I finished reading the 213 pages that make up The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky earlier today after technically starting the book four months ago. Although four months ago I only picked the book up off my friend’s bookshelf in Seattle and read the first couple pages falling in love with the line, “I just need to know that someone out there listens and understands and doesn’t try to sleep with people even if they could have,” and then didn’t even intend to read the entire book until plucking it off my other friend’s bookshelf here in Portland earlier this week, so technically I started the book today. I don’t know which of the two technically’s is most appropriate considering the circumstances so I’m going to leave them both, and also I don’t know the proper plural of technically but I hope to God it’s not technicalities.
Before I even get started with whatever my intentions of writing this are, I want you to know that I know what you’re thinking, and it’s, “I bet this asshole only read this book because the movie came out…also I bet he has a huge penis and earlier tonight he ate 15 Oreos and they gave him the runs.” Well you’re wrong, only one of those things is true – It’s the Oreo thing, I forgot they have lactose. Sure I only started reading the Song of Ice and Fire series after watching Game of Thrones, and sure the trailer of Life of Pie made me want to read the book of the same name – which I haven’t done yet – but in the case of Perks ‘o be Waller – that’s what all the cool kids are calling this book I imagine – the movie had almost no effect on me wanting to read the book. In fact the second time seeing the trailer I thought the movie looked stupid. And maybe I’m just saying that because I’m still mad at Emma Watson for chopping her hair off, but also in the book it clearly states that Sam has long hair, so shame on them for not casting an actress with long hair. They didn’t stay true to the book! (Says the guy who hasn’t seen the movie.)
First of all I loved the way the book was formatted. I mean I’m used to authors conveying their story through pictures, but the way Chbosky chose to use words as the driving point of getting the story across was brilliant. It really gave Goodnight Moon a run for its money.
No, but can I be serious for a moment?
I’ll wait for your replies in the comment section at which point I’ll begin writing part 2 of this based on them.
I’m kidding. God I’m such a kidder, dontcha love it? People always say to me, “Quentin, you’re such an idiot.” But I can read between the lines, and the mere fact that they remembered my name gives me more validation than my father ever did….let’s take a five minute cry break and then resume back to whatever this is?
I do love that it’s written in the form of letters, and even better that it’s written to a person we don’t know, but even though we don’t know them it’s a character who arguably has the biggest effect on the narrative, because depending on who Charlie, the dude writing the letters, is writing to is going to affect how he writes. Since it’s a person who “doesn’t try to sleep with people even though they could have,” we get this honest, touching story of high school endeavors, as opposed to if it would have been written to a complete slutbag, in which case we can only, rightfully, assume that the series of letters was really just Charlie trying to get in some chicks pants.
I think I personally loved the format (as opposed to someone else personally loving it?) because it was very much the stereotypical personal blog style, except I couldn’t leave troll-like comments after each letter he wrote…except in the margins of the book, but I don’t think Charlie will ever read them.
I like books written in the first person. That’s the first person, right? I went to the store? I bought some Oreos? I had crippling diarrhea all night? For someone who loves writing I know so very little about it. I’d be really ashamed about it if I wasn’t more ashamed about so many other things about me. But I just like getting inside the head of the character from the character his or her self, rather then some God like being know it all telling me crap. I like the personability of it.
The story quickly becomes tragic on page 21 when we find out that Charlie didn’t find out what Masturbation was until he was 15, 16 in two months time. Do you know how ridiculously sad that is? He missed some really great masturbation years. 15 and 16 is when boys who aren’t me start getting interested in girls…wait, that’s not right at all. 15 and 16 is when boys who aren’t me start having girls who are interested in them – that’s more like it – so masturbation just becomes this annoying thing you have to do until eventually you break down a girl’s self esteem enough to settle for you (what?) I mean until you romantically sweep a girl off her feet with flowers and chocolates and this thing called “compliments” I’ve heard legend of, and then you don’t have to masturbate anymore because she’ll let you rub up against her leg until you produce jizzum or your penis is rubbed raw. The point is after 15 boys and girls start, as the kids say, getting jiggy with it, or at least have potential for it. But from 10 – a random number not at all chosen because that’s when I started masturbating stereotypically to Baywatch – to 13 boys have nothing to do. Girls don’t want to be with them yet because puberty hasn’t worked its magic yet, but is still in its apprentice stage where it keeps trying to kill the pimples on your face but just keeps cutting them in half only to exponentially create more. And for boys high school hasn’t started so you don’t have to be cool or focus on homework – true story, I did almost no homework in middle school and they still let me go to high school and the only effect it had on me was a bad work ethic that I can never undo – and boys can just spend all day masturbating carefree.
There was a line early in the book that really spoke to me,
“Charlie, we accept the love we think we deserve.”
I was a little confused because the book called me Charlie and not Quentin, but it still raisineted with me (resonate?) no thanks, I’m more of a chocolate covered peanuts man. I think this line is very accurate in most cases, although maybe not so much with me. Trust me, I realize that I deserve shit for love at this point in my life, but so far I’ve really only liked amazing woman – with the exception of that one chick who I broke up with only to have her write that Rolling in the Deep song about me – and I’ve been more than willing to accept their love, but it’s nice to see that they’ve all had high self esteem, or at least adequate self esteem, actually even with low self esteem I think girls still know they can do better.
Anyway, I’m gonna wrap this up because I get the feeling people stopped reading this awhile ago…I’m so silly, that’s completely wrong. People never started reading this in the first place – people hate my self deprecation, but it’s one of the only consistent things that actually places a smile on my face.
I did enjoy the book quite a bit. It’s an easy read. I found it very relatable. Good story. These are short sentences. I give it four out of five Muppets.