Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Review - Will Grayson Will Grayson

Will Grayson, Will GraysonWhat happens when you take two New York Times bestselling authors, throw in some homosexuality, some musical references, two characters with the same name and a big ball of irony? The answer is simple: Will Grayson Will Grayson, the fantastic novel from John Green and David Levithan. Set in Illinois, in two parts of it, the book follows the adventures of two teenage boys by the name of Will Grayson. One has a gigantic gay best friend, the other is a closet homosexual, and the book isn't technically about either of them.

What do you mean it's not about them? They're the title characters!
While this facet of information is true, the book revolves around the character of Tiny Cooper - our big ball of irony, and Will 1's gay bezzie. (I can't believe I just wrote that, honestly.) To quote Will 1, 
 "Tiny Cooper is not the world's gayest person, and he is not the world's largest person, but I believe he may be the world's largest person who is really, really gay, and also the world's gayest person who is really, really large." 
Tiny's social gravity captures everyone into an orbit they cannot seem to escape. From the Wills to the girls they're friends with, and spreading outwards into Illinois in general - mainly the school - Tiny Cooper brings the whole ensemble of characters together.

So why didn't they call the book Tiny Cooper?
Because then we can't see the wonderful device they use to illustrate that names aren't always appropriate. Two Will Graysons almost expect to be the same. They have an imaginary club - One Will Grayson to another. If the book was called Tiny Cooper, we'd never get to see what Tiny has to offer, because we'd be looking too hard. Really, when you read this book you need to just read it and let it take you by surprise. It's handy, of course, that the authors are brilliant and witty, and so we get distracted from the universe in their comedies and tragedies and before we know it we're halfway through the book and finally used to how Levithan writes his chapters - he writes Will 2's parts; you'll understand what's so difficult about the reading of his chapters when you read them.

You keep saying "when"...
This is true - you will read this book. Rude not to. It's perhaps one of the greatest books I've ever read, because in its imperfections we are exposed to the humanity of the situation. This is a character based book. Characters have imperfections. They are, aside from the physical, human. Everything that's wrong with this book - things I can't even think of, because the good shines out over the good - is completely right as being part of the whole. So yes, I say "when" because you really ought to read this book to see the importance of names and how we can see people in different ways. And the ending is just fantastic!

So what now?
Now..? Now I have to hunt down some of David Levithan's books. I've read all of John Green's published novels. I have to wait for the next one. This has not happened to me before. I have not been in a situation of having read all of John Green's books and having to wait for the next one. So I have to read David Levithan's books and hope they're a wonderful substitute! From the impression I get of him from John Green, I will be suitably pleased.

Now, buy the book, read it, love it!

No comments: