.

But mostly for those fourteen hours, he read and reread Katherine XIX’s inscription:

Col,

Here’s to all the places we went. And all the places we’ll go. And here’s me, whispering again and again and again and again: iloveyou.

yrs forever, K-a-t-h-e-r-i-n-e

Eventually, he found the bed too comfortable for his state of mind, so he lay down on his back, his legs sprawled across the carpet. He anagrammed “yrs forever” until he found one he liked: sorry fever. And then he lay there in his fever of sorry and repeated the now memorized note in his head and wanted to cry, but instead he only felt this aching behind his solar plexus. Crying adds something: crying is you, plus tears. But the feeling Colin had was some horrible opposite of crying. It was you, minus something. He kept thinking about one word—forever—and felt the burning ache just beneath his rib cage.It hurt like the worst ass-kicking he’d ever gotten. And he’d gotten plenty.

(1) Greek: “I have found it.”

(2) More on that later.

From School Library Journal

Grade 9 Up–This novel is not as issue-oriented as Greens Looking for Alaska (Dutton, 2005), though it does challenge readers with its nod to postmodern structure. Right after intellectual child-prodigy Colin Singleton graduates from high school, his girlfriend (who, like the 18 young women and girls whom he claimed as girlfriends over the years, is named Katherine) breaks up with him and sends him into a total funk. His best friend, Hassan, determines that he can only be cured with a road trip. After some rather aimless driving, the two find themselves in Gutshot, TN, where locals persuade them to stay. There, Colin spends his spare time working on a mathematical theorem of love, hypothesizing that romantic relationships can be graphed and predicted. The narrative is self-consciously dorky, peppered with anagrams, trivia, and foreign-language bons mots and interrupted by footnotes that explain, translate, and expound upon the text in the form of asides. It is this type of mannered nerdiness that has the potential to both win over and alienate readers. As usual, Greens primary and secondary characters are given descriptive attention and are fully and humorously realized. While enjoyable, witty, and even charming, a book with an appendix that describes how the mathematical functions in the novel can be created and graphed is not for everybody. The readers who do embrace this book, however, will do so wholeheartedly.–Amy S. Pattee, Simmons College, Boston
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 1276 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 259 pages
  • Editeur : Penguin (28 juin 2012)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ISBN-10: 0141346094
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141346090
  • ASIN: B008BSOAPE
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
  • X-Ray :
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 4.7 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (3 commentaires client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°30.798 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)
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2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Courtesy of Teens Read Too 16 février 2011
Par TeensReadToo TOP 1000 COMMENTATEURS
Format:Broché
Gold Star Award Winner!

If you had the opportunity to devise a theorem that could correctly predict the outcome of a romantic relationship, would you do it? If it worked, would you use it? Can it even be done? This is the problem plaguing Colin Singleton, recent high school graduate, nearly former child prodigy, hopeful genius. Colin, you see, has a significant problem. He falls in love quite easily, which in and of itself isn't such a bad thing. The fact that all of his loves, nineteen of them to be exact, have been named Katherine can even be explained away by some form of twisted scientific method. What can't be explained, though, is why Colin has been dumped by all nineteen of those Katherines.

When he's dumped by the love of his life, Katherine XIX, he finds himself in a bad place. He can no longer call himself a child prodigy, since he's graduated from high school. He's not a genius, because he's never come up with anything that will change the world. There's an empty place inside of him where his latest Katherine's love used to live, and he doesn't know what to do with himself. Until Hassan Harbish (Muslim, but not a terrorist) devises a way to get Colin out of his funk--a road trip. With no destination in mind, the two set off in The Hearse, Colin's car, and go where the road leads them.

Where it leads them is a small town called Gutshot, Tennessee, where Colin gets the urge to see the supposed grave of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. It's also where the two meet Lindsey Lee Wells and her mother, Hollis. Not to mention where they get to live in a giant Pepto Bismol-pink house on a hill, interview employees of a factory that makes tampon strings, and eat Monster Thickburgers at the local Hardee's.
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1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Rafraîchissant! 30 septembre 2013
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
Une belle histoire, qui se lit facilement, bien écrite avec des passages parfois très drôles.
Les personnages sont tous attachants et même si il n'y a aucun suspense on ne peut pas reposer le livre. Je le conseille vivement!
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5.0 étoiles sur 5 Great book by John Green 16 février 2014
Par Ouiam
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
Funny premise. Funny characters and story. I hope John Green writes for a more adult public, he seems to be targetting youn adults, and he's very good at it. But I would like to see stuff for more twenty-something readers.
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Amazon.com: 4.2 étoiles sur 5  655 commentaires
76 internautes sur 79 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 A quirky coming-of-age novel with an original plot! 6 mars 2008
Par Betty L. Dravis - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
Since I've always been a fan of Young Adult and Juvenile books--love to read them, love to write them--I just had to see what all the fuss was about with author John Green's coming-of-age novel. What sets it apart from others in the genre?

I started reading and quickly found out: it's an original concept, a laugh-out-loud funny story, complete with satire and an American road trip that's unlike any road trip I ever took. I'm enamored with this book and Green's main character, Colin Singleton, a loner with a quirky fascination for anagrams, math and odd facts. His main problem is that he has a hard time making friends, but NO problem with finding girlfriends.

But keeping them is another story!

At the end of his senior year of high school, "Katherine the Nineteenth" dumps him ... only the latest in a chain of rejections. As a result, he becomes indecisive about his future and begins to question his identity, his future.

What is Colin's problem? Why can't he keep his friends? When his friend Hassan suggests a road trip, what happens when the boys take off? What does a cemetery in the middle of rural Tennessee have to do with him? And who's Archduke Franz Ferdinand? Will Colin and Hassan fulfill Colin's quest to understand why he is always being dumped by his girlfriends?

Since Colin is a fading prodigy whose hobbies include making anagrams, memorizing odd historical facts, mathematical equations, and dating girls named Katherine, what mathematical equation does he formulate to explain why so many dump him? And just how many Katherines make an "abundance?"

You're invited on Colin's journey to find the answers to all those questions, but I can tell you one thing without spoiling the plot: you're in for one hilarious road trip!

An Abundance of Katherines has a little bit of everything: adventure, humor, math, verbal games, little-known historical facts, and humorous tales of boy/girl relationships as the boys begin to learn more about the opposite sex.

Green is such a masterful storyteller with a talent for creating believable characters, I couldn't put this book down. I hope he writes a sequel because I'd like to have some more fun adventures with Colin and Hassan.

This hardcover version was published by Dutton Juvenile in 2006, but the paperback is due for release in August 2008. Since it's to be listed at $3.99, I suggest waiting until then to read it. What a bargain!

A final note: This is one of those YA books geared for adults too. I'm not the only one who enjoyed it; many of the rave reviews are from adults. I would have given it five stars, but in a few places it was not as smooth as it could have been.

Film rights to John Green's Printz-award-winning first book, Looking For Alaska, were acquired by Paramount Pictures, with production in its early stages.

Reviewed by: Betty Dravis, 2008
author of: The Toonies Invade Silicon Valley
48 internautes sur 52 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 smart and funny 23 septembre 2006
Par Alexandra - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
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.
25 internautes sur 26 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Girls, Math, and a Road Trip 12 janvier 2007
Par Little Willow - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
An Abundance of Katherines is about many things: Heartbreak. Friends. Family. Math. Most importantly, it is about a young man who takes a road trip to find himself. The literal journey works well for the metaphorical one, of course, and is a familiar storytelling device. Author John Green has made it his own - or rather, Colin's own.

Colin Singleton used to be a prodigy. Used to be, because now he's a recent high school graduate, and what means "gifted prodigy" at age 2 means simply "smart" at age 18. Not only that, but his girlfriend Katherine just dumped him. In his lifetime, Colin has dated 19 girls named Katherine - never Kathy, never Catherine, always Katherine - and been dumped by every single one.

Stuck in that between-time, between boy and man, between high school and college, and positively heartbroken, he goes on a road trip with his best (and only) friend, the blunt and unabashed Hassan. They end up in Carver County, Tennessee, in a little place called Gutshot. There, they meet a kind girl named Lindsey Lee Wells, and her mother, who opens her home to the two boys.

Colin wants to have a Eureka moment, to make an amazing discovery. He also wants something more personal: to matter. When he vocalizes this, things change for him. He changes. This means that when his Eureka moment does occur, it signifies something other than what he predicted. And that's a good thing.

The same can be said for this book. The book jacket summary and title may make readers initially assume that the story will detail each of Colin's relationships in turn. Instead, they are anecdotes that he shares, stories that he tells, memories that he has. They don't fuel the story; they fuel the character. In other words, this book moves beyond what readers expect to find, and impresses them and surprises them in new ways.

This is not unlike Lindsey Lee, the girl in Gutshot, the self-proclaimed chameleon who changes how she sounds and how she acts depending on who she is talking to at the time. She never wants to leave her small town, yet she seems more worldly than Colin. She acts tough and thinks she's the opposite of Colin, but the characters learn that they have more in common than either of them could have imagined.

Fans of John Green's Printz Award-winning novel Looking for Alaska will not be disappointed by his sophomore effort. Though the stories themselves are vastly different, with Abundance being much lighter in tone than Alaska, both novels boast intelligent writing and memorable characters.

An Abundance of Katherines is more than heartache and theorems. Colin asks if love is graphable, and he finds out that life is unpredictable. What really matters? How can a person matter? Whether or not your name is Katherine, pick up this book, and Colin will share his discoveries with you.
24 internautes sur 26 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 quirky, nerdy, and generally fun 8 septembre 2007
Par Miss Print - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié
Picture this: You used to be a childhood prodigy. Member of an academic game team. You excelled in school. You were special. You met a girl named Katherine and the two of you started dating.

Then she dumps you.

Then eighteen more girls named Katherine dump you.

Suddenly, you're a teenager with no claim to fame except for your former status as a prodigy. No new ideas. No girl. No plans for the summer excepting wasting away in your room and moping.

This is not your life. But it is Colin Singleton's life immediately after his graduation from high school.

Given Colin's history with girls, you might not be surprised that John Green chose to name his second novel An Abundance of Katherines--a title that proves itself even more apt as the novel progresses.

After sulking for several days after being dumped (again), Colin is dragged out of his room by Hasan, his best friend. Hassan is confident that the only cure for Colin's depression is a road trip. So Colin and his Judge-Judy-loving, overweight, Muslim pal head off for the great beyond that is the United States between the coasts. Their road trip stops in Gutshot, Tennessee. But the adventures don't. Hired by a local bigwig to compile an oral history of Gutshot, Colin and Hassan find themselves staying with Hollis and her daughter, Lindsey. It is in Gutshot that Colin finally has what he has always wanted, a truly original idea. Thus, Colin begins to create a theorem of love in his attempt to understand his own rocky love life.

Most of my friends who have read this book and Green's first novel Looking for Alaska agree that his second novel is not as compelling a read. Having only read "Katherines," I cannot make a judgment one way or the other. What I can say is that I loved the style of this book. There has been a growing trend to use footnotes in novels--notable examples include The Bartimaeus Trilogy by Johnathan Stroud, Jasper Fforde's Thursday Next novels, and Ibid A Life by Mark Dunn which is a novel written entirely of endnotes. Green continues that tradition here to good effect.

The tone throughout is quirky, nerdy, and generally fun. I don't know that reading this novel will change any lives, but it will certainly get a lot of laughs. The best parts are, undoubtedly, the dialogues between Hassan and Colin. The guys are just so likable! In addition, Green's writing is snappy--all the better to keep the laughs coming.

Some readers might find the name John Green familiar although they cannot say why. This year John and his brother Hank have earned a good amount of notoriety on the internet for their Brotherhood 2.0 vlog project (available on YouTube) in which the brothers send videos back and forth each weekday in lieu of text conversation (if you're curious be sure to check out the Feb. 14, 2007 post because it's my favorite). They are really funny and seeing John Green and his brother in these vlogs makes it easy to see how Green came up with the idea for Colin Singleton.

Like Nothing but the Truth by Justina Chen Headley, this book includes a bit of math. The "real" math behind Colin's theorem appears in the back of the book in an appendix and Green even has a website where you can use the theorem for your own relationships (if it doesn't crash your computer). Despite all of that, Green is a self-proclaimed lost cause when it comes to math. (The theorem was drafted by friend (and "resident mathematician" for Brotherhood 2.0), Daniel Biss.) I wanted to share this for a couple of reasons. First, because I think it's great that Green is writing outside of what some might call his "comfort zone" and, second, because it should illustrate that you don't have to like math to enjoy a book that features a lot of math.

Anyway, if you need a cheerful book with some fun, lovable characters I don't think you can do better than this book which was recently nominated for the LA Times Book Award in addition to being selected as a Printz Award honor book (Looking for Alaska won the actual Printz Award, just to put that into perspective).
11 internautes sur 13 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
1.0 étoiles sur 5 Unlikable characters, dull "plot" and math. 10 octobre 2013
Par Victoria Montgomery - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle
I love to read. And I have this issue with not finishing books. In my life, I think there have been 5 books that I've started and never finished. I think this might end up being number 6.

The main character, Colin, has a type - as many people do. However, his "type" is literary - that is to say, his "type" is girls named Katherine. By the start of the story, he has been dumped by 19 Katherines. He says in a couple of places that they dumped him because they just didn't like him. I can understand; I don't like him either. He's whiny, insecure, and self-absorbed. He's obsessed with "mattering" to the point that he ignores people and doesn't actually live his life. He seems to desperately want to matter, but has NO confidence with which to make an impression on anyone - constantly asking his girlfriend (or ex, as the case may be) if she still loves him, and insisting that she doesn't understand him, for instance. Annoying.

Which is a stark contrast to the other characters in the book. Such as Hassan, who has no ambition and seems content to live with his parents forever, never go to college, and let his rich dad pay for his life. And Lindsey, for another example, who refuses to leave Gutshot, TN and do something with her life for fear of something bad happening. While both of these people at least cultivate relationships while they're content to do nothing.

So Colin gets dumped by Katherine the 19th, and his friend Hassan takes him on a road trip. They end up in Gutshot, TN, which is apparently the middle of nowhere where nothing ever happens - a great setting choice for a novel - and they decide to stay there (Again, a wonderful plot decision). At 18 or 19 or whatever age Colin is, he's all freaked out that he's past his prime (since he was a child prodigy) and has missed his chance to matter. So he's working on this one last-ditch-attempt at mattering, which is to figure out a way to graphically/mathematically predict the course of a relationship. While the math was kept relatively light, I did find myself skipping over a couple of paragraphs. Because... well... it's been a long time since my last math class and to be honest, I didn't follow it. To Green's credit, he saves detailed analysis of the math for an appendix entry rather than bogging down the novel with it further. But in a book that I'm already struggling to read, and already disliking every character that's introduced, the addition of math and repetitive anagramming really just isn't helping - and I'm not a math or anagram hater; I loved my math classes in school, it's just been a while, and I love word puzzles.

I'm clearly in the minority with my opinion on this book, given the other reviews, but I'm really bummed out about this book. All of it together (boring setting, slow plot, annoying characters, math, anagrams, more annoying characters)... I just can't get into it.. The thing that gets me is that I've read several of John Green's books. He knows how to hold his reader's attention, create intrigue and even write annoying yet likable characters. He knows how to write entertaining road-trips (like in Paper Towns). He knows how to create a beginning that sucks you into the story, and how to write a plot that moves and entertains. But I'm not seeing that here. I'm grateful this wasn't my first Green or I might not have read more.

I'm sure that the story gets to a point where there's a moral and maybe the main character learns to be content and connect with others and whatnot. And maybe even some other cool stuff. But I just can't find anything redeemable enough to hold on to to propel me through the rest of it, and I don't like the characters enough to spend hours with them in order to see them grow.

Personally, I'd skip this one and pick up another John Green instead.
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