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Published:September 17th, 2011 18:24 EST
John Green's An Abundance of Katherines

John Green's An Abundance of Katherines

By Tony Graff

Recently, a friend recommended I check out John Green`s An Abundance of Katherines. I had heard of John Green and his brother Hank from the video blog Brotherhood 2.0. Not having a long list of books to read, I decided to check it out. Then Border`s decided to go out of business, so I was able to get my own copy for fairly cheap.

 
John Green and his brother Hank are proud nerds. They spend many a blog talking about how nerdiness is preferential to almost anything else. (It`s true, there`s even an episode where they prove that nerds drop the best insults.) That having been said,  you don`t have to be a nerd to appreciate the story in An Abundance of Katherines.
 
Starting off, the story and the characters are composed of random ideas thrown in a cocktail shaker and mixed until they almost resemble real life. Colin Singleton, the protagonist, is a child prodigy who`s favorite hobby is anagramming. (That`s where you take a word or phrase and see how many other names or phrases you can make with it. I tried it, and my brain hurt.) He`s been dumped by 19 Katherines. Girls named Katherine are his type. But, with the 19th dumping, he and his friend Hassan decide to take a road trip to take his mind off how much he wants Katherine back. What happens from there is just the bizarre sort of experiences most people try to have during a spur-of-the-moment road trip. 
Throughout the book are footnotes, which explain everything from the anagrams Colin makes with people`s names to language translations, to random facts that add a humorous depth to the story. While it is a fairly light-hearted book, there are still elements of anger, fear, and sadness (not about the dumping) that really lends this book that air of reality.
My only drawback to An Abundance of Katherines is the math. Colin Singleton takes a significant amount of time creating a mathematical formula to predict a relationship and how it will end, based on his experiences with the nineteen Katherines. The footnotes, as well as an appendix in the back, explains how the formula was created. It was complex. However, all the math involved got a note from the author saying it`s not necessary to enjoy the book, which makes An Abundance of Katherines worth the read. 
John Green has written two other books, Paper Towns and Looking for Alaska.