Saturday, March 15, 2014

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

My Rating: 

Method of Reading: Personally owned paperback novel, 213 pages

Dates of Reading: March 11, 2014
Author: Stephen Chbosky
Publication Year: 1999
Recommended to: Thoughtful people in love with stories.
   "[he] seemed like the kind of guy you could just walk up to at a football game even though you were three years younger and not popular" (19). 
   "Do you always think this much, Charlie?" (24). 
   "I swear we were infinite" (39).
   "I don't know the significance of this, but I find it very interesting" (50).
   "I wanted the angel to come down and show us how Uncle Billy's life had meaning" (76). 
   "I just want it all to stop spinning" (94). 
   "I really did love her. Because there was nothing to gain and that didn't matter" (179). 
   "I think he was drunk... but Patrick does that stuff sober, so it's hard to tell" (192). 
   "What if they need the arms or something like that?" (200). 
Movie: That's why I wanted to read it! The differences between the book and movie really stood out to me because Chbosky wrote the screenplay so whatever he changed between publishing the book and writing the movie is kind of interesting, especially in light of the recent JKR "scandal" about whether authors can change their mind.  Most of the changes are minor but impactful (personalities in Charlie's family, details about Patrick and Brad's relationship, one-word differences in descriptions of Sam and Bill). Whether the changes were to streamline the story, appeal to a wider audience, or edit a Chbosky regret, I feel the movie retained the integrity of the book well. 

Wikipedia Link:


My View: Catcher-style opening but with less flair, leading into the story of a boy learning to write while he learns to tell, hear, and have stories to write about. Structured around an interesting plan to address the audience by treating them exactly as they are--as compassionate listeners, strangers willing to follow Charlie wherever he goes. That may be what compels me in this story: it is being told as if to a personally present, sympathetic ear--expecting me to listen, expecting me to hear hard things, expecting me to wince/laugh/curse/smile alternately. And ultimately, trusting me to sympathize, to listen, to withhold judgement, to love.

Your Bibliomaniac

  • Chbosky, Stephen. The Perks of Being a Wallflower. New York: Pocket, 1999. Print.
  • "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" cover. Digital image. Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., n.d. Web. 14 Mar. 2014.

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