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The Perks of Being a Wallflower Paperback – 2 Feb 2009

4.6 out of 5 stars 1,422 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK (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 (1,422 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 767 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I loved loved loved this book. I am thirteen and the content matter might have been considered slightly unsuitable, further emphasized by the fact that the narrative depicts these events starkly and honestly, telling you pretty much everything about his life! I like the idea that each chapter is a 'letter' to a stranger who doesn't actually know Charlie; it makes you feel as if you're the stranger, depicting the reader almost as an additional character in the book. The child-like quality to Charlie revisits the old idea of a 'coming-of-age tale' by making it seem as if a child is seeing his adolescent actions; it makes you wonder how a different version of yourself, someone naive, afraid, lost, hopelessly young, would react to your 'teenage years'. Everything in the novel seems real, honest, and despite the fact that it wasn't written recently, the words have an almost timeless quality to them. The character is relatively easy to relate to until the last main event, which, although it explains a lot about Charlie's mindset, seems unrealistic and unnecessary.
'The Perks Of Being A Wallflower' is definitely worth a read, despite the somewhat bizarre conclusion, although I wouldn't recommend this for young people you are easily creeped-out! : )
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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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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Chbosky, Stephen. The Perks of being a Wallflower

This is a young person’s book, not one to agonise over, but rather to throw away or leave on the bus. It’s a simply written confession of an outsider learning to adjust to school, friends, family and the beast in the trousers. It is written in the form of a series of letters to an unnamed friend, each letter signed ‘Love always, Charlie.’ Charlie, the narrator, is one must say ‘a reliable narrator,’ telling the most mundane details of his encounters, his struggles to understand himself, his family and his party-loving pals, their compulsive habits, their changing moods and their love affairs. Charlie is the Wallflower, the non-participant, the outcast from life’s ephemeral feast of pleasures, although he is learning fast, already a keen pot smoker and drinker, a high school sophomore almost ready for sex.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I think this is one of those "marmite books". You either love it or you hate it. I found it very touching and hilariously funny by turns. Charlie is out of step with life. He's either running to catch up or waiting for others to get to the same point as him. As a wallflower he has a real fly on the wall perspective and sees things that others don't. He just doesn't always understand some of the implications of what he sees. He's a deep thinker and very reminiscent of the MC of catcher in the rye, which is referenced. Socially awkward, mentally challenged but fiercely intelligent Charlie is watching everyone around him, trying to learn how to become an adult. At some point he has to stop over thinking things and move away from being a wallflower. This book is well worth a read even if its not your usual cup of tea. It covers a lot of issues without peering at them from a judge mental perspective. The language seems simplistic but it holds layers of meaning (again like catcher in the rye.) It has earned shelf space for two lines alone even if I hadn't really enjoyed it; "we accept the love we think we deserve" and "I feel infinite." One of the most uplifting and sad books I've read.
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