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The Gospel According To Larry by Janet Tashjian

The Gospel According To Larry

by Janet Tashjian
  • Critics' Opinion:
  • Readers' Opinion:
  • First Published:
  • Oct 1, 2001
  • Paperback:
  • May 2003
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There are currently 56 reader reviews for The Gospel According To Larry
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this book hit me hard... it was so wonderful, telling the world what the some of us need to say, we may be just some teens but our minds form young america.
BookBrowse - Davina
The plot of The Gospel According To Larry may have a few holes, but the ideas and characterization more than make up for it.
This would make a great book for teen discussion - in school and outside. Indeed, if I was in charge of school curriculum I would recommend it as a must read - and discuss - title. Having said that some teens will no doubt consider the book to be pointless and Larry to be a loser. These would be the kids who've already been so indoctrinated with the desire to wear/own the new new brand that it's difficult for them to see that there could be a middle ground - somewhere between Larry's ascetic minimalism and today's buy buy buy mentality.

For a non-fiction look at branding try 'Branded: The Buying and Selling of Teenagers' by Alissa Quart (2003) and 'No Logo: Taking Aim at the Brand Bullies' by Naomi Klein (1999). Both should be available at any reasonable bookstore or library.


Good book
Really, this is totally worth reading; great morals, sometimes it's a bit slow or annoying but then it pulls you back in.
Justin Gregory

The Gospel According to Larry
In the first of two brilliantly written novels by Janet Tashjian, The Gospel According to Larry, the story's center character, Josh Swensen breaks out of his quiet shell. A genius of a boy, Josh is a loner in his school, but still finds a way to get his words and feelings out. He decides to creates an alter ego for himself. Larry. He generates a web site for his creation, where he delivers sermons on issues like consumerism. But soon everyone wants to know the true identity of Larry. When finally exposed, Josh is shunned by friends and family and doesn't know what to do. He then decides to fake his own death, in order to get a fresh start on his life, leaving guessing for a while what might happen.

Tashjian follows up with the conclusion of Josh's story in Vote for Larry. She's a clever author with many ideas about the issues of cosumerism, and makes good points in both novels that address teens and their concerns about finding a place in the world and being able difference in it. Although it is directed at teens, this novel makes good points about things that also apply to the elder of our societies.

Overall, it was a pretty good book. Being in High school, I can see the point which Ms. Tashjian is trying to make: High School students are very materialistic.

I don't read usually, but I read this book for a book report for my english class.

It caught my attention when Ms. Tashjian starts the book as Josh being a prodigy. I may be wrong, but when MOST people were in third grade, we were still learning to write cursive, And simple addition and subtraction. Not Algebra...

I;m not trying to point the finger at anyone, but it seems that all books these days have a special character that has something special happen to them.

You know what I believe would impress a LOT of people? If a book was written about a run-of-the-mill kid in which everything was normal in his/her life. Not A supergeek or a loser, but whatever you call the kid in the middle.

It's also a fact that it's not just teens of the 21st century are materialistic; Almost evreyone is. Unless your a primate living in the Alps hunting to stay alive while wearing deerskins, your going to have shoes, clothes, toys, games, etc. made by a large brand-name manufacturer. Otherwise their just isn't anyway to get a "brandless" object

Of course if you make everything you use yourself, that isn't a problem. But most people havn't got the time. =]

Heres another little quickee fact.

If you hate how people in third world countries live off two dollars a day, how come I had to spend over 5 bucks to GET the book?

pretty darn good
I think that it was a (I hate this word but can't think of a better one) interesting book. It made me sad and happy at the same time but I think its important for us to see what living with an alter ego is not as fun as you would think it was. I seriously think this was a true story. All I can say is pretty darn good.

think it's being taken too seriously
hey there, did anyone else look at the book from the point of view that the book itself is not infact anti-consumerist? surely anyone who truly understands the book can see that it is merely designed to make people think, yes it paints the character of josh as a naive teenager but it does so so blatantly that we cannot fail to see this. the message of the book seems to be looking more at the anti-consumerist attitude of teenagers than at anti-consumerism itself. yes the characters have 'prefection' issues but the book puts across the both sides of an interesting consumer attitude. we have to realise that the book allows us his point of view but also that of the 'adults' around him and points out in glaring detail the flaws in the larry philosophy. those of you who see this as a reason to give the book a 1 rating are looking at it rom very biased criteria.

this book was ok
this book was a great example to the kinds of things we can do to try and "change" the world. even though we can't be able to chande the world it is still great if we change just one life.

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