The Gospel According to Larry is an incredibly clever and timely pop culture story told through the journal of 17-yr-old Josh Swenson. Josh is bright, articulate, idealistic and in love with Beth - the girl next door and his best friend since sixth grade. Afraid to declare himself, he pours his energy into a clever website, through which his alter ego, Larry, advocates introspection, tolerance and anticonsumerism.
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After faking his own death in the last book (a "pseudocide") and then taking on a second phony identity, the allegedly real 17-year-old protagonist of the Gospel According to Larry shows up on author Janet Tashjian's doorstep again, with another manuscript detailing his latest exploits. Last time around, Josh changed the world by fighting global consumerism as Internet alter ego Larry; this time, he's going for the big enchilada as just plain ol' Josh--in a run for the presidency and an attempt to change U.S. politics forever. (And who's his running mate? Unrequited love Beth, of course.)
After going underground as a student at C.U.-Boulder, Josh (briefly "Mark") finds his anti-consumer ideals slipping--he tries to maintain his vow of austerity ("fewer than 75 possessions, in constant rotation"), but the slippery slope of a new girlfriend and an even newer credit card finds Josh in a Polo sweatshirt and Nautica pajamas before he can say "Walden Pond." Fortunately, Beth sweeps back into his life again with a big plan--and, more importantly, the proper jealousy-fueled inspiration, thanks to her Harvard boyfriend--to bring Josh back from the "dead" and into politics.
Fans of Tashjian's last award-winning outing will love catching up with their favorite activist superhero, as an almost unbelievable presidential campaign unfolds, amidst copious pop-culture references (U2's Bono is back, and Josh and Beth appear on the Simpsons), real-life stats about youth and the distribution of wealth in America, and--instead of Thoreau, this time around--quotes from the likes of Martin Luther King, Jr., Jim Hightower, and Paul Wellstone. Maybe it's just her "subject"/character's irresistible alacrity and idealism, but somehow Tashjian channels enough youthful hope and energy to inspire any proto-activist, adult or teen alike. (Ages 14 and up) --Paul HughesFrom the Inside Flap:
After falling off the wagon and becoming what he so clearly and strongly resisted--a consumer--Josh Swenson (aka: Larry) finds himself in a hyper-paranoid state of no return. That is, until he is kidnapped and coaxed back into resurfacing as his old persona. Before long, Larry is back on the scene with much more on his mind that a gospel website--this time Larry wants to effect change in government. What starts out as a small campaign to get the younger population to vote turns into a run for the presidency. Can Larry really take on George Bush? In this very smart, very witty novel, Janet Tashjian brings the political world to the forefront and exposes it from many different points of view.
From the Cassette edition.
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Book Description Puffin Books, 2005. Book Condition: Very Good. Former Library book. Great condition for a used book! Minimal wear. Bookseller Inventory # GRP82125332
Book Description Puffin Books. Paperback. Book Condition: Good. Book has some visible wear on the binding, cover, pages. Bookseller Inventory # G014131835XI3N00
Book Description Paperback. Book Condition: Fair. Bookseller Inventory # TT00743583B