Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The Perks of Being A Wallflower-Stephen Chbosky

"I guess what I’m saying is, this all feels very familiar. But it’s not mine to be familiar about.”-The Perks of Being A Wallflower.

I think I came too late to identify with Holden Caulfield’s all encompassing rage. So instead I read the words and observations of Charlie in The Perks of Being a Wallflower. This is definitely one of my favorite books, and the copy I have is battered and high-lighted. I’m afraid that someday, I’ll find this book in a forgotten corner somewhere and re-read it, and I’ll be trying to figure out why this book seemed so special in the first place. I’m afraid I’ll have forgotten what it’s like to be young and confused and afraid, and see Charlie’s keen observations as trite, when compared to my oh so deep well of logical wisdom. But enough of that…

This book is written as a series of letters to Charlie’s anonymous friend. In them Charlie writes about his first year in high-school and discusses everything from picking out the perfect Christmas present for his dad, to his feelings on his sisters secret abortion. He does this simply with at times an alarming sense of detachment. But always he comes back to his deep concern for others and his one true wish that everyone could just be happy.


Charlie also struggles with his first crush and his first few dates with another girl. From his ever present analytical view of his involvement with The Rocky Horror Picture Show, to his feeling on The Fountainhead, and his first encounter with pot. Through it all Charlie presents his life with an honesty that would frighten most of us and an undertone of wistfulness for something more of a connection with the world he lives in.

6 comments:

Nihil Novum said...

Better late than never.

Carlton said...

Who is C?

Nihil Novum said...

Christine. it took me a while to figure out too.

Christopher said...

Well, it's not me. And it's not Carlton. And it's not Celly, Crooke, or Crent.

Brooke said...

This was one of my favorites in high school. I discovered it sophomore year and it helped me cope with those gross 16 year old feelings of alienation and better appreciate those moments where I-- say it with me-- felt infinite.

Christopher said...

Felt infinite.