Guest Blogger: Max, 10th Grade
Genre: Autobiographical Fiction
Setting (Place): Boston
What would you rate this book: 5 out of 5 Stars
It’s pretty much a masterpiece.
Eugene Gant is an extremely ambitious young intellectual. Bored with his small-time education in New Hampshire, he makes the decision to move to Harvard University in Boston. What follows is remarkable, as Gant, for the first time in his life, truly sees the world for what it is: dangerous, terrifying, unfair, but unspeakably beautiful. His quest to know everything and everything about the world leads to endlessly scrounging libraries, intensely studying his very unique (and slightly evil) uncle, and interacting with people of all walks of life. Where this particular quest will end for Gant, he doesn’t know, but he is along for the ride nonetheless.
"He had spells and rhymes of magic numbers which would allow enable him, he thought, to read all of the million books in the great library. This was a furious obsession with him all the time. And there were other spells and rhymes which would enable him to know the lives of 50,000,000 people, to visit every country in the world, to know a hundred languages, posses 10,000 lovely woman, and yet to have one he loved and honored above all, who would be true and beautiful and faithful to him.
"And by the all-resuming magic of these spells he would go everywhere on Earth, while keeping one place to return to; and while driven mad with thirst and hunger to have everything, he would be peaceful content with almost nothing; and while he wanted to be a famous, honored, celebrated man, he would live obscurely, decently, and well, with one true love forever.”
I really like this book because of what it has to say about life, the world, the people that inhabit that world, the decisions those people make, the other people they make decisions with and/or for, and the for the honestly gorgeous, poetic language of Thomas Wolfe. This book makes me question a new aspect of my life with every turn of the page, and I can’t thank it enough for giving form to ideas and feelings I personally could never articulate on.
Want to make a recommendation?
* Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh's Young Adult Booklists
* New York Times Books Section (links to their Best Seller Lists)
* YALSA Book Awards & Booklists
* YALSA's Teens' Top Ten