- Paperback: 336 pages
- Publisher: Allen & Unwin; Main - Film Tie-in edition (6 Aug. 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1760290440
- ISBN-13: 978-1760290443
- Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.4 x 19.8 cm
- Average Customer Review: 74 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 23,381 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Me and Earl and the Dying Girl Paperback – 6 Aug 2015
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Hilarious, irreverent, sometimes rude and ultimately very touching. It's a great read and is highly recommended. * Canberra Times * Dead funny... Shows just how much fun reading and writing can be. * The Australian * This surprising gem is at once moving and hilarious... Greg and his misadventures will have you laughing out loud. * Book Trust * Funny, warm, enjoyably scatterbrained... An honest depiction of society's reaction to illness and death. * The Observer * This was probably the funniest book I've ever read... Everyone should read this book. * Guardian *
This was probably the funniest book I've ever read... Everyone should read this book. (Guardian)
Funny, warm, enjoyably scatterbrained... An honest depiction of society's reaction to illness and death. (The Observer)
This surprising gem is at once moving and hilarious... Greg and his misadventures will have you laughing out loud. (Book Trust)
Dead funny... Shows just how much fun reading and writing can be. (The Australian)
Hilarious, irreverent, sometimes rude and ultimately very touching. It's a great read and is highly recommended. (Canberra Times)
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So, I came at it with no preconceptions at all.
To begin with I was put out by the unusual style of writing, with for me, strange layouts, and odd ways of showing conversations. I was finding the characters too extreme, too bizarre. Maybe being British and in my 70’s can be held to account for that. I am innately conservative in literary preferences.
But this book quickly overcame my problems with gifted writing. It showed very clearly the pain that adolescents go through and their view of their immediate world that is, for them, the only world that matters. And by extension it comments on the similar pains that adults go through when confronted with rarely experienced situations.
WARNING:- After this, this review contains spoilers.
Greg is a sixteen/seventeen year-old in a big city school. Greg has a huge problem with girls. It is not that he doesn’t like them, on the contrary, he really likes them, but, being inept and clumsy, as well as not very good looking his attempts to ‘get on’ with them are pathetic and funny. This humour is heightened by is appealing self awareness, ‘after the event’.
He finally succeeds with Rachel, who he meets in his Bar Mitvah class. But he does not want to succeed with her, he wants to succeed with someone else.
His efforts to escape and to tell her he does not want to ‘hang out’ with her are very amusingly told.
Then Rachel ‘got acute myelogenous leukemia’.
Greg suffers very mixed emotions, he doesn’t know what to feel, he doesn’t know how to act, and the story tells of his mixed emotions and also with his basic honesty to himself.
‘Mom was asking me to resume a friendship that had no honest foundation and ended on screamingly awkward terms. How do you do that? You can’t.’
But pressed by his mother, and always, in his own mind unwilling, he does resume the friendship, as best he can.
Which is when we start to learn about his friend, Earl.
And the fact that Greg and Earl are both addicted to a certain type of movie, and have being trying to make one. And their efforts, they think are very bad.
As indeed, they are.
But they amuse Rachel and the two young men, prompted mainly by Earl, try to make a movie especially for her.
The results are not good.
The book is, despite its language and sometimes brutish content a delicate look at how we deal with death and dying and how, being unaccustomed for the most part, in dealing with this particular pain we are frequently clumsy and feel inadequate, are inadequate.
So, four stars from me.
My only criticism of the book is a number of printing errors in it make some sections difficult to read, because words will be missing letters or sentences will be missing words.
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The truth of death = we all lead boring lives. We all die.
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