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The Perks of Being a Wallflower Paperback – 2 Feb 2009


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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (2 Feb 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1847394078
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847394071
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 1.7 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,198 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 401 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Amazon Review

What is most notable about this funny, touching, memorable first novel from Stephen Chbosky is the resounding accuracy with which the author captures the voice of a boy teetering on the brink of adulthood. Charlie is a freshman. And while's he's not the biggest geek in the school, he is by no means popular. He's a wallflower--shy and introspective, and intelligent beyond his years, if not very savvy in the social arts. We learn about Charlie through the letters he writes to someone of undisclosed name, age and gender; a stylistic technique that adds to the heart-wrenching earnestness saturating this teen's story. Charlie encounters the same struggles many face in high school--how to make friends, the intensity of a crush, family tensions, a first relationship, exploring sexuality, experimenting with drugs--but he must also deal with the devastating fact of his best friend's recent suicide. Charlie's letters take on the intimate feel of a journal as he shares his day-to-day thoughts and feelings:
"I walk around the school hallways and look at the people. I look at the teachers and wonder why they're here. If they like their jobs. Or us. And I wonder how smart they were when they were fifteen. Not in a mean way. In a curious way. It's like looking at all the students and wondering who's had their heart broken that day, and how they are able to cope with having three quizzes and a book report due on top of that. Or wondering who did the heart breaking. And wondering why."
With the help of a teacher who recognises his wisdom and intuition, and his two friends, seniors Samantha and Patrick, Charlie mostly manages to avoid the depression he feels creeping up like ivy. When it all becomes too much, after a shocking realisation about his beloved late Aunt Helen, Charlie checks out for awhile. But he makes it back to reality in due time, ready to face his sophomore year and all that it may bring. Charlie, sincerely searching for that feeling of "being infinite" is a kindred spirit to the generation that's been slapped with the label X. --Brangien Davis, Amazon.com --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

25 Ways To Keep Up The Culture:
16. Perks of Being a Wallflower. Emma Watson reinvents herself as Sam, a preppie American wild-child in Stephen Chbosky s film adaptation of his own coming-of-age bestseller. Ezra We Need To Talk About Kevin Miller plays Sam s gay step-brother and looks almost as pretty --Evening Standard

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

142 of 152 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 26 Mar 2004
Format: Paperback
In this day and age when people are so cynical and cruel, it was a pleasure to read a book from the point of view of a genuinely nice person. Charlie is a "wallflower," meaning he stands back timidly watching others live life, afraid to participate. In the course of the novel, we watch Charlie grow: make friends, go to parties, participate, even fall in love -- in other words, come out of his shell. And by the end we discover why Charlie is unable to participate in life until now; we come to understand the source of his pain. I truly loved this book; and I don't care if other people put it down! The chapters are written in letter format, and the writing is smooth and unpretentious. This is definitely the best book I've read since THE LOSERS CLUB by Richard Perez. And I discovered both books on Amazon. Anyway, if you like genuinely beautiful people, I'm sure you'll love the protagonist of this novel. You may even shed a tear for Charlie...bottom line: you'll be moved!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Lecari on 15 Feb 2010
Format: Paperback
I really enjoyed this, especially as in parts it's very insightful and I like all the little things he would point out, the little observations.

I wish the ending was a little less ambiguous though! I wonder what he was suffering from, and who he was writing to. (I suspect that's deliberate, though - he could be writing to anyone of us.)

He reminded me a little of Adrian Mole, in that he is a very innocent but very honest character, who notices all the little things and says all the unsaid. I liked when he talked about his family, or when he talked about good times with his friends. I could definitely relate to that, a moment feeling infinite, for example - he describes it far better than I ever could.

Quite an angsty read, but it's more than that - a very touching, heartfelt story that felt real and I could really relate to him. And a reminder to myself too, to try and "participate" more in life, to not be so shy and awkward and invisible. (I am more the listener than the do-er these days.) To remember to take risks and do what I like, even if it may upset others.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By M. Glenfield on 4 Dec 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
When I first found The Perks of Being a Wallflower in my recommendations, I was entirely skeptical - a sex and drugs book about a male, who describes why he's so out of it all the time AND who is obsessed with the Rocky Horror Picture Show (which I had never heard of)? I had my reasons down to a point. And yet I still kept on coming back to look at the intriging cover and the reviews raving about it, a coming of age novel. So I decided what the heck, I can read it on my trip to Italy.
And now I can't seem to ever not be thinking about it.
It's not about sex and drugs, but about experimentation and living. Chbosky dives into the teenage mind with such clarity that at time's I thought he was reading my mind. Charlie's trauma and perspective on the people around him is so real and alive, that they make you think so hard.
It's an amazing book, I admit that. The simple vocabulary with the deepest meanings make it that much more extraordinary, and I loved reading the ending over and over again. It was sad to finish it, but hopefully I'll find more books to compare to this one.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 27 May 2000
Format: Paperback
this book is my favourite book of all time. it touched me right to the soul because i related to it on so many levels. i would recommend this book to anyone to who is deep, who doesn't all think life is peachy and who is searching for something. i find sanctuary in this book every time i read it.
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29 of 34 people found the following review helpful By M. A. Hepworth on 25 Feb 2012
Format: Paperback
THIS BOOK. I read it a couple of months back in preparation for the film (admittedly because I knew Emma Watson was going to be in the film) with no real idea of the story or anything, just a few good reviews and a pretty cover. But when I read it I was blown away. The depth of the characters, especially Charlie are amazing and he's so quirky and different. The story is so interesting too, with no boring bits at all, even though it might just be seen as another one of those books about a teenage kid at high school... it's really not. Before I read the book I never understood how people could say "This book changed my life" but it really has, it's given me a whole new perspective on things, a new love for poetry (the suicide not poem is absolutely stunning) and a new music playlist too (One Winter).
I actually read this all in one night because I didn't want to wait and have to put it down.
I'm even re-reading it, am I'm never one to re-read a book because I find it so boring, but I can't say it is because I keep finding new things in it that I couldn't see before.
If you're only on the fence about reading this book please please just do it, I promise you won't regret it.
Thank you Charlie.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Gualdino on 27 Dec 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read the entire book in two days, that's how good this book is! This book was recommended to me by someone, and now it's my time to repay and recommend it to someone else. If you're reading this review and wondering if you should get the book, then go get it! It's amazing! you'll love it. especially if you were a misfit in your teenage years,
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 8 May 1999
Format: Paperback
What a surprise ending. This book will mean something to everyone who went to high school. The writing was inspiring, and so unique. Who was Charlie writing to? Not knowing this made it so much easier to read, we knew that his words were not holding back, but Charlie put his heart out into what he wrote. This was an amazing book.
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