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The Gospel According To Larry

by Janet Tashjian

The Gospel According To Larry by Janet Tashjian X
The Gospel According To Larry by Janet Tashjian
  • Critics' Opinion:

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  • First Published:
    Oct 2001, 227 pages

    May 2003, 256 pages


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There are currently 56 reader reviews for The Gospel According To Larry
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this book sucked

Awful book
This book clearly made no difference. The kid is a sociopath who thinks 20,000 people will change the world by driving businesses into bankruptcy, he thought that faking his death would help his cause and he clearly didn't have a big enough cause or else it wouldn't be some unknown Asian lady writing this book. I can't believe so many people wrote good reviews. Josh is basically Hitler of the U.S. economics.

This sucks.
The Gospel According to Larry is a trashy, poorly written novel. The author makes her first mistake by casting as her main character a maniacal seventeen-year-old who should have been tested for Down's Syndrome/ Asperger's/ Autism long ago. She makes him have an alter ego named Larry, who writes "sermons" on anti-consumerism and his "zen" (not) Thoreau-based way of life. In the book, where the impossible can happen, he attracts a following of sadsacks, which inludes Bono and his best friend/love interest, Beth. (These scenarios, which attempt to bring more life to "Larry's" character, are the worst part of the book.) The fatal flaws are as follows:

1) The main character is COMPLETELY UNLIKEABLE. He is annoying, bratty, and stupid while the author tries desperately to convince us he is intelligent, lovable, and oh so sensitive. He IS incredibly smart in school subjects, but not in living life. This may be a theme of the book, but it is an awful one. Who wants to read about a snot-nose who doesn't know how to take chances in anything but quadratic equations?

2) The main character does not practice what he preaches. His "sermons" (I use the term loosely) commit the literary sin of being deadly dull. What's more, he makes a point of telling us he has SEVENTY-FIVE POSSESSIONS and that ONLY, then completely disregards this at the end where he can buy/leave behind what he pleases. Also, he described his love of nature in such lascivious terms that I didn't want to go outside after reading this "book" (term also used loosely.) He commits an actual CRIME against his dad by stealing the pictures to make a point, revealing his selfish nature and stupidity in the matters of the heart. It is such a bad signal to send to the teens reading the book that the author (and whoever edited this piece of dung) should weep. Larry deserved to be ousted by the (more creepy than himself) betagold.

3) Last, the Gospel According to Larry was such a vomitously self-righteous novel that I sometimes had to put down the book and take Pepto-Bismol. The author's condescending pleasure oozes out of every pore of the book, saying." 'Larry' didn't write this! I did! Worship at my feet! My footnotes* are sooo witty and adorable, I should be given some sort of award for bringing culture to THE TEENS OF THE WORLD! You should buy this book so I can bask in my glory for eons!" Ugh. What a pusillanimous turd.

This loosely organized, run-on, ignorant monologue of a confused teen (presumably the author as a young girl) should be burnt en masse. Admittedly, the book did sometimes catch me up in its plot. But after those brief, exhilarating moments of reading a GOOD book, it dropped me flat with "Larry's" lame dialogues. Honestly, if I hadn't had been required to read this for English, I wouldn't have read it at all.

*This book made me even hate footnotes for a while.

"Larry" clearly does not understand the importance of economics. He says we should not buy into the commercialism and buy things we dont need. Larry says this will change the world. The only way it could change the world is for the worse. Stopping the flow of money would send America into recession. Larry talks about third world coutries and how terrible their life is and they live on two dollars a day. Okay... we know... Hmmmmm you ever think of helpng THEM... instead of trying to destroy our economy to balance it out. Our economic success has nothing to do with the poverty the third world countries face. If Larry wants people to stop buying things we dont need it will just bring America down to a poorer level. There is no point in fixing something that isnt broke. America is so successful because people DO buy things. Consumer demand creates jobs and i dont see anything wrong with having a job instead of living in poverty. If Larry wants to balance out the major gap in quality of life between America and third world countries.... he should focus on stimulating their economy instead of destroying ours to balance it out.

I have one word to describe this book - IGNORANT
bob ian

confusing book

It escapes me why anyone would enjoy this book, nevermind read it. I read it because it was a summer rewading book and my options were limited, I have to say I hated it. As much as he tries to sound right and making a difference, he sounds like total jackass.
"I only have 75 things! I'm special!"
"People in 3rd world countries live off of 2 DOLLARS a day"(mentioned twice)
thats nice, but this is not a 3rd world country, this is the United States, I don't see you trying to live off the $2 a day you mentioned, why? its not possible, not in this society anyway, so don't shove these things onto me

Saying this book is a great influence and "changing the world" is like sitiing in an empty auditorium with a single violin playing, and calling it a symphony. It's a nice start, but if you're going to try to influence others, you've got to have more than one message, and a message that doesn't make me want to puke at that.

Seriously, the only "point" that Josh ever tried to make ws anti-consumerism, which is sketchy to begin with. Sure, people buy things they don't need all the time. But that isn't the fault of the companies themselves, it's the fault of the consumers. So don't be putting up anti-Nintendo posters next time I'm off to buy a video game. If nobody bought anything they didn't need ever again, and we all dug holes and lived in the ground, the environment would be runied quicker than it's being ruined now, not to mention that millions of people would be out of jobs, not to mention the country would end up in recession from stoppage of money-flow.

I suppose one could argue that the tension between Josh and Beth is "touching." No, wait, they couldn't. If I want to hear about some kid's struggle with "just being friends with a girl he really 'loves'," I'd either listen to some EMO punk rock or read my journal from 8th grade. That stuff happens to everyone, trying to push it off as a unique or original problem would just be plain dumb. Oh wait.

This is the kind of book 8 year olds will read, and then think "I know everything! I'm going to go protest now!" The book made me roll my eyes way too much, and I could see through the ways it kept trying to be way more intelligent and inspiring than it actually was. The title and the excerpt on the back made me perk up, but when I found out the only messages "Larry" had were either anti-consumerism or High School relationship troubles, I found myself struggling to finish it. The book reminded me of a poster I saw once advertising a "protest" at a local mall called "buy nothing day" where people would walk around and buy nothing. Both were pointless.

"memyselfandi", I completely disagree. You write that "the Gospel According to Larry was one of the worst books I have ever read.Although the plot was gripping and realistic, well written, and had a good message, I thought that the charitars weree not that great." Obviously, you did not read the "note to the reader"/introduction at the begining of the book! It's clearly written that this is a true story. You don't like that the "charitars" are too perfect? well, they're real! Josh is the one who wrote this book about his life. I'm sorry, just had to comment on that. I'm 14 years old.

the book was funny i laughed and then i was happy

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