Reader reviews and comments on The Gospel According To Larry, plus links to write your own review.

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

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:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Oct 2001, 227 pages
    May 2003, 256 pages

  • Rate this book

Buy This Book

About this Book


Page 1 of 7
There are currently 56 reader reviews for The Gospel According To Larry
Order Reviews by:

Write your own review!

this book sucked (04/30/13)

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.
smiley (03/10/10)

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.
Aloeverza (04/30/08)

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.
matt (04/15/08)

Is it real?
I really liked the book, and read it a second time for school, but I really wonder if the whole thing about it being real is a hoax. If so, it was a well done one, i went on the other day for school research and found a blog of a guy "back in walden pond" So it makes me think the book could be real. NOTE that the site made no reference to the book whatsoever.

(Editor's Note: The Gospel According to Larry is fiction. The website is owned by the author Janet Tashjian. Don't you think that if it WAS true, and Larry had been as famous as that in real life, you'd be able to find at least a few articles about him in the mainstream press?)
cody (02/01/08)

the gospel according to larry
What I want to know is were these events true, I've been to the web site but I think it would be hard to pull this whole thing to be fake so I think it is based on a real story.
Justin Gregory (10/21/07)

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.
Flor (08/01/07)

is it a true story or not?
I think this book is awesome, but I don't understand if it is true or not, the author says that Josh himself gave her the story to write but maybe she just made that up. I loved the book though, I found it very interesting. I am 14 years old going to high school and I think people my age should read it, not only my age of course, I think everybody should read it, the book is AWESOME.
Alex (05/29/07)

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?

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member and discover books that entertain, engage & enlighten!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Wife Between Us
    The Wife Between Us
    by Sarah Pekkanen, Greer Hendricks
    The Wife Between Us is an intriguing collaboration between first-time novelist Greer Hendricks and ...
  • Book Jacket: The Wife Between Us
    The Wife Between Us
    by Sarah Pekkanen, Greer Hendricks
    The Wife Between Us is an intriguing collaboration between first-time novelist Greer Hendricks and ...
  • Book Jacket: Only Child
    Only Child
    by Rhiannon Navin
    Rhiannon Navin's debut novel, Only Child received an overall score of 4.8 out of 5 from BookBrowse ...
  • Book Jacket: Brass
    by Xhenet Aliu
    In 1996, Waterbury, Connecticut is a town of abandoned brass mills. Eighteen-year-old Elsie ...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The Women in the Castle by Jessica Shattuck

A nuanced portrait of war, and of three women haunted by the past and the secrets they hold.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Only Child
    by Rhiannon Navin

    A dazzling, tenderhearted debut about healing, family, and the exquisite wisdom of children.
    Reader Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    The French Girl
    by Lexie Elliott

    An exhilarating debut psychological suspense novel for fans of Fiona Barton and Ruth Ware.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win Beartown

Now in Paperback!

From the author of a A Man Called Ove, a dazzling, profound novel about a small town with a big dream.


Word Play

Solve this clue:

T I M A Slip B C A L

and be entered to win..

Books that     

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.