An Abundance of Katherines - John Green Starts slow ... but gets quickly funny, moving and deep.
The greatest obstacle to liking this book is getting past the first chapter, because you think you cannot stand learning more about the pitiful life of self-centered Colin Singleton, single pampered son, former child prodigy and winy and whimpering post-graduation dumpee, who seems to be liked only by a passing string of short-term girl-friends (all nineteen of them went by the name of Katherine) and his best friend Hassan, an overweight, Judge-Judy-addicted partly strict Muslim - but no terrorist as he likes to point out -, who does not like to work and "saves his Thunderstick for a very special lady". By the second chapter, when Hassan and Colin go on an anti-heart-break road-trip across the states in Colin's battered car "Satan's Hearse" you may have already started to rather enjoy the funny and intelligent banter between the boys. When and if you read on to the part when they stop at the small town Gutshot, Tennessee, which is centered around a tampon-string factory owned by pink-clad and pink-housed Hollis Wells, you may notice - as I have done - that you have miraculously fallen in love with the complete set of characters (even Colin), the story and the somewhat absurd setting. The story proceeds in Gutshot with Colin and Hassan acquiring summer jobs and Colin working on a formula that can predict the outcome of any romantic relationship by mathematically analysing his failed attempts at love, because he needs to become a person that "matters" to humanity in a Nobel Prize worthy way. The plot includes wonderfully romantic scenes between Colin and his first Non-Katherine, deep-musings about life, popularity, friendship and personality, lots of dry humor, clever and superfluous footnotes and laugh-out loud hilarious moments (i.e. when they take part of a feral hog hunting party and accidentally shoot into a hornets nest as they are trying to scare the boar away). Unsurprisingly the author interview in the end reveals that the movie rights have been sold. The book is definitely a keeper worth rereading. Presently I am secretly plotting on how to persuade my husband to pick up the German translation.