Reading guide for The Gospel According To Larry by Janet Tashjian

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
    Paperback:
    May 2003, 256 pages

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Reading Guide Questions Print Excerpt

Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!

  1. In his quest to be antimaterialistic, Josh has just seventy-five possessions, including shirts, shoes, keys, books, CDs, and underwear. If you had to limit the things you own to seventy-five items, what would they be?

  2. Josh states, “I've only wanted one thing in my life–to contribute, to help make the world a better place . . . not with technology, but with ideas.” Is Josh true to his vision?

  3. Is the way Josh/Larry manipulates his followers any different from the way the media, big business, or politicians manipulate the public?

  4. Josh steals confidential documents from Peter’s briefcase in order to attack the companies his stepfather represents. Is he right to do this? Does the end justify the means?

  5. Paint a picture of Josh’s character. Why is it that he has only one friend? Discuss his relationship with Beth. Do you think he would have created the Larry Web site if he had told Beth how he felt about her?

  6. Discuss the ethics of spouting views on the Internet, or in any medium, under a false identity. Betagold claims that Larry is a coward for keeping his identity a secret. Do you agree? Or is Larry right to think that revealing who he is would detract from his message?

  7. Discuss Josh’s motivation for creating the Larry Web site. Is he being honest or is he just playing a game? He is disturbed by the magnitude of the response to his Web site and by the hero he becomes, but he does not close down the web site. Why?

  8. Josh is disillusioned by the reaction of the public once his identity is known. No one seems to be interested in his message–people are interested only in him as a celebrity. The producer of 20/20 tells him, “They want to know about you. You’re the story, just you. People want gossip; people want sizzle.” What does this tell you about how the media views the public? What happens when the sizzle fizzles?

  9. Josh says that we feast on celebrities, caring for people who have no idea who we are. How do you feel about this? Should we care about the private lives of our favorite rock stars? If you were a celebrity, how would you handle fame?

  10. “No offense, Josh, but this idealism thing is a phase, like so many other things you’ve been through. . . . You don’t have enough life experience. You don’t know how the real world works yet.” How much of what Peter says to Josh is true, or is it as Josh responds, “Adults always say that to keep kids quiet?”

  11. Some of Josh’s actions might be considered unethical. Do you think anything Josh does is immoral? Is the writing of his story the solution for Josh, or is it just another way to avoid taking responsibility? How will Josh find peace? Is he on the right path?

  12. Josh’s/Larry’s sermons rail against exploitation of third-world countries, celebrity worship, and the way big business manipulates our lives, to name a few issues. What are the things about society that you and your friends hope to change?

Unless otherwise stated, this discussion guide is reprinted with the permission of Dell Laurel Leaf Books For Young Readers. Any page references refer to a USA edition of the book, usually the trade paperback version, and may vary in other editions.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

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

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • 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
    Brass
    by Xhenet Aliu
    In 1996, Waterbury, Connecticut is a town of abandoned brass mills. Eighteen-year-old Elsie ...
  • Book Jacket: Timekeepers
    Timekeepers
    by Simon Garfield
    If you can spare three minutes and 57 seconds, you can hear the driving, horse-gallop beat of Sade&#...
  • Book Jacket: How to Stop Time
    How to Stop Time
    by Matt Haig
    Tom Hazard, the protagonist of How to Stop Time, is afflicted with a condition of semi-immortality ...

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.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

T I M A Slip B C A L

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & 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.