The Gospel According to Larry by Janet Tashjian

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Synopsis

After creating a controversial and hugely popular website, teenager Josh Swensen becomes trapped inside his brilliant creation and must find a way to remain anonymous.

I am lying on my bed doing my homework in Greek and Latin roots for Advanced English. 'Ped' for foot, 'homo' for man, 'nym' for name. I sit with the dictionary in front of me, coming up with as many words as I can to complete the assignment. Pedestrian, homicide, pseudonym . . . I have more than thirty of them. By accident -- that's always how these life-changing things happen -- I connect two halves that don't seem like a word until I look it up. 'Pseudo', false; and 'cide,' to kill = pseudocide. To pretend to kill (yourself).

I stare at the word for a good long time. Homicide, suicide, genocide: these are words you can find in the newspaper every day. But pseudocide . . . now here was something different. My mind wanders from my homework to the blue cotton threads of my bedspread. Pseudocide. A way to start again as someone completely new, a way to burn the old self and try on a new one.

Josh Swensen isn't your average teenager - when he observes America, he sees a powerhouse of consumerism and waste. He's even tried to do something about it, with his start-up controversial website. But when Josh rises to messiah status of the internet world, he discovers that greed and superficiality are not easily escaped. Trapped inside his own creation, Josh feels his only way out is to stage his death and be free of his internet alter-ego, "Larry." But this plan comes with danger, and soon Josh finds himself cut off from the world, with no one to turn to for help. In this suspenseful young adult novel, Janet Tashjian has written a probing tour-de-force.

 

About Janet Tashjian

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Janet Tashjian is the author of acclaimed books for young adults, including The Gospel According to Larry, Vote for Larry, Fault Line, and Multiple Choice. Disney adapted Tru Confessions into a television movie starring Clara Bryant and Shia LaBeouf. Tashjian studied at the University of Rhode Island and Emerson College. She lives in Needham, Massachusetts, with her family.
 
Published April 1, 2011 by Henry Holt and Co. (BYR). 252 pages
Genres: Computers & Technology, Young Adult, Science & Math, Children's Books, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Gospel According to Larry

Kirkus Reviews

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His first word, shouted from his car seat, was “FASTER!” Now a self-proclaimed rebel against consumer culture and a latter-day Thoreau, Josh has created Larry, his Internet alter ego with his own Web site, where Larry delivers sermons railing against the control of our lives by advertising compan...

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Publishers Weekly

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A highly intelligent 17-year-old takes on a pseudonym and starts a Web site that rants against consumer culture.

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Publishers Weekly

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The popularity of his site—which contains his "sermons," photos of some of his 75 possessions and parodies of ad campaigns—may not be entirely convincing to some teens, but his compelling character and other clever flourishes, like Larryfest, the advertising-free rock festival put together by U2'...

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Suite 101

Boy is a coming of age story for every ordinary teenage girl.

Aug 06 2010 | Read Full Review of The Gospel According to Larry

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