After the huge success of Looking for Alaska, John Green, released his second book called An Abundance Of Katherines in 2006, which again got a wonderful reception by readers and went on to become New York Times Bestseller. But should this be you’re next read? Let’s find out.
Story [Without Spoilers]
The story of the book revolves around a child prodigy, Colin Singleton, who loves to anagram, who wants to matter, and when it comes to relationships his type is girls named Katherine. But he is always getting dumped by Katherine, nineteen times to be precise. He is on a mission to prove The Theorem of Underlying Katherine Predictability, which would tell how long a relationship will survive, and who will be the Dumper and who will be the Dumpee.
Colin along with his only friend, Hassan Harbish, decides to go on a road trip to get over his very recent breakup with Katherine 19. They meet Lindsey Lee Wells on their road trip in Gutshot, Tennessee. She is a paramedic-in-training who also give tours of Gutshot. Lindsey’s mother, Hollis Wells, also the owner of the Gutshot Textiles, gives them a job and allows them to live at her house, which is often referred to as The Pink Mansion.
There stay in Gutshot turns out to be a life-changing for Colin, Hassan and Lindsey, all of them make new discoveries about the world and also about themselves.
Green has written An Abundance Of Katherines in third person narrative, wherein he is the narrator. His story is gripping from the very beginning. The story is quite easy to understand. At the end of some chapters, Green takes us in the flashback and tells a bit about Colin’s past relationships with Katherines, though the flashbacks which have nothing to do with what is going on at the moment in the story, which at times disturbs the flow of the book.
There are four main characters in the book:
- Colin Singleton happens to be a child prodigy but he knows that he cannot become a genius, so the only thing he wants is to matter. Colin finds everything interesting, especially things that other people seem to not care much about. Because of this, it is difficult for people to relate to Colin. His character is built in a typical way a normal human would think of a prodigy (perhaps prodigies would have some other take on it!) which makes it easier to understand him.
- Hassan Harbish is the funniest guy in the book. Whenever he enters it is guaranteed that he will make you laugh at least once. Hassan is a Muslim and takes his faith very seriously. He is always there to support his best friend Colin whenever he is in a need.
- Lindsey Lee Wells, when she meets Colin and Hassan, she is dating Colin (not the protagonist, he is referred as ‘The Other Colin’ or ‘TOC’ in the most of the book). Her’s is also a chilled out character like Hassan’s but she is also wanting something just as Colin, so she can be called a hybrid of Colin and Hassan.
- Hollis Wells, is an extreme workaholic and is very kind to the people who work at her factory.
The biggest problem that I felt with An Abundance Of Katherines was with the ending. Obviously, I cannot reveal the ending to you because it’ll kill all the fun, but if I just had to give an idea of what I’m trying to say, I felt the author ran out of ideas as he neared the end. Because a lot of things happen in the end which is not very descriptive it all finished in a couple of pages. It was more like a hastened ending which I don’t really enjoy.
- “What’s the point of being alive if you don’t at least try to do something remarkable?”
- “You can love someone so much, he thought. But you can never love people as much as you can miss them.”
- “The world ain’t gonna stay like you imagine it, sweetheart.”
- “How you matter is defined by the things that matter to you.”
- “You don’t remember what happened. What you remember becomes what happened.”
Overall Review and Rating
All in all, John Green’s An Abundance Of Katherines is a good book if you are looking for some light read. If you like reading young-adult fiction then you should surely go for it.
I’m going with 3.5 out of 5 for this book.