Paranoid Park by Blake Nelson

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now a major motion picture directed by Gus Van Sant (My Own Private Idaho, Good Will Hunting, and Milk)

It was an accident. He didn’t mean to kill the security guard with his skateboard—it was self-defense. But there’s no one to back up his story. No one even knows he was at Paranoid Park. Should he confess, or can he get away with it? It’s an ethical question no one should have to answer.

Writing more intensely than ever before, Blake Nelson delivers a film noir in book form, complete with interior monologue and dark, psychological drama. This is a riveting look at one boy’s fall into a world of crime, guilt, and fear—and his desperate attempt to get out again.


About Blake Nelson

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Blake Nelson grew up in Portland, OR. He attended Wesleyan University and NYU. He began his career writing short humor pieces for Details magazine. His first novel Girl, was serialized in Sassy magazine and was made into a film starring Selma Blaire and Summer Phoenix. Nelson has since published ten more novels, including Rockstar Superstar and The New Rules of High School, Prom Anonymous and Gender Blender. His science fiction novel They Came From Below was a Kliatt Editors Choice pick in 2008 and his 2006 novel Paranoid Park was made into a film by Gus Van Sant which won the Cannes Special Anniversary Prize Award in 2006, as well as Italy's Grinzane Literary award. His latest book Destroy All Cars has been praised as "Smart and Entertaining" by the New York Times, and was called "A wonderful novel" by the Los Angeles Times. His newest novel Recovery Road was released in March of 2011.
Published February 28, 2008 by Puffin. 196 pages
Genres: Young Adult, Literature & Fiction, Children's Books, Sports & Outdoors. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Paranoid Park

Kirkus Reviews

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This deeply disturbing cautionary tale shows how a teenager’s bad decision leads to a never-ending nightmare.

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Publishers Weekly

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Finding himself with nothing to do on a Saturday night, the unnamed narrator, a high-school junior, enters the park looking for excitement and ends up involved in a scuffle between Scratch, a "borderline gutter punk," and a security guard.

Aug 21 2006 | Read Full Review of Paranoid Park

AV Club

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Keeping a respectful distance, the dreamily unsettling film—stunningly shot by cinematographers Christopher Doyle and Rain Kathy Li—follows Nevins from skate park to coffee shop to a home that doesn't really feel like home anymore, drifting along with him as he makes decisions that will shape...

Mar 06 2008 | Read Full Review of Paranoid Park

San Francisco Chronicle

Paranoid Park: Starring Gabe Nevins, Jake Miller and Taylor Momsen.

Mar 14 2008 | Read Full Review of Paranoid Park

Teen Reads

PARANOID PARK is a dark and intense psychological thriller of a novel that puts a normal teen in a very difficult situation.

Oct 18 2011 | Read Full Review of Paranoid Park

The Sydney Morning Herald

Each was suggested by a real story and, perhaps, Van Sant's growing sense that America had lost its way - lost boys in a lost land.

Mar 08 2008 | Read Full Review of Paranoid Park

The Village Voice

About the small matter of that other Gus Van Sant movie that's been appearing on many people's year-end best-of lists, including that of the Voice's own J.

Dec 23 2008 | Read Full Review of Paranoid Park

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