The moment we began reading Larry, we were intrigued by the author's writing style! What do you think of how the book is written and organized?
The Gospel According to Larry written by Janet Tashjian is about a boy named Josh who writes sermons and posts them online with the fake name of Larry. When Josh first started the gospel, not to many people were interested, but as time passed the website became more popular. Actually so popular that Josh received over a million hits in one morning, page ninety one 2nd, 3rd and 4th paragraphs says the amounts of hits. I guess Larry is writing about more interesting things. The only problem with his webpage is that someone is determined to figure out his identity. Josh is not that concerned that he will catch on, even though he is giving out clues. Betagold is the secretive name of the person who is trying to reveal Josh. Josh himself has no idea who Betagold is, but he still isn’t worried. I love the way Janet Tashjian writes the book. Each story should have a beginning, middle, and end. Usually somewhere in the middle is the climax of the story. I think that she followed all the rules and regulations for a well thought and complete story. She has a nice beginning that introduces some characters. The middle definitely has its climax, and she ends the story well too. Some stories characters just jump into the story from nowhere, and you have no idea who they are, but she very well introduces new characters when they come into play. I believe the book was written very well.The book was also a very easy read. There were little to no words that I did not understand, but for an example there was one on page seventy. The word was innocuous. After looking it up I realized it meant harmless. Besides that word I really do not think there were any others, and if there were I could figure them out my context clues. Some things I did not understand were he numbers at the end of a sentence. Eventually I figured out that you had to go to the bottom of the page and read what was there. I want to know why she did not just insert them in the sentence instead of giving them numbers and putting them at the bottom. Sometimes it made things a little confusing. Once in a while I would miss the number and have to go back and read it all over again. Another question I had was why there were no chapters. There are parts in the book. Do they mean the same thing, or something completely different? Even if they mean something different I do not think that it takes away from the overall view of the book. Now that I have read The Gospel According to Larry I think that I will try to find more books written by Janet Tashjian. Her book that I read was extremely enjoyable. Sometimes it is nice to read a book that does not take a lot of thought to understand what is going on. Not only was the book an easy read it was a good topic. When I first started reading the book I thought it was going to be so boring, but I was wrong. It took a little while to grab my attention, but after it did it kept me on my toes the whole time. I never wanted to put it down. Overall I think that The Gospel According to Larry was an awesome choice. The author did a fantastic job at writing it. Her thoughts were very organized, which made the book an easy read. To be honest this is probably one of the first books a teacher has picked that I have liked. I look forward to reading more books written by her.
When I began reading Larry, I obtained a whole new perspective of how a book could be written. Along the journey of reading about this intelligent person, I ran into the numbers at the end of sentences. When I read what was on the bottom of the page, it felt like I was getting the inside scoop, his opinion, the way he looked at the situation. For example, Katherine had cooked Peter and Josh dinner. Josh had given me his opinion at one of the numbers on the page 32, he said that he and his dad were both better cooks and implied that they would always have lasagna when Katherine made it. The Gospel According to Larry was written continually and cleverly. It kept on giving you different ideas and secrets about the plot. On page 37, Josh finally told us about him being Larry. Before that, he gave us hints that it was him. When Beth decided to partner up with Todd Terrific and left Josh, Larry wrote a sermon about true friends and friends that were false, which are on pages 54 and 55. Larry was writing about Josh's life. In conclusion, The Gospel According to Larry was astonishing to read. The writing and organization was in a different format.
I connect with several things Daniel (Dan?) mentions; I did not want to put the book down either....Tahjian does keep you "hooked" in a unique way! I agree that the little footnotes could be...well, almost "distracting" I guess. I didn't want to pause from reading the main text to read the little notes, but found myself understanding Josh/Larry much better if I did. I guess I'd pose the question to all of you bloggers: Is Josh a typical teen? Do you see yourselves in him? At some points I wanted to applaud his character for wanting to make a difference, but I started wondering if all of us at some point THINK we want to make a difference, but it's really a mask for our own self-centeredness. Hm. In other words, is Josh as Larry just an excuse to rant at the world's flaws rather than face reality head on? Any thoughts?
I'm glad you enjoyed the book Lauren. I think the author does a neat job of putting us 'inside Josh's head'....that is truly a writer's gift:) I'm wondering how you bloggers perceive Josh's "obsession" (can I call it that?) with Beth? It seemed to me at many times, that not only does he admire her, feel in love with her, and want more for her (than let's say "Todd Terrific"), but it's almost like he wished he possessed the personal qualities that Beth exuded. Is Beth part of what makes Larry great? Where would Josh be without her? Does their relationship speak to a univeral truth about how our deepest, closest friends are integral parts of our own character? And is this healthy, particularly in Larry's case?
I couldn't agree more with Danny's response. Janet Tashjian writes the book in an unusual way. Josh is telling us about his life and how Larry changed it. In the end, the big shocker was on page 215; Josh decides to write a book about his life. Could it be the book we are reading now? Intriguing isn't it? Danny is right about how she introduces each and every character. Some of the characters just jumped out, though, like the old lady at Larryfest, who would be later identifiedas betagold, on page 128. You had no idea who she was until afew days later when she showed up in. Josh's doorwaywith a camera crew. I saw that as rather tricky. It is easy to understand why Danny was confused with the numbers in the senences and the parts, instead of chapters, in the book. At first the numbers in the sentences were a little dificult but once you started reading, they were like a whole new insight into Josh. Those numbers were sort of like his secrets. On page163, when Josh gets alone time with Beth, the number tells us about the daydreams he's had about Beth. He would have never told anyone about besides the people reading this book. As for the parts, instead of chapters to seperate the book,those were sections in the story that reached a different part in Josh's life. When you read the bible sayings on the 1st page of a new part, it woud go along with the story in that piece of the book. For instance, Part Three had a saying that "God was pleased with his beloved Son" on page 109. Josh prays to his Mom on page 113 and he wonders what he thinksof his sucess. On page 114, his mom tells him to keep up the good work. The bible saying matches what goes on in that part. All in all, the author was wonderful and again I agree with Danny- Mrs. Hurt and Mrs. Nelson chose an awesome book to read! We should read more by this author.
Josh represents a little of teen in all of us. Some people are really intelligent and computer fanatics. Others have crushes on their best friends. Some would like to start their life over because of something they did or said. Even some would like to change the world. (Josh is not a typical teen; most teens don't create a website for relievingving their pain of someone's death, page 41.) Not many teens change the whole world at the age of seventeen. Most would rather go hang out with friends. I agree that Josh is hiding behind the mask of Larry so he doesn't face reality. When he was Larry and no one knew about his identity, he wasn't facing reality; he was just talking about the problems. When Betagold reveals Josh's secret, everything goes crazy, he becomes famous and loses the closest people he has. Josh was overwhelmed with reality from what he lost; he was always living behind the shadow of Larry. Then again, regular teens don't live in reality but in the shadows of their parents.
Josh might see Beth as a role-model for him. Without Beth and her thoughts or opinions, Larry might be incomplete. He uses Beth's actions and feelings through Larry's sermons. Again I go back to page 54 and 55 where Larry wrote about true friends and the ones that are just using you. this was when Beth left Josh for Todd. Beth also incourages Larry to keep doing his sermons. For example, Beth gets a tatoo with the dollar sign and an x through it. You could tell that Josh was proud of it. Beth inspires Josh to write about her as Larry. Could some of Beth be hiding behind Larry's shadow too? (Even though she doesn't know it?) They each have a little piece of eachother in both of them. Our closest friends learn from us as we do from them. This may have not been healthy in Larry's case because not only was Larry writing about Josh but he was writing about Beth. She didn't realize that until Larry was identified.
In my opinion, Janet Tashjian did an amazing job writing The Gospel According to Larry. This is not a book that I would just pick off the shelf and read so it was a nice change of pace. I agree with Danny that it was probably the most exciting book that I have been assigned to read. During the book, there was a very unanticipated twist when Betagold showed up on Josh’s front porch. The system that Josh figured out to keep him undercover was so high tech and smart that I thought no one would figure out how to get around it. On page 41, it explains how Josh hooked up his cell phone as the modem line so that he couldn’t be traced. Though Betagold blew Josh’s cover, I think that she made the Larry website stronger. Every time Josh read one of her comments, he was determined to do even more to change the world. The website clubs, the Larryfest, and the Larry fans that boycotted brand name companies were probably unrealistic though. It would be extremely challenging to get millions of people thinking the same way as you because they have their own strong opinions, and it would take a lot more than what Larry did to convince people to give up their brand name clothing and other popular items.
I thought that it was a very creative place where Josh goes to talk to his mother. Inside Bloomingdales at the makeup counter was where josh felt most connected to her. Whenever Josh needed a response from his mom after he was finished talking with her, he waited for the next person to speak and assumed that whatever they said would be his mom’s answer. When I was reading his “mom’s” responses, I started to wonder what would have happened if she said something really out of the ordinary that didn’t make sense responding to the question that Josh had asked. When I got to page 172, I found this out of the ordinary response. One Lady who just happened to speak first said, “Sometimes I could just kill myself.” Even Josh realized that his mom would never ask him to kill himself. Josh assumed that his connection with his mom was lost after he heard that response, but if anyone else waited for responses like Josh did, wouldn’t we hear unusual responses all the time?
When I began reading “The Gospel According to Larry” by Janet Tashjian I was very interested by the style in which the book was setup. While reading the book I found that there were footnotes at the end of some sentences that offered a deeper look into what I had just read. “I am not much of a detail person”(page 37), Josh says at the end of the fourth chapter. This sentence helped me to better understand that these numbers were Josh’s opinions and personal thoughts on what was just said and since he did not like details, they were not seen as important enough to be within the main lines of the story, but added in as footnotes. On page 37 Josh also admits, after presenting the reader with many hints and clues, that he is in fact Larry. Larry is an anonymous online user who posts blogs, or sermons, on his website about anticonsumerism and antimaterialism. Larry preaches on how peoples lives are controlled by the media and corporate products, in one of his sermons he writes, “Our lives couldn’t be more dictated by the corporations if they gave our schools A/V equipment in exchange for making us watch commercials in class. Oh yeah, they do that already”(Page 13). Larry’s voice also shows the difference in the writing style used between Josh’s character and Larry’s sermons. Josh is a quiet person, who does not speak his mind often and is somewhat of a social outcast by choice. He only has one friend, Beth, whom he has been friends with for years. Larry is on the opposite end of the spectrum however; he speaks his mind and posts his opinions online for anyone to read. In some ways I think that Larry is a mask that Josh hides behind so that people will not know his real opinions and only think of him as a harmless geek. In her writing the author shows the contrast between the two and adds to the difference between the two personas. This is continued throughout the story, Josh having a soft voice and Larry’s sermons having a loud, opinionated one. Along with posting about anticonsumerism Josh/Larry also believes in being non-materialistic. Josh only has seventy-five possessions and Larry posts pictures of his possessions to see if “it would be possible to track down an anonymous person ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD by the things he or she owned”(Page 42). In conclusion, The Gospel According to Larry has a different writing style than any other book I have read before. I genuinely liked the way the book was setup and found how the details are not in the main body of the story but used as footnotes. I liked reading this book and I think I would enjoy reading more works by Janet Tashjian.
As soon I started reading The Gospel According to Larry, I too was intrigued by Janet Tashjian's writing style. I found it unique that there were numbers and footnotes at the bottom of the pages showing Josh's opinions and such on ideas. When you first dive into the book, you have no evidence that Josh could be Larry until page 37 when he admits to being him. You learn that Josh is extremely brilliant and made the blog on his free time, never intending it to be such a big deal. Josh's best friend, Beth, is a faithful fan of Larry agreeing with everything the sermons have to say. Josh claims he has been in love with her since they were young, so he is tempted to spill his secret identity here and there. Larry preaches his perspectives on life and is completely non-materialistic and anti-consumerism. The website becomes a large hit and an unidentified screen name threatens Larry promising that he will be revealed. Larry is not concerned and continues on with his work. In the end Josh was reconized as Larry to the world but I agree with Christina when she said that it only made his website stronger. All of the support Larry has been given through the fans, the Larryfest etc. has shown that Josh's dream to change the world could become a reality. Overall, I think that this novel by Janet Tashjian is an out of the ordinary work of art that changed the way I viewed many things. I thoroughly enjoyed this easy read and most definitely recommend it to a friend.
The Gospel According to Larry, written by Janet Tashjian, imediately interested me. The footnotes give you great insight into the mind of Josh and what he is really thinking. When Josh first started thegospelaccordingtolarry.com, it was sort of a joke and just something to keep busy with, but when the website becomes a hit, Josh is amazed to find out that so many people are "followers" of his "sermons". I want to find out why so many people care about what Larry is preaching. Do they really care or did most of them just jump on the bandwagon? I also wonder why Josh feels that he can't tell Beth how he really feels, or who Larry really is? They are supposed to be best frieds, but are they really friends if Josh can't tell Beth about these secrets he's keeping? I am only on Part Two, but I am very interesting in seeing how everything will play out. Will Josh get the girl? Will Larry's identity be uncovered? These are just some things I would like to know
AS I was reading The Gospel According to Larry, I wondered if Josh had a religious reason for calling his site thegospelaccordingtolarry.com. The Gospel According to Larry looks like it's settup like a research report. As it said in "A Note To The Reader," it does look like it was typed on a typewriter. I think it is interesting how Janet Tashjian set up the book.
I think that "The Gospel According to Larry" by Janet Tashjian has a style intended to attract teenage readers. The book is written from the point of view of a teenager which makes it seem more laid back than many books that I have read. One phrase in the book that I notice would appeal to teenagers is when Josh says, “That's a giant duh.” (p. 33), when he is talking to Beth. This sentence is something that younger people would use. The author includes these types of phrases throughout the book so that it will attract teenage readers, spreading the message of anticonsumerism. I think that the choice of font is also interesting for this book. It is reminiscent of the type of font you would find on a blog, which shows that the author wants the entire book to be almost like a posting on the internet. I agree with Danny that the style of the book makes it very easy to read and that there isn't any vocabulary in it that is difficult to understand. I think that the footnotes in the text are often not necessary. As you get to know the character of Josh, it becomes obvious what he may be thinking. For example on page 150, “All the hours I'd spent honing those sermons and creating those pseudo ads were gone. All anyone cared about now was what kind of breakfast cereal I preferred.” together with the footnote, “I hate cereal.” It's easy to infer that Josh is disgusted with the focus on cereal without the footnote. Some of the footnotes are needed, but they could have been included in the main text. I disagree with others' opinions that they show insight into Josh's personal thoughts, because most of what he is thinking is already written in the text and doesn't need further explanation. The author uses this effective style of writing to get teenagers to think about antimaterialism, but the style can be distracting, making it easy to miss the point.
As I was reading The Gospel According to Larry, I thought it was interesting how Janet Tashjian built the relationship of Josh and Beth and how it made the book more interesting. Josh has had a crush on Beth since the sixth grade so many times throughout the book, he becomes easily distracted by Beth and starts to talk about what color of lipstick she was wearing that day. Without these “distractions” I think that the book might not have been as entertaining. As Beth and Josh talked, it was nice to read the conversation, but even more interesting to read what Josh was actually thinking when they talked. Starting off at the bottom of page 7 and to the top of page 8, Beth tries to talk to Josh, but what we actually read about is the brown lipstick that she wore most of the time.
I have to agree with Kelsey- Josh's dream to change the world did become a reality, but what sort of reality? Josh/Larry wrote an article on his sight about comsumerism and products of the world, but isn't that what Josh/Larry became? Everyone was interested in listening to what Larry had to say until they found out his true identity; then all that they were interested in was Josh/Larry himself. All they wanted to know about was the "gossip" on Josh's life, so this got me thinking...in the end, does Josh/Larry become the exact opposite of what he writes about on his blog?
On a side note...I have just discovered that there is a sequel to "The Gospel According to Larry." Hmmm...very interesting! I wonder what could happen to Josh in the next book?
There are ways that Josh, in “The Gospel According to Larry”, is a typical teenager, but there are many ways in which he is not typical. To run his website, thegospelaccordingtolarry.com, Josh has to love being on the internet and communicating with other people there. Spending time on the internet is a very ordinary action for teenagers. Another way that Josh is average is that he is very concerned with relationships with friends at school. The entire reason that Josh keeps his website up after all of the problems it is causing, is to impress Beth and hope that she will find out that he is Larry. Josh is also a normal teenager because he is sad about the death of his mother. He can't discuss it with his father, so he finds an outlet by going to Bloomingdale's and “talking” to his mother there. I think there are more ways that Josh is not typical than ways that he is. For example, Josh loves to be alone. In the book, he went to his room in the woods for three days by himself. He said, “I'll be insane if I don't go. It's not just the privacy.” and Beth cuts in with, “It's the solitude.” (p. 106). Most teenagers could never survive that long being alone without any sort of communication. Another way that Josh isn't ordinary is that he spends much of his time reflecting on his life and how he can make the world a better place. Beth tells him, “But not everyone wants to go through life being a hermit living in the world of ideas.” (p. 22). Many teenagers will spend more time socializing than thinking like Josh does. In the story, Josh only has one friend that he is very attached to. He says, “I have nice friends. Well, one nice friend.” (p. 28). Normal teenagers usually have many friends but aren't attached very strongly to a single one. Josh's eccentricities are what make him interesting to read about in this book.
I think that josh is a typical teen, but is very smart for his age. Most teens around his age down have their own web page and are able to keep to secret from any people who try to enter fear. At some points in the book i see myself in him, but would do things a little differently. For example, the things he posts on his web page. I think my topics would be a little different. It seems to me like he used his web page as an advantage to get beth. Him and Beth are best friends, but Beth has no idea that Josh/Larry likes her more. Josh kinda used his sermons to change the flaws in Beth. At some points in the book it did seem like Josh was trying to change the worlds flaws, but as i thought about it more i believe that Josh used his web page to deal with his every day problems. He probably did this because he was a little insecure at home. People who are not comfortable with themselves tend to do things weird to make then feel secure......sorry this is still danny Roberts. i forgot my old account password. i made a new one.
I think “The Gospel According to Larry” is presented in a unique fashion. The book was written in the third person point of view of Josh Swensen, the creator of “Larry”. This gives you a more personal connection to Josh and to better understand what he was going through. I do not really enjoy how the book was written. Since it was written in third person it was harder for me to understand everyone else’s views about Josh and his decisions. Then again, the book was organized very well and was easy to read. It was organized from a little before the website “Larry” was created and ended after the website crashes and Josh starts a new life. What I learned from this novel is how to better view and then deal with decisions and to consider how it affects everyone else before acting upon a decision.
“The Gospel According to Larry” is a unique book because of the way it does not grab you in the beginning of the story. Most books start off with something that seems normal to most people. Then just when you are about to lose interest, something very exciting or different happens and brings you back in to read the rest of the story. In “The Gospel According to Larry”, Janet Tashjian does it a lot different than most authors. Instead she took her time to grab the reader. The first real thing that started to grab you was on page 37; Josh tells the reader he is Larry. By the time I was slightly interested to continue reading the book, I was more than half way through it. If this had not been a assignment, I would have dropped the book by page 17, when Josh says he was making equations on the refrigerator when he was two years old. In the future, I hope I do not have to read another story set up like this novel.
Sometimes it seemed Larry’s sermons were a little bit too personal because they reflected on what happened in Josh’s life. On page 54, Josh/Larry posted a sermon relating to how Beth would rather hang out with Todd than Josh. This sermon was so personal that I thought Beth might question if Josh was Larry. I think that a lot of times Josh used his website as an alternative to talking to Beth. Using the same example, Josh/ Larry posted the sermon instead of telling Beth how he felt. To me, it felt like he was taking the easy way out.
I'd have to agree with Christina- sometimes Josh/Larry's sermons did feel like he was taking the easy way out instead of talking to Beth and confronting her about how he felt. I think that if Beth had paid attention closely, she might have realized that the topics and timing of Josh/Larry's sermons were a bit obvious at times.
I agree with Emily when they say that Josh is a typical teenager in some ways, but in other ways he is not. The thing I disagree with Emily about is when she said "The entire reason that Josh keeps his website up after all of the problems it is causing, is to impress Beth and hope that she will find out that he is Larry." I always thought that Josh wanted to change the world when his sermons became popular, not just to impress Beth. Yes, Josh/Larry did write about situations having to do with Beth, but I definitely do not think the whole reason for the blogs were for Beth.
A common topic that is talked about in the novel is obsession over things. Josh, when Larry, talks about obsession over things like the newest trends. Most teens are all over the latest trends. For example, in order to get the iphone you would have to camp out at the store for the night, even though you just bought a new Razor a few months ago. When the new iphone did come out, most were sold out by 10:30 in the morning. While Josh/Larry is telling everyone else not to obsess over things, he has a hard time listening to Beth because he is focusing on her lips.
In The Gospel According to Larry, betagold did help Larry become more enthusiastic about doing the web site. I agree with Christina and Kelsey that it gave Larry a little boost to keep on going. How Josh made sure he wouldn't be found, didn't make any sense. He was smart in his planning; but in some way, can't all cellphones be traced? So it was no surprise to me when betagold found Larry/Josh. She would've eventually found out. Some of the Larry clubs are realistic. Like the ones in Josh's school. But I don't think Larry clubs can go around the world. It would be unrealistic for all these people to think the same thing. I agree with Christina that a lot of people have different strong personalities. Other parts in the book were sort of fictitious. When Josh first spoke to his mom at Bloomingdales (page 29). I was surprised to here some answer that was relate to Josh's prayer. Still we can believe that dead people can communicate to us through others. If we did it, we might hear some responses that are off. Although, hearing an answer after praying to a dead person might work.
I never realized how different Josh and Larry were. Josh wasn't real excited about being in a Larry web club.(page 1) Larry, on the other hand, was aroused about the Larry clubs and Larryfest. Just look at page 118, at Sermon #271. He expresses his stimulation by challenges and praise. Jenna was right about Josh being quiet and shy. He keeps his thoughts to himself, but Larry speaks out and tells the whole world his opinion and what he sees happening in the world. Still, I couldn't help but noticing that Larry and Josh can be the same in some ways. Josh's plan is to make a difference in the world. Larry hopes to reach out and teach the worldsomething new. He sucessfully fulfilled Josh's dream. When betagold had told Josh'd secret, Larry had disappeared including the web site because Josh had to cancel it. Soon after Josh disappears, because he "jumped" from a bridge to kill himself. But now Josh had a new identity that no one knew about. So in some ways, Josh and Larry were simular.
Many people joined Larry clubs and started taking Larry to heart. They started taking part in Larry's sermons. Sure some people might have just been in the group and not really care about Larry.The ones who did understandLarry and cared, did something to spread his sermon. They took action by posting posters on stores, crossed off names and stores on shirets, and they boycotted products. Even Beth, Josh's best friend, took part in the boycotting. Beth didn't want to know who Larry was. Claire has a good point; if Josh and Beth are best friends, why can't he tell her what he feels and Larry's identity? On page 157 Beth did say that Josh could've told her. What would her reaction have been, though?
Hi Everybody, I've been reading and enjoying your postings ever since Danny officially launched the blog early this month. Now that we're up to double digit respondents...(Way to go, all!)I want to jump back in.I hope you feel that blogging is like a conversation online...almost like IM or texting but delayed! (Do you participate in other blogs?) Postings will be most meaningful if you reflect and then "chat" with those who've posted. Go beyond a peer's views...add more insight, or disagree, but avoid repetition (while you reinforce the previous writer...you won't enhance our understanding. Briefly: AVOID MERE REPETITION!)A few other pointers...best responses include connections to the novel -- quotes, details, pg. references. Such "nudges" support your views & analysis. Without such evidence, your postings are only opinions... Also, as you respond, do take time to proofread...you'll enhance your message when readers don't have to "translate", analyze, or correct your words. NEW TOPIC CONSIDERATIONS: How about the book's / website's title...a question Claire posed last week...Why are these called Larry's "gospel"? HINT: Check some dictionary definitions to boost your interpretation! Also, do the biblical quotes for each section have any significance? Choose one and respond... sequential responses will be helpful (Part I, then II, then III, etc.). Don't forget to check the FHS summer reading page for requirements... Also, at our book chat, everyone asked for leeway on the essays re MOCKIINGBIRD or TRUMPET...follow directions on summer reading page, but each essay's length may be extended to two page maximum.Questions? Feel free to contact Mrs. Nelson or me through the blog or school email (addresses at homepage).Happy summer!!! Happy reading!!!Mrs. Hurt
Book chat last week & ongoing blog comments are giving Mrs. Nelson & me "summer smileys"!! Only concern...we haven't heard fromBrianna ArmelBill EsperKate GidenkoJoe KloeckerEllie McBrierLisa MifsudTaylor MillerCarl NerthlingNick O'DellCarl PastoreRich PetrellaMarissa RickloffChris WilsonMegan ZembowerRemind them of this Honors Comm - Honors Am. Studies REQUIREMENT!Also, having a completion date for blog posts will be helpful for all of us...so, Make sure you complete and POST ALL RESPONSES BY SUNDAY, AUGUST 17TH.
Part One of “The Gospel According to Larry” begins with “This is the disciple which testifieth of these things, and wrote these things: and we know that his testimony is true. St. John 21:24” (p. 5). The gospels in the bible are written by Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. This particular verse is written by St. John and means that he actually saw and was present at the events that he wrote about. “We” in the verse refers to other witnesses of the events who can collaborate his story. The verse also states that his story is true. This quote can apply to the book because Josh is like St. John or the disciple. Since the book is in the first person, Josh is telling the story. Josh is the witness to all of the events because it is written from his point of view. Larry is somewhat representative of Jesus. He preaches to teenagers and attracts followers or disciples. Larry and Josh's roles become confusing as the story progresses. Josh writes on page 37, near the end of Part One, “Did I forget to mention I was Larry.” Although in Part One, Josh and Larry function as two different people because no one knows Josh is Larry. The “we” in the story are Beth, the website readers, Josh's family, and Betagold because they all are witnesses to the conversations and gospels recorded in the story. These witnesses can confirm that the story is true. This bible verse is important because it sets up the rest of the story and introduces what roles that the characters play.
“This is the disciple which testifieth of these things, and wrote these things: and we know that his testimony is true” St. John 21:24(Part One). This is the quote that begins the book “The Gospel According to Larry” and I believe that it sets an excellent tone for the entire book. Larry uses the word “gospel” in the name of his website. A gospel is defined as: the story of Jesus Christ's life and teachings, especially as contained in the first four books of the New Testament, namely Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John or as the message or teachings of a teacher. The quote in Part One and the entire whole of Larry’s and Josh’s story are linked. The quote is speaking of how St. John was not making up what he was writing but only writing of what he saw. His testimony is true because he did not write fiction but only a true account of how he saw things. Like St. John, through Larry, Josh also only wrote what he saw; he did not make up anything about consumerism or materialism but only wrote the truth or his opinion. Within the quote, Larry is St. John, he is the disciple writing only the truth so we can know that his story is true.
Kelsey is right, and so is Lauren; Josh's desire to change the world became more real than he thought. The reality that came to Josh/Larry, was more of a famous life. News reporters were at every door; everyone was interested in what Josh did or "What kind of cereal he liked" (page 150). Again, I agree with Lauren that after Larry/Josh was discovered, it seemed like everyone forgot about anticonsumerism and went right back to where they started. Only this time Larry/Josh was a new craze that people fawned over to get their hour of fame. Some wrote books or fabricated stories to the drama about some relationship they had with him. Yes, Larry/Josh became the opposite of what they were in their sermons. Christina and Lauren are right about Josh/Larry using his sermons to resist talking to Beth. But could he also be trying to open her eyes so she can see what she's doing to her life?
I agree with Lauren. I do not really think that Josh and Larry are that much alike, but then again they are. Josh is a really shy person. Josh really likes his best friend beth, but was way to afraid to tell her. Every now and then Josh would use his sermons to change the flaws in Beth. My question is, if Beth and Josh are truly best friends then why doesn't he just tell Beth that he is Larry? Then maybe he would not have to secretly tell her what bothers him. He would be able to tell her personally. Once Beth found out about Larry i am sure that she was crushed that he didn't tell her. I think that if Josh was a little less shy he would have done a lot better at being Larry.
The Gospel According to Larry, by Janet Tashjian, is a great book. It is about a boy named Josh Swenson. Josh is not an ordinary boy. He is a super genius and has a huge crush on his best friend Beth. One day Josh is bored, so he creates a web site called thegospelaccordingtolarry.com. His alter ego, Larry, preaches about anticonsumerism, and writes sermons about how to make the world a better place. Josh/Larry's site slowly becomes more popular, until it gets hundreds of thousands of hits each day. It seems that everyone is a follower of Larry's words, especially Beth. Even Bono, the lead singer of U2, loves Larry. However, one person, betagold, keeps sending Larry emails saying that she is determined to find out exactly who he is. Bono decides to have Larryfest, "a spontaneous gathering of anticonsumerismand general goodwill," and bands like U2 would be playing the whole weekend. During that weekend Josh and Beth act like a couple, and Josh loves it. But when they get home it goes back to normal and Beth goes out with another guy. One day, someone rings Josh's doorbell, and when Josh opens it he finds an older lady and camera and news crews everywhere. Betagold had finally found out who Larry was. Beth found out and she didnt want to be Josh's friend,if he felt that he couldn't trust her. He also finds out that Beth liked him back, but she said it was too late to make it work. Finally the media becomes suffocating and Josh decides to fake commiting suicide. He goes by many names, and writes his story on an old typewriter.I personally liked this book. Many books for summer reading are old classics but I like how this book is more modern. Writers now can be just as good as the writers of famous literature. I thought the overall plot of the story was put together well. I give this book a big thumbs up.
I would like to talk briefly about Josh’s obsession again. Mrs. Nelson talked about Josh and how he wished he had Beth’s personal qualities. I think that Josh has most of Beth’s qualities but he lacks a few. One quality he lacks is her popularity. This is probably why he keeps his web site going after it’s discovered because in a way he is getting more popular. Also another quality he lacks is Beth’s confidence to keep going on. On page 102 Josh is thinking about backing out when he goes to put posters up at the mall. Beth has to push him along to keep helping her put posters up. Josh uses his web site to get these qualities that he is missing, in hope of getting Beth as his girlfriend.
As I looked back at the book, one sermon seemed to really stand out. On page 81, sermon # 163, Larry talks about celebrities being consumed by the latest gossip. He also stresses his opinion on how ridiculous it is that so many people are concerned about someone else’s life for no good reason. I thought this sermon was very interesting because that is exactly what happened when Larry was discovered as Josh; he was consumed. Could this sermon be a clue that Larry would be discovered as Josh later in the story?
I would like to comment on Christina’s opinion on sermon #163 on how celebrities get consumed by gossip. She was questioning if Josh put this in as a clue to tell us that he would be discovered and consumed. I think Josh put that in his sermon to try to get the public to not to consume him if he was ever to get discovered. Josh did many things to stop the public from finding out his identity. These things were the following: 1. making his modem a cell phone (to make it harder to find Josh) 2.changing his cell phone (to make it even harder for the public from finding Josh) 3. switching his modem line. In a way Josh wanted a little gossip about himself (Larry). Josh would encourage people to talk about Larry when he would hear that topic mention. For example, when Beth was talking about how Larry was putting pictures of his items on the web site(page 21), Josh encouraged her to keep talking about Larry by telling her they might be lucky if Larry’s next item is his drivers license.
The bible verse “He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it. St. Matthew 10:39” begins Part Two of “The Gospel According to Larry”. In the first part, he is saying that a person who does not fulfill his wishes in order to save their own life will die. He says in the second section that a person who dies while fulfilling his wishes will be rewarded with prizes such as going to heaven. I agree with Christina's opinion that there is much foreshadowing in this book. This bible verse foreshadows that Josh will perform the fake suicide. In the beginning of the book, Josh created Larry, and they became known as two separate people in the public eye. When Larry became too much for Josh, he killed Larry by having the fake suicide and kept himself alive. This is just like the first part of the bible verse because Larry denied Josh's wishes by overbearing Josh's personality, and he died. Another interesting fact is that in Part Two, Josh sees his name in the gravestone after it was being “cleaned”. He also saw the picture on Beth's tarot card of the skeleton rowing. Both of these events may be foreshadowing the fake suicide of Josh, tying it back into the bible verse. This verse really helps to, like the bible verse that begins Part One, set up the story for what is going to happen next.
Since some people have been talking about the symbolism of Biblical quotes with the novel, I want to talk about the symbolism of Larry’s logo found on page 38. Larry’s logo consists of a peace sign, a floppy disk, an Earth, a plug, and a dove. The logo could be interpreted as a pie graph showing how much these things should be in our life. The way Larry puts it, God (the dove) and technology (the floppy disk) should be the most important things in our lives. The least important things that should be in our life are using natural resources (the Earth) and being connected with each other (the plug). Or, Larry’s logo could be a picture telling us that all the items must be in balance with each other in order for the world to work properly and be in peace. Is the logo a pie chart, a peace picture, or it just a logo that Josh thought was cool? I would like to know what you think the logo means.
The dove obviously symbolizes peace, and the earth means that Josh is spreading his message all over the world and he just wants to make the world a better place. The plug and floppy disc mean that Josh is spreading his message over the internet.
The Gospel According to Larry had a very different writing style then what I am used to, but I have to give Janet Tashjian credit; the book was very exciting and inspirational. As soon as I picked up the book, I was drawn into Josh's life as if I was actually there witnessing it. The first-person perspective really let you see what Josh was thinking. I found the footnotes unique and very humorous. They expressed his views on things currently happening (and things that already happened) in his life. Also, the fact that it was in typewriter print made it seem as if Josh was writing the book himself. I think the real reason I liked the way this book was written was because Janet Tashjian didn’t bother too much about unimportant details or stray off the storyline too much. She stayed straight to the point. I think this writing style was shown through Josh/Larry's personality; mostly because the minor details were only told in his footnotes. If she hadn't written it this way, The Gospel According to Larry would have been too long or distracting for its audience. There was one more thing that kept me glued to the pages. The book is considered a fictional story, but on page 223, Janet Tashjian tells how she wanted the book to be non-fiction. Also, in the prologue, she explains how she was approached by a boy who asked her to write this. Throughout the entire book, I was looking for a clue to tell me if this story was written by the real Josh Swensen. After I finished the book, I immediately went to thegospelaccordingtolarry.com and read some of the posts that “Josh” wrote. However, the website actually gave me more questions then answers. I still wonder whether or not there is a real Josh, and if there is, I would like to thank him for writing such an inspirational story.
I don’t think Josh is a normal teenager like many of us. One reason is because he is more of a humble philosopher then a teenager. He tries so hard to get his word out to other people, but instead of taking the credit for it, he hides behind Larry. Another reason I think he is different is because not many other teenagers own just 75 items for the reason he does. He feels so strongly about his word that when Bono got involved, he panicked, instead of rejoicing like most other teens would. Josh is a talented and intelligent teen, but he admits on page 15 that he was not comfortable in social situations and was never one to join anything. I believe that is where most of his problems start. Had he just used his real name instead of Larry on his website, he wouldn't have had to worry about somebody finding out his true identity. However, some of his reasons to not use his real name made sense. On page 68 in his post to betagold, he explains that if he used his real identity, a stereotype or prejudice could filter what he was saying through a certain demographic. I can not blame him for reasons like those, but being unsocial is just a bad excuse to hide yourself from the rest of the world.
I have a reply to Anthony's comment about Larry's logo. I believe that the two symbols in the bigger slots are more important. The dove represents God or faith, one of the most important things in our life. The floppy disc represents the advancement of the world, which is Josh/Larry's overall goal. The two smaller symbols are not as important to Josh as the dove or floppy disc, but he still believes strongly in. The power cord is saying that we SHOULD stay connected instead of separated. The Earth says he wants nature to stay safe and should not be taken over by the corporations. The reason I disagree with Anthony is because all those symbols are surrounded by one single peace sign, which represents all these things should be in harmony and, obviously, peace.
In the book, Josh says that he is "not much of a detail person," yet the footnotes give great detail and insight into Josh's life. I think the footnotes are a nice touch, but they are a little distracting while you are reading.
I think it's funny that Josh feels closer to his mom at the cosmetics counter rather than at her grave.I also think that the card Beth had, the one with the skeleton in the boat, foreshadowed Josh's "death." And then when he is wearing the life vest to bed because he feels that he is drowning in his dreams.I understand now why, in "A Note to the Reader," Josh says thathe is not supposed to be here. It is ironic how he is doing yoga to "stay balanced," whenjust a few months ago his life was so crazy.
I do agree with Carl on the peace sign and how everything should be at balance and in peace with each other. I just did not mention it in my last blog. The peace sign was a symbol used a lot in the 1960’s and 1970’s. I wonder if the author is trying to make some kind of connection between the 2000’s and the earlier time period? The Vietnam War was going on in the 1960’s and 1970’s. We have the Irag War now (but not when Janet Tashjian was writing the book) and many other conflicts. Everyone wants peace and the wars/conflicts to end. We had the oil shortage in the 1970’s. In the 2000’s, there is supply and demand shortage going on. We are worried about high prices and shortages today. There was an event called Woodstock that took place in 1969. At this concert there was a sense of social harmony, good music, and a very large gouping of people. This was the same at Larryfest but there was no public endorsement, corporate sponsorship, or any deaths.
As I was reading The Gospel According to Larry, I wondered if Josh actually wrote the book as his own life story. Then when I read A Note to the Reader, I came across a couple fascinating points on this topic. Janet Tashjian tells the readers how she came to write the book. Even though the story is fictional, reading this extra note actually made some sense. Josh says at the end of the story that he buys an old fashion type writer and writes the truth about his life. Later he says that he goes to find someone to publish it so that people would know the truth about his life. During A Note to the Reader, Janet Tashjian says that Josh came up to her at the groceries store and begged her to publish his story. The bundle of papers he gave to her were typed on an old fashion type writer, which is also the font the book is published in. I would not have understood why she wrote the extra bit of information before reading the book, but looking back, it was exceptionally interesting to find out that we are reading a book written by the main character himself.
To go along with Christina's commment, I also found it interesting this novel was written by the main character. I think that if the book was written by Josh himself maybe he would have gotten some more publicity, which is the opposite of what he wanted.
I think it is great the way the book is written, because you know what Josh is really feeling and we know exactly what happens to him. I think it would not beas exciting if someone like Beth wrote the book, because she doesn't know the full story. However it would be interesting to see it from her pointof view.
I have something to add on to my post about Josh/Larry being an average teenager. As I began taking written notes on the book, I came across the part in the book where Josh talks about his mom's personality. As he put it, she was very independent, and was a very loud character. Her personality reminds me of Larry's. This makes me wonder if Josh is using Larry not only to get his thoughts out, but also to allow the social, eccentric side of himself to 'come out of hiding,' instead of being bottled up inside of him. Any thoughs on this?
I would like to reply to Mrs. Hurt's topic suggestion about the biblical quotes. The quote for Part Three is "And there came a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art my beloved Son in whom well I am pleased." This interpreted to me meant that God was proud of his son, Jesus. In Part Three it includes the Larryfest, which is a sign of strength and sucess from all Josh/Larry's work. I think the quote is definitely significant for this part of the book because obviously the Larry followers are faithful in him and all his opinions. So, yes I believe this quote for Part Three is relevant and appropriate.
The biblical quote that begins Part Four of "The Gospel According to Larry" is "For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? St. Matthew 16:26". This means that a person will not end up with anything if they gain everything they want, and lose who they are along the way. Josh attracts the attention of the whole world through Larry. Larry becomes very popular and controls many people with his sermons, which is what Josh always wanted. Because of this, Josh loses himself and many of his beliefs. He loses his integrity through the circumstances not because he wants to, but because he is somewhat forced to by the media and Betagold. I think that he could have stood up to them instead of giving in as quickly as he did. In the beginning of Part Four, Josh says, "Josh Swensen died that day. I just didn't know it yet." (Pg. 147) which shows that he did realize how much Larry had taken over. Also in Part Four, Josh, after learning this, began to plan his fake death. Josh says, "Pseudocide. A way to start again as someone else, to burn the old self and try on a new one." (Pg. 177). This quote states that Josh planned his pseudocide as a way to get rid of Larry and become a new person. It is easy to sympathize with Josh's wanting to reinvent himself because everyone always has a time when they want to change who they are. I think that this biblical quote helps to explain Josh's feelings and is a good way to begin Part Four.
Going along with Carl’s comment on Larry bringing out his mom’s personality, I think that his mom was a big part of Larry. Instead of Josh being a really sociable character, I think that Larry brought out that side of Josh through his sermons and his message to others. Larry would probably have never been able to be as much of a leader as he was without assistance from his mom. I think that she really gave him confidence to change the world, even if it was behind a screen name. The only problem with this was that Josh missed out on a lot of opportunities including being with Beth, and because Larry was discovered as Josh so quickly, it put him in an uncomfortable situation. If Larry had rubbed off on Josh even a little, Josh would have been up front about who he was from the beginning and he could have eased his way on the path to fame instead of being overwhelmed by his new popularity. If Josh had been up front with everyone from the start by being more like his mom, would the website have thrived instead of crashing down immediately after Larry was uncovered?
I have a reply to Mrs. Hurt's question, 'why are these called Larry's gospels?' A gospel is not just a written record of Jesus' life, it is a teaching that people think is true and beleives in. I think the title of 'gospel' is very appropriate for Larry's sermons. He had so many people taking everything he said to heart, and with that he changed the world. This is my definition of a gospel, and if anyone else has another definition feel free to educate me.
To answer Christina's question about the website's sucess if Josh revealed himself or not, I think the site still could have been a big hit even if everyone knew it was Josh. I do believe Larry seemed more outgoing than Josh in real life, but just as Carl said, it's a different side to Josh. A lot of things would probably be different in Josh's life, like his relationship with Beth. Maybe telling all of Larry's fans it was Josh could have been a good idea, but then again didn't people enjoy trying to figure out who the mysterious screen name was?
Carl, when I looked up “gospel” in Webster’s Dictionary, one of the definitions said “anything proclaimed or accepted as absolute truth“. What Larry was preaching was very much accepted as the truth with most of the people that read his sermons. Also the Gospel is a book of sermons that tells you how to live you life. Larry’s sermons tell you how to live your life too. For example, in Sermon #137 on page 64-65, Larry talks about how we have to own the latest trend in clothes. However, the people that make these clothes don’t even have the money to buy the clothes that they make.
I agree, but I still wonder if there is any religious conection. I mean, there are verses from the Gospel, like, "This isthe disciple which testifieth of these things,and wrote these things: and we know that his testimony is true." St. John 21:24. I also wonder why Josh picked the name Larry. Larry is a pretty common name. Did he pick it to show people that he was just an ordinary guy trying to change the world?
“And there came a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.” St. Mark 1:11(Part Three). This is the quote that begins the third part of “The Gospel According to Larry” by this time in the book many people have been reading Larry’s site and following his sermons. Relating back to the gospel quote, when Jesus preached, taught people, and told stories God his father was pleased with him for spreading the truth and the good news. As he preached Jesus’ teachings reached more and more people and he gained more followers. Like Jesus, Larry’s sermons began to reach more and more people and he gained a larger following and received more fame. While no one knew that Josh was Larry, Larry’s message stayed on subject and was the truth and people were happy with his work.
In response to Claire’s previous post, yes, Josh only chose the name Larry because it was common and the most “unbiblical” name he could think of. This explanation of why Josh chose this name is found on page 42, where it is written, “So I called the site The Gospel According to Larry- Larry being the most unbiblical name I could think of.” Josh never meant to link the site to being anything religious but only started it for his own amusement and as a waste of his time.
In my perosnaly opinion i think that When Josh was being Larry he felt that he could be completly himself. He probably was this way because he knew that as long as his identity was secret noone could judge him for what he says. Every now and then he would get a bad comment on the sermons he wrote, but if he got one it was most likely from betagold. I do not really understand why Josh did not want people to know who Larry was. It wouldn't hurt anyone, would it? Either way Josh had a great thing going with his website.
As i was reading other responces someone talked about how Josh used his website to get out his other side. I do not remember who said this, but i agree. Josh was a little bit of a two face. He had his social life with beth, but when he was wrting another sermon for the gospel he changed personalities and became Larry. Which one was really his true Personality. I think that he is both Josh and Larry. the Josh version is more shy, but came around to become fully Larry. That was a big change i saw in the story.
Josh Lost his mother to ovarian cancer when he was young. i Think it is really cool how he communicates with his mom. He just talks to her as if she was still alive, and when he is finished talking he listens to the first thing someone around him says, and believe tha it is his mom speaking through other people. I thought that it was really cool. After he talked to his mom a few times i wondered why he always got resonable answers. Was it really his mom speaking through other people, or was Josh just lucky? To be honest i do not know what to think about it. I think it would be really cool if people who have passed away could talk through other people. Maybe they can, but we do not take the time to listen. Kinda creepy.
I'm starting a bit late but I'm posting. I'm just going through and reading other comments and posting responses.
I'm going alittle out of order with these posts but somethings I'm just finding easier to write about that others.I'd like to respond as to why it's called Larry's "Gospel". I looked it up and there were many ways to define Gospel and one was 'something, such as an idea or principle, accepted as unquestionably true'. To Josh/Larry his ideas were unquestionably true because they were his. Some may have no agreed with things he wrote about but that's exactly why it's The Gospel According to Larry because it was written according to his beliefs.
Josh is not your typical teen. He stood against consumerism/commercialism while most teens just go for it and let it twist our views making us think we must have those things, or we must live like that. Everyone wants to fit in while he was entirely comfortable being the 'outcast' I guess you could say. I don't know if I could say I saw myself in him but I can say that I agreed with his views/ideas.
Reading everyone’s posts I have noticed that everyone is writing about Josh and Beth or Josh and his mom, but no one has mentioned the relationship between Josh and his stepfather Peter. In the book Josh describes Peter as “the ultimate businessman,”(Page 11) saying that “even in his terrycloth robe and slippers with the squashed heels, he could command his advertising consulting firm from the brink of failure to unbridled success”(Page 11). Peter housed and cared for Josh even though he was not related to Josh in any way. Peter treated Josh as his own son even though Josh used information from Peter’s advertising firm in his Larry Sermon’s without him knowing it. “Peter trying to remain diplomatic as his blood pressure soared”(Page 147), when Josh’s secret about being Larry came out Peter tried to handle the situation but, “went from disbelief to skepticism to outright fury”(Page 151). Peter became angry with Josh as their beliefs about consumerism and materialism clashed. He lost his temper a few times with Josh, even becoming violent but he would always regain his composure and apologize to Josh. When Josh committed his pseudocide it does not say in the book how Peter actually handled the situation but only what Josh thought he would have done. Even though when Larry’s identity was discovered and Peter became angry with Josh I still feel that throughout the story Peter and Josh had a good father-son relationship.
As I began reading The Gospel According to Larry early this August I was delighted to discover that the way the novel was written was probably the most user-friendly author style I’ve come upon. The text was large, each specific part of the story is littered with large spaces making the actual length of the story significantly less than what is assumed at first glance, the entire adventure is told by someone I can possibly relate to, and there are there these adorable little footnotes at the end of certain pages. For example, the very first page of the actual novel contains the footnote stating exactly who Henry David Thoreau was. This footnotes served two purposes in my opinion, first to add much needed comic relief in Josh’s darkest moments in the story. An example can be found on page 210, after they proclaim his suicide legitimate, the public has the notion that he had plotted the 1995 Oklahoma bombing. Josh tells the reader at the bottom of the page, “Apparently, no one seemed to mind that I was eleven at the time.” The footnotes also add additional information to certain words or phrases used that the reader may not understand. How Josh managed to get a hold of three dead teenagers’ birth certificates, through information he obtained inside of newspapers on page 187, is a perfect example of how the reader may not be entirely knowledgeable of what Josh is speaking about.
Josh and his stepfather have a bond, not the bond of a father and son, but of a two people missing the same person. We are not told how long Peter has been in Josh’s life but they both loved his mother. That is the bond that might be keeping them connected. Josh and his mother were very close together. When he was young, Josh used to take walks with his mother around the neighborhood. Josh also never had a father since the time that he was born. The book says that his father died of alcohol poisoning before Josh was born. It would be very hard growing up not having a father to teach you how to drive, teach you how to fix things, and so on.
I agree with Anthony on the subject of Josh and Peter. If it wasn't for Josh's mom, Peter would not even know Josh. However, I believe Josh and Peter also think of eachother as an extended family member, other then friends in the same house. I think this because there is probably another reason Josh and Peter are living together seeing as they are complete opposites. Peter is the successful business man who works for an advertisement company, where Josh is an quiet teen anti-consumerism, outspoken alter-ego. The fact that they are opposites yet so close still makes me wonder what kind of relationship they really have.
In my opinion, Josh's relationship with Peter isn't the best. I agree with others when they say that Peter treats Josh as his own son, but there are many things that I don't think are so fatherly of Peter. I feel as if Josh's liking of Peter's girlfriend, Katherine, doesn't have much of a say on their relationship. On pages 11-12 it shows you Josh's feelings towards Katherine by saying "Katherine was my stepfather's girlfriend who had been putting on the full-court press to be the next Mrs. Swensen. I didn't have the nerve to tell Peter I found her as interesting as a bag of rice." Also, Katherine calls Josh quirky, (page 15) which isn't necessarily a compliment but some people might find offensive. Another thing I noticed about Josh and Peter is how when something is really bothering him, he talks to his mom at the department store instead of going to Peter. Somethings Josh might particularly want to tell him mom but couldn't Josh talk to Peter about a couple things if they were so father-son like? Overall, I feel as if Josh and Peter's connection isn't the strongest.
I still maintain that Josh’s and Peter’s relationship is that of a father and son. Since they both loved and lost Josh’s mom I feel that when they lost her they grew closer and bonded over their mutual love of her. Peter also cares for Josh and lets him live in his own home as he would if he had a real son. Josh may not tell Peter everything and go to Bloomingdale’s to talk to his mom, but in reality do we all tell our father’s everything? There are some things we only talk to our mom’s about and some things we only talk to our dad’s about. Even though Josh is not Peter’s real son I still feel that he treats and loves him as if he were one.
Reading postings about the biblical verses in “The Gospel According to Larry”, I began to realize how religious this book really is. The entire story really mirrors the story of Jesus and his disciples. I think that the bible verses are there to show the connections of the two books. The crucifixion of Jesus seems to be exactly like Josh's pseudocide. They both died and came back to life. The biblical verse from Part Six is “And when they found not his body, they came, saying, that they had also seen a vision of angels, which said that he was alive.... And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight. St. Luke 24:23, 31” (page 197). This quote is in the story to tie Josh's fake death to the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. Another example that I noticed was how Josh spent three days alone in the woods before Larryfest. This is similar to how Jesus died but was resurrected after three days. Josh says, “Little did I know what could happen in three days.” (page 107). This is similar to the feelings of the disciples of Jesus in the bible because they didn't know that anyone could rise from the dead. Also, after Josh returned, there was the large celebration of Larryfest. I think that this is meant to be like Easter because it celebrates Jesus' resurrection. They both contain disciples celebrating their leader's ideas and accomplishments. Another similarity between these two events is that Josh spent the three days in a large hole that he had dug. This hole could be similar to the grave that Jesus was buried in for three days. The biblical verse for Part Five, “For as yet they knew not the scripture, that he must rise again from the dead. St. John 20:9”, also ties the book into the story of Jesus because Josh's pseudocide plans are outlined in the verse. These similarities show parallels between “The Gospel According to Larry” and the story of Jesus.
At first look, The Gospel According To Larry seemed like just another book we were instructed to read, but after reading even the slightest bit of it, we realize there is more to it than we thought. The book tells us about this boy and his alter ego, how he is lost in his own world, and the different ways he deals with things. There is also the easily understood love that he has for his best friend, who strangely doesn't realize his feelings toward herself. While he is playing the role of Larry, Josh can say whatever he wants and express himself as much as needed. The raging desire that he has for telling Beth the truth shows just how much he hates to deceive her. I also have to say that i partially agree with his loathing of the consumer and advertising world. It has it's strong points and it's faults, but as teenagers appearance and reputation is almost all we think about at the moment.
The more I thought about The Gospel According to Larry, the more I saw the connections to Jesus Christ. Alot of characters in the book are related to biblical characters. Larry is like Jesus of course, and Beth would be one of his diciples. Larry's mom would be God, because he seeks advice in her, even though she is not even alive anymore. betagold is Pontious Pilate, as she was the main reason of Josh's psuedocide (his 'crucifixion'.) Also, some events in the book tie into Jesus' life. Larryfest resembles Palm Sunday or the Last Supper, where Jesus spent His last night with the diciples. And, like Emily said, the 3 days that he spent in the woods are the 3 days in between Good Friday and Easter. I know there are alot more metaphors in the book, can anyone find some good ones?
Personaly, I thought this book was going to be really boring, but after the first couple of pages I got to really like it. I think this book in a ton of ways points to God and Jesus Christ. I also thing that it has to do with a smart kid that gets bored easily and needs something to do. So he makes a wedsite but in the end it's just all one big mistake. I think that when Josh was making this website that he should of told Beth or someone incase he got in trouble(like he did) so he would have someone elses opinion and not just his instinct to keep going because it's a challenge. I also think that Josh should have stopped working on the website after the Larryfest.
At the end of this book I kind of feel bad for Josh because he can't really go back to his old life because well for one they all think he's dead. Second he has charges against him and would have to be in court most of his days. I think that even though he can't go back to his old life he should at least contact his sepfather and Beth to tell them he's alive. I like how Josh goes to Bloomingdale's to talk to his mom and not to the cemetery where his stepfather goes. I would hate to have my mom die because she is like my inspiration to do things. Even though his mom is dead he can still get answers from her. With the help of his mom he changed the world (even if it was just for a little while) and I would think his mom would be very proud of him.
I felt that "The Gospel According to Larry" was a fairly good read. This book was able to keep my interest until the end, but I did have a few issues with it. I really enjoyed the idea of Josh utilizing a blog to spread his anti-consumerism ideals to a large audience. I would definitely recommend this book to someone that is unfamiliar with the concepts that Larry wrote about in his sermons. I thought the book was written well, although I strongly disliked the footnotes the author incorporated into the book. To me it was a hassle to keep glancing down at them while I was reading the actual page. Sometimes I got so frustrated that I ended up not reading them at all. For example on page 156 there was essentially an entire paragraph for a footnote. Anyways, I liked the different relationships between Josh and the other characters in this story. I think because there were so few people that were really involved in the Josh's life, the author could make each relationship special. I didn't really like the ending of the book. I think Josh could have gone a different route, instead of his "psuedocide". In conclusion, I thought that this was a good book, and I look forward to reading more comments about this selection.
I'd like to comment on the "A Note to the Reader" found at the very beginning of the book. This note describes a (fictional?) scene where Josh meets the the author, Janet Tashjian, at a grocery store. As you know from the ending, Josh decides that he wants to write about his experience with Larry. In the note Josh is trying to get his story published. Essentially this prologue is really an epilogue found at the start of the book. I thought this was a very unique way to begin the book. It immediately grabbed my attention and kept me reading until the end.
I am going to summarize how I liked and disliked this book and the blogging, now that I am at the end of my blogging. I said before in my blog that I disliked the way Janet Tashjian set up the plot of the novel. She did take a lot of time to get the book up to speed so it was at the point the reader would stay interested. I lost interest in the book very fast, and I was thinking that a toaster manual would be more interesting. Also the footnotes were a little distracting and took some meaning away from the novel. Janet Tashjian’s characters were all believable for this time period. I do believe that a lot of people take on pseudo-identities or try to be who they think people will like. Everyone just wants to be liked and fit it. I liked the blogging, but I did not like all the typing. The blogging was a good way to see what other people thought about the novel. It made me stop and think about more details of the book and perhaps get more from the reading. Also, I thought it was fun challenging other people’s thoughts. Though some people think Josh is like Jesus and the other characters are other biblical people, I think Josh is not even 25 percent like Jesus. If Josh was like Jesus, he would not have two identities and would instead be truthful about himself. Also, if Josh was like Jesus, he would have told Beth about his identity right from the start. Jesus did not have a fake identity but he was still listened to very closely.
Now apart from enjoying the simplicity of reading the actual story, the message it was trying to get across at the beginning was something with which I found many problems. To whatever degree the youthful population may not like it, advertising and large corporations will always exist within our society. This is not necessarily as bad as Larry (Josh) makes it out to be. The start of the first sermon on page 12 bashes consuming large corporation products. However, if we all stopped using all those products our economy would completely fail. Thousands of jobs would be lost, and nearly every convenience that a capitalist economy provides would as well. A civilization that he attempts to portray in his sermons comes close to something very akin to life in a communist country. This is something I'm sure not many people living in the United States would embrace. In conclusion, I just wanted to poke at the thought that when Josh wrote his sermons, he did not take into account what would result from the civilization that he wanted.
The Gospel According to Larry has a very unique writing style. I personally thought it was a cool idea for the book to look like it was typed on a typewriter (just like when Josh was typing the story of his life on the typewriter in the woods on page 215), and the footnotes added more details and kept my interest. Although they usually added unecessary things, it was quirky and funny most of the time. But I agree with Danny, sometimes the footnotes made it more confusing because they distracted you from the main text. Also, I thought when betagold discovers who Larry is was a great thing Janet Tashjian added to the story, because that's just what he didn't want to happen.I believe that Janet Tashjian is a very interesting writer; it was very hard to put the book down. It's her unique style that did it for me. Also, I feel that most of the teens our age can easily relate to Josh with most of the sermons he writes about. Although we don't have a website where nobody knows our identity, and we won't get a festival dedicated to our name created by Bono from U2, I think that inside Josh is just a normal teen like all of us. He has family problems, girl problems, and on top of all that he has to deal with Larry. I agree with Lauren, The Gospel According to Larry was written very cleverly. It kept you guessing the whole time, which made you always want to turn the next page. Even the back of the book is intriguing when it says, "What will happen to the world, and to Larry, if he is exposed?".
I believe that Josh just wants to make it known to all the people about the world's flaws. But I think he got too carried away with it, like he says in the last chapter, he was too concerned with changing the outside world without focusing on the inside one first. Before you take on the great problems on the world, you should take care of your own problems first. I disagree with Lauren. Josh knows the reality of the world; he just doesn't like it. Having the same ideas brings people together, like in chapter seven when they have the Larry meeting. People from all different cliques in the high school were coming together with the same problems in the world.I think it was a good idea from the beginning to disguise himself as Larry, because as he says in the book, all his ideas would be filtered through that. How many people would listen if he said he was merely a 17 year old boy trying to change the world? It wasn't his fault that the website became so popular and got so many hits, the people were just agreeing with what he had to say. It made people second-guess what they were thinking. I also relate to him because I too have a lot of disagreements about consumerism, and how the companies manipulate our minds by using ads and many other things. Overall, Josh/Larry isn't hurting anyone by his ideas besides himself, but that doesn't mean that he isn't facing reality head-on.
The title "The Gospel According to Larry" is a very true one. Some dictionary definitions for the world "gospel" are: "something regarded as true and implicitly believed", "a doctrine regarded as of prime importance", "glad tidings, esp. concerning salvation and the kingdom of God as announced to the world by Christ". That's just what Larry implies in his sermons. His sermons certainly concern salvation, like on page 12 when Larry talks about the advertising companies. Also, he belives that his sermons are of "prime importance". He tries to say that he's not just another teen rebelling the ways of the world; he's different. He wants people to know what's going on and how, one thing at a time, they can stop it.I believe that the biblical quotes at the beginning of the parts have significance. If you paid attention to them, they are concerning what will happen in the next part. An example is at the beginning of part one, the quote is "This is the disciple which testifieth of these things, and wrote these things: and we know that his testimony is true." That has a lot to do with the book, because Larry is testifying things that everybody knows it true, but they just might never have thought of it. "Disciple" means a follower; he's a follower of the world, but is challenging the world's ideas.
I'd like to talk about Larry's false death. Was it really a good idea to hide out for months on end, not facing his own problems? Or should he have just dealt with the situation and tried to fix it?At first, the false suicide was just a thing to keep him busy and to take his mind off of things. But it highly escalated into something that he thought would actually be a good idea. He thought everything would work out and go back to normal after, but he was very wrong about that. Now that Josh can never go back to his normal life, I wonder if he regrets the false death. If he regrets the people he hurt by doing that, like his father and Beth. Personally, I think that he should have not pretended to kill himself, because in the end, that just made things much harder, and more problems came up then before. But then again, I don't blame him for wanting to get away from what his life has turned into. What does everyone think about this?
There is only one factor in this book that really bothers me. I hate how Josh thinks that he could possibly help the world by revolting against advertising and consumerism. I mean no matter what, our world is going to be a supply and demand economy. We will always need to buy things, and companies will always need to sell them. There is a mutualism to the whole thing, we buy and they sell, and almost everyone is fine with that.Another thing is when Larry is found. He preaches about how he hates celebrity gossip and everything, but then he turns around and everybody is talking about him. Then, he decides to go to interviews, and he gets talked about even more. I find him to be somewhat of a hypocrite for saying that he believes all these things are bad, but then, next thing you know he's being used for advertisements and he's being watched on TV. It's just one big oxymoron if you ask me.
I would like to reply to Taylor's comment about Josh's pseudocide. I do not think it was a well-thought out desicion on Josh's part. Having all of the people who cared about him believe he was actually dead was pretty selfish of Josh. I definitely think if Josh would have dealt with his problems, the outcome could have been much more succesful. Since everyone would think Josh is dead, he would almost have to live a lie for the rest of his life. Especially since Josh very young! I imagine if Josh would have dealt with his issues how the results would have showed up. Possibly Beth would have probably gone back to Josh with feelings? Eventually Josh/Larry's popularity would have died down and he could have lived a normal happy life.
When Josh actually went though with the whole pseudocide idea I didn't understand why because during the six weeks of planning his fake death Josh kept saying he wasn't actually going to do it, he just wanted to keep himself busy. Don't get me wrong, but I think that the idea was kind of clever beacause you know how hard it would to come up with a plan that could actually work and not get cought. Josh has a great mind and I think that he should of found a different way to get out of this mess other that a fake death. Like everyone else I think the idea was wrong and that Josh should have faced the problem and not run away from it.
I agree that nothing good would come from ending adveristing and stoping consumerism. Our economy would certainy fail because it's a very large part of our lives. That is surely not something Josh envisioned when he thought of how he could change the world. I think that he envisioned something more along the lines of more people living their lives without being so affected by advertising or even caring what people think of them. Such as wanting to do or buy something just because you think it's what it going to make you fit in or be 'cool'.
In response to Taylor, I do not think that faking his death was a good idea. He could have learned how to deal with his new problems of everyone finding out he was Larry. It's understandable that everything that was happening to him was exactly what he was against and wanted out of it but faking his death and hiding out for months is a bad and selfish choice. Instead of facing the problems life gave him, he decided to run and hurt many people in the process. Also, he would never be able to go back to his life. Josh may go back and try to convince people of the truth but it would mostly just be too much. Eventually they may have learned to live with it but it could never be the same. The choice to fake his death was a bad one and surely life changing.
I would like to respond to all the comments regarding Josh’s pseudocide. Faking his own death may have been a rash decision on Josh’s part, but I think that he had it very well thought out and planned. After reading the book I would think that readers would agree that it would be incapable of Josh to do anything without thoroughly thinking it out first. Everyone believed that he was truly dead and there were no questions asked about it. Josh’s pseudocide may have been a bad idea but to him it may have been the only way out of his situation. He had hoped that if he were gone people would lose interest in him and move on “to the next flavor of the month”(Page 177). Josh also took his stepfather, Peter, and Beth’s feelings into consideration before making any final plans on his false death; “my plan would decimate Peter, of course, but I was almost beginning to think he’d be better off without me”(Page 184). He thought he was doing what was right and best for everyone, including his loved ones. It may have been a selfish choice but he was just doing what he thought was right and he did feel guilty about it afterward. In conclusion, I think that to anyone reading “The Gospel According to Larry” would react to Josh’s pseudocide in a negative way, however to Josh this idea was a smart plan that would help everything to work out in the end.
In response to the previous posts about the problems Josh’s fake suicide caused, it is my belief that the pseudocide was very selfish on his part. I also believe it was necessary for Josh to pursue what he wanted, and avoid being the pot and calling the kettle black. Several people Josh had become close to, such as his stepfather and Beth, had to endure the death of a son and a friend. However, it was still one of the only ways to disappear from the public’s eye and the relentlessness of the press and become an unknown figure in the world. As much as Josh may have wanted to avoid the press and corporate endorsement offers, his desire for them to stop would not simply mean that they would go away. An unexpected result from his fake suicide would be the portrayal of his figure in the years to come. Perfect examples can be seen from past celebrities that are now deceased. Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley, and Jim Morrison are all people who have been gone for more than thirty years, but this has not stopped media attention and use of their images in today’s economy. A pseudocide would relieve any public-induced tension that Josh may have felt after the time of his discovery as Larry. Going through with the pseudocide would allow a peaceful life for him, which is what he truly wanted, at the expense of the chance that his figure would be worshipped for the wrong reasons for years to come.
I think "The Gospel According to Larry" was written and organized very well. The way the author put footnotes at the bottom to further explain things helps you get a closer connection to Josh. Also reading this book about a teenager when you are a teenager made the book more interesting to me beause alot of the things talked about hit closer to home. It wasn't one of those book where you have to think like an adult, you just read the book. I felt it was more laid back. I also liked how the book was written in parts, not paragraphs. Mostly I agree with alot of what Emily Symes is saying, except how the style might make kids miss the point on not being materialistic. I think that the style keeps you interested, and the seromons on anticonsumerism really stick. In the book he says that his seromons are meant for Beth sometimes, and some kids could miss the point of the sermon because they are focusing on him and Beth. To me it just makes me think about more what he's saying because its not coming from a profeshional. It's just a teenage boy observing people and their need to consume and spend. I also agree completely with what Carl Pastore has to say on suicide and pseudocide. I think to him the only way to get rid of the press and whatnot was to go away, but media dies down and gets uninterested after a while. I also think it was selfish of him to fake suicide, but if he thought it was going to be temporary why didn't he just tell Peter? But overall I really enjoyed the book. It has good points, a good plot, and an interesting writing style.
The way that Josh manipulates his followers is the same as the way the media manipulates the public. For instance, Josh's sermons are written to attract people to follow his ideas, like companies make products for people to buy. In a way, Josh is using his sermons as his merchandise. Also, instead of using his real name, Josh uses the name Larry to get his ideas out. This is similar to the way companies make an appealing label. For example, the workers at Coca cola use the label of Coke for their product. Larry is Josh's label for his sermons and website. Throughout the book, everyone is so busy trying to find out who Larry really is, that they lose the message he is trying to get across to them. Larry then becomes a “product”. People buy products usually without thinking about what they are doing or the results of their purchase. They buy things on impulses. Larry is like a product because when he is discussed, people only think about who he is, not what he is trying to say. Josh says, “For months, my sermons ranted against consuming the lives of celebrities. But after betagold yanked me into the public eye, suddenly every moment of mine made for evening news or tabloid feature.” (pg. 151). Larry's sermons show something that could never happen in real life. Like Carl said, the economy would collapse if everyone stopped buying what they want. This is like the ads for cigarettes that show healthy, happy people when they should really show people that are sick and have cancer. I think that it was wrong of Josh to manipulate his followers in this way because they were some of the few people that would listen to him. I also think, though, that he didn't realize his mistake until it was too late. After betagold reveals who he is, Josh says, “Larry was now, officially, a product. And you know what happens to products. They get consumed.” (pg. 150). Josh takes advantage of his followers in the same ways as the media.
I agree with Emily again, but I do not think that it was ever Josh's intention to manipulate his followers. I think when he started his website it was so he could talk about anticomsumerism without coming ut as Josh and saying it. He only started becoming a product when things got out of hand and people found out who he was. I dont think it was ever his intention for people to forget about his seromons and think of him as a product to be comsumed.
In response to Brianna, I do not believe that Josh was a hypocrite. I understand that he always spoke against things such as celebrities and consumerism and advertisting and next thing you know he was apart of it. But the thing is that he tried to stay private as long as he could and once he was out and known he tried to keep his messages out there. He didn't just decide to go to those interviews and get talked about even more. He went because he thought he could get his messages out in a different form, not just the internet. To his misfortune, he realized that they only cared about who he was, not his ideas. They rather hear about his favorite cereal and he hated it. Everything that happened to him, he hated and its really what kind of lead to the pseudocide. He wanted to get away from it all cause it's exactly what he was against. So therefore can we really say he was a hypocrite?
In a way I think that we can call Josh a hypocrite because he makes everyone believe that he died. But before his fake death I would not call him a hypocrite because he is just telling people what he thinks about consumerism, and people choose to believe him. But when people choose to believe him, more and more people want to know who he is. Josh just thinks that they just want to know, but what he didn't know was that people wanted to put him as a lable to make money. So when they do find out who he is they stop listening to his word and start making him into the biggest consuming product that they can. That what I think makes him become a hypocrite, people wanting to know who he is.
People(on the blog)keep saying that the popularity that Josh got after they found out who he was would have died down. I really think that his popularity would not have died down because Josh made the Larry site go so big and so far that I don't thing his popularity would have died down. I am not saying he did the right thing by faking his death it's just I don't think that the popluarity on him would have died down. I mean they even made a Larryfest for him and the site don't you think that is a little to much popularity? Even after his "death" people didn't just let him be they made up charges to put againist him to make him look like a hypocrite. Wouldn't you call that a little to much popularity?
I thought that Janet Tashjian wrote the book in a unique and different way. One thing i liked about how she wrote it is that she always would start a new chapter at a differnt scene and setting. For example on pages 68 to 70, on page 68 he reads one of betagolds messages, and on 69 he says that betagold could be anyone, then on the next chapter he talks about how his mother always understood how curios he was. This helped me compare Larry's sermons to Josh's life. The footnotes at the bottom of the page were cool too it got more inside Josh's head and made you understand him more. I think the book was well written.I liked how you always knew what Josh thought of the situation, she always gave you his opinions and thoughts. In my opinion this was a very well written book. Janet Tashjian made me not want to ever put the book down, I would recommend it to anyone.
I do not think that Josh is a typical teen, he is the smartest person in the class and at the same time he thinks very divergently and in a way not very many people think. I don't think I see myself in him, I don't think about helping the world at this age. I hope eventually I can do that but not as a teenager. My thoughts were that Larry was trying to help the world and economy at first. But as more and more people visited the site the visitors started to rant the worlds flaws, along with the Larry group he was in at the school, so he did too. I believe that Larry is not a reason to discourage the worlds flaws but, Josh as Josh begins to in the Larry club, along with all the other site viewers. Josh is trying to do the greater good, but the Larry fans don't want to as much.
I believe that beth is part of Larry's influence. For example Sermon 113 talks about how best friends are your best friend until someone better comes around, he put that out right after Beth canceled on him for Todd. On the other hand she helps Josh with her thoughts and ideas, and with that she is what makes Larry who he is. Without Beth, Josh would be nowhere she helps him with every aspect of the webpage. She is a huge fan of the site so when they are talking about the site beth tells him what she thinks about betagold, his latest sermons and his views.I do not believe that our closest friends are main parts to our character. In their case they are man parts to eachothers charater, but usually our best friends are people who we go to hang out with and get help from not people who talk about ideas to try and make the world a better place. I don't think there are to many people who will do very well without our best friends.
"regular teens don't live in reality but in the shadows of their parents" says Lauren...hm...I wonder if adults too live in the shadow of parents? How do we emerge from the shadows of those around us to cast our own broad shadow? In trying to be someone who had a great impact, Josh destroyed some beautiful parts of himself....is this "just life"? Can any of us be who we are and have the impact we want and stay "intact"?
Christina has opened up a well of thinking about Josh and his mom; how they "communicated" and what his mom meant to him...in life and in death. Having lost my own mom, there is trememdous empathy in wanting Josh to be "allowed" this mom connection...even though it's clearly made up. How much of his mom is part of Josh's character? Do you think these "mom" aspects of himself will eventually fade with time...and perhaps he'll become more like his dad...or possibly Ms. Humpty Dumpty Future Step Mom? Hm.
I think that Josh has a lot of his mom in him because she was the one who raised him. I think that since Josh's mom died he will have more of her in him and these aspects will not eventually fade. Since Josh faked his death I don't think he is going to go back to his stepfather and tell him the truth. Also I don't think he will have any aspects of his stepfather or his soon to be stepmother because he doesn't have any relation to them and also he didn't spend that much time with them, he stayed up in his room to much. We don't know what Josh's real dad was like so we have no idea if Josh is like him or soon to be like him. All we know is that is real dad died from drinking to much. I don't think Josh is going to drink because for one he doesn't want to be like his real dad and second he is an anticonsumerist.
It is human nature for children to learn from their parents and also to rebel against them. The parent’s actions in life will affect their children, one way or another. An example can be seen with Peter and Josh. Josh grew up with someone who was a spokesperson for commercialism. As he saw more and more of this he came to the realization that this was something that he was greatly opposed to. Therefore, the way he “emerges out of the shadow of his parents” was by using Larry as a vessel to channel his hate for consumerism and commercialism. As for staying who he was, and not, “selling out,” this was something Josh attempted to do, but ultimately as it has been described in previous posts, they would rather know what brand of cereal he preferred, (pg.150.) In the real world, it is very hard for people who want to spread a message, either through music, writing, or any other form to do so without changing who they are to spread the word, without giving in to some form of higher power to support them.
While on the topic of Josh's mom, I would like to say that I find their connection very deep. Although his mother has passed away, Josh goes to her for help in times of need. Rather than sitting in the cemetery, he finds his connection strong at Bloomingdale's. One thing about this I find a bit strange is how he finds his mothers "advice". It seems slightly ridiculous that Josh would listen to some random stranger's conversation in search of the answer to his questions. Nonetheless, his mother remains a part of him. I feel that this trait Josh possesses will not fade with age or change, but grow stronger. My reason for thinking this way is because as a young adult, Josh has no one to turn to for help but his deceased mother. This is because his biological father has died and his step-dad has the exact opposite feelings toward the world. In conclusion, the only person that Josh can talk to about anything with no worries is his mother, and as Josh goes through more changes and finds himself in more troubling situations, he is going to turn to his mother for help once again.
I think it's kind of a creative way for Josh to communicate with his mother because who would have thought that your dead mother would be able to communicate at Bloomingdale's. I also like the way he finds his answers, by listening for what other people are saying. But like Brianna I also think that his way is not very good because it's not really her talking it's other people that happen to say the right thing at the right time. Like when he meets betagold at the Larryfest and think it's his mom but its really the person who is trying to find out who he really is. I also think that he is telling himself that he can change the world like on page 114 he tells his mom he is changing the world but she doesn't answer he just imagines her laughing and saying she is proud of him. So really Josh is telling himself he can change the world and can keep doing the website but really he just makes a bigger problem for himself in the end.
I also didn’t want to put the book down when I first started to read it. I agree with Lauren when she says josh represents a teen in all of us. I do believe that he is like most teens but when you think about it how many people to you know that have two different identities, that not even their own best friend knows about? I don’t really think Josh is a typical teen not many teens that I know have their own website about anticonsumerism and ant materialism, and to think of it not many care about what Larry writes about and not many would take as much time as he does to state his opinions through Larry. I actually really don’t see Larry in me, because if I were him I would at least tell my best friend that I was this mysterious blogger before the whole world found out. The only thing that I find in him that I am like, is that he wants to make a difference in the world. I do agree that Larry probably is a mask for Josh, because if he wasn’t then why wouldn’t he tell people that he was Larry?
I do think that Beth helps what made so famous. Josh mixes a lot of what happens to Beth and him in his sermons. For example on page 54 and 55 Larry talks about phonies and friends that use their friends. Josh states this because Beth was hanging out more with Todd then himself and he wrote this sermon about Beth without her realizing it was about her, which made him upset. Although I do think that their would be a Larry even without Beth, since Larry thinks up his own ideas too. I also do think that Beth does play a part in Larry’s character just like a lot of best friends do with each other. I do think that sometimes having a friend influence your character can be healthy for the better, but sometimes it cant be healthy because you should always be yourself and never be someone your not.
Part three in The Gospel According to Larry begins with a quote from St. Mark saying “And there came a voice from heaven saying., Thou art my beloved Son in who I am well pleased.” I believe that this quote is talking about God answering back to prayers of Mark whom he is very proud of. This quote in my opinion represents the next part in the novel a lot. During this part of the book Josh tries talking to his mother many times. I think that josh’s mother represents god in the quote and Josh represents Mark. For example on page 113 and 114 josh goes to Bloomingdale to communicate with his mother. When Josh talks to his mother its in a very unique why since he listens to what other people our saying for an answer from he’s mother. The weird thing about Josh doing this is that it actually does seem like his talking to his mother. For example on page 113 Josh was saying “ I’m doing it mom. I’m changing the world. Hundreds of thousands of people coming together in peace. It’s working. Mom. I’m contributing.” Josh then waited for somebody to say something and one man says “keep it up its your life’s work.” I thought it was very strange that the man said something that went along with what Josh was telling his mother. When the man said that, Josh knew his mother was proud of him just like God was proud of Mark.
I think that we do act alot like, and live in the shadows of our parents. I also think that they are the same way with their parents. I think that we take parts from both of our parents, and parts from the people that surround us and become who we are today. Siblings have the same parents, but no one of them lives the same life, and thats how each one of them builds different personality, and has different opnions on certian situations. I think that we can make an impact and stay intact.I think anyone can have a great impact without losing themselves. Many people have made an impact on the world without losing themselves. The fact that Josh did is "just life".
Note: I accidentially deleted this one this should go before my other:When I first opened The Gospel according to Larry I became very interested in the unique writing style of Janet Tashjian. I first found Janet Tashjian’s writing very unique when I read the first page of The gospel according to Larry which was a paragraph taken out of the book. I notice while reading this segment that their were little numbers after certain sentences. After reading the sentences then looking down at the bottom of the page to read the footnotes I felt that the footnotes were Josh’s real opinions of the sentences. For example, We worked until her father nicely asked me to leave. At the bottom of the page Josh’s footnote said: If Standing at the top of the stairs and coughing is considered nice. I really enjoyed reading these fascinating footnotes throughout the book, and I thought that they made Janet Tashjian’s writing unlike any other authors. Overall I thought that this novel was very well written. Not only did the footnotes help make the novel unique but they also helped organize The gospel according to Larry. I think that Janet Tashjian used many unique was to organize her novel. I thought that it was very clever of Janet Tashjian to divide her novel into five different parts. I also liked how before each new part began there was a quote from the bible. For example before part two the quote said “ He that findeth his life shall lost it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.” I believe that these quotes went with the story of part two. I agree with Danny when he says that the organization of the novel made it easier to read. I do think that since The Gospel According to Larry was organized well it did make it easier to read. The organization of The Gospel According to Larry was very different from a lot of books I normally read but it worked with the unique writing of Janet Tashjian.
I dont think Josh will ever become like his step mom. His step mom loves to buy things that arent needed, and Josh doesnt like that. Also Josh said that she will never be able to replace his mother, which means that the memory of his mother will stay with him forever. I think that his mom is alot of his character, because she helped make him the overachiever that he is. I also think that his way of communicating with her helps him slove alot of his problems. I think that he will start to take on some traits of his step dad, but never become like him. I think that because his dad is in the advertising business, and that is what Josh hates.
I agree with marissa, I do think we live in the shadows of our parents and I think we might not even notice it? I agree again with being like one of our parents and some things like the other. Although with Josh hes mostly like his mother but we wont really know if he was like his real father since he had died and wants nothing to do with him. Although we do live in our parents shawdows, we do have different ideas and opinions from them. Although it might be hard but i agree with Marissa again, we can impact the world and stay intact at the same time. Although josh choosed to not stay intack is just life and most of the times life isnt perfect.
Nick says that Beth is a big influence on Josh, and I agree. Beth has a big influence because all friends do. Everyones best friends have had some impact on something that they do. The fact that Beth and Josh also have similar views on things, and therefore can be trusted by Josh. If people think the same as you, you probably will be more likely to think of their ideas as "good". I also think that Beth has a big influence on Josh because he likes her. Boys and Girls would probably do more for the person they like than any random person.
“The Gospel According to Larry” has three main parts. At the beginning of each of these parts there is a quote from the bible. This serves as a reference for what the author wanted to get across. In part one, page 5 it begins, “ ‘This is the disciple which testifieth of these things, and wrote these things: and we know that his testimony is true.’ St. John 21:24” the testimony in the book would be Josh’s website and what he believes in. The ending part of this quote means that what Josh is doing is what he believes to be correct. The next quote is on page 39, “ ‘He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.’ St. Matthew 10:39” which translates into meaning throughout part 2 of the book Josh starts becoming more Larry then himself, thus losing his life, but he is doing it for other people (for my sake), which means he will find his life again. In the third and final part it says, “ ‘And there came a voice from heaven, saying, Thou art my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased.’ St. Mark 1:11”. In this case the “voice from heaven” would be Josh’s mother (who represents Josh’s God figure) telling him she is pleased with his work and approving what he is doing in this situation. In my opinion, that is why the author put the quotes from the bible in the beginning of each section, to subtly foreshadow or give some insight into what is to come in the book.
I agree with Jenna Nash when she says that the pseudocide was well thought out and planned but i disagree when she says it wasnt the best thing for him to do. I do believe that it was the best thing for Josh to do. I mean what else does Josh have to lose? The love of his life wont even talk to him, nor does she truly love him. He lives with his stepdad and stepmom since both of his parents are dead. He has no privacy anymore because paparazzi follow him everywhere he goes, and the one thing that he loved to do was post sermons which he was going to have give up because of the over poulated site. I think that if he didnt fake his death he just would have been miserable for a very long time.I think it was the right decision to fake his death.
It is uncertain what happens to Josh at the end of the story. We know that the story he published at the end is the book we had read. What became of him after that is uncertain, therefore the ability to determine what his personality will change to is hard to determine. If he reveals his death a fake, and persists on living in his hometown for the rest of his life, I believe that parts of his personality that his mother influenced will stay with him. He will continue visiting the sites that remind him of his mother, and the influence will remain prevalent. If he continues his life as a tramp, I feel his personality will change to one that is unique to only him, as he will only be surrounded by his own thoughts and physical influences.
I think that Josh's mom plays a big part of Josh's character. Growing up it seems she was the only one he really looked up too, and espically now he needs someone to be there for him and she is the only person that he feels would be there for him even if he has to communicated with her though other people. I think that the character of his mother in him will not fade since he always communicates with her. I also would never think that he would ever start becoming like his dad since he hardly ever knew him as a kid nor does he ever try communicating like he does with his mother. I do not believe that Josh will become like either of his stepparents because he never wanted to be around them and plus he just faked his death so he would probably never see them again, so its probably impossible to become anything like them.
I was trying to find a topic to discuss a while ago, and I thought that the footnoted throughout the book would be an object of interest. The footnotes that Josh provides us gives the story more depth. He explains more about certain things in his perspective, forcing us to see it his way. But, as I looked more closely at the footnotes, I realized that there was a connection between them and Josh's possessions. As I read the last footnote (pg. 216), I realized two things 1)There are only 75 footnotes in the book, and Josh only keeps 75 things at one time, and 2)In the 75th footnote, Josh mentions his possessions and how the few he has aren't able to give away his identity. These two factors in the book are obviously intertwined. I actually started to wonder if Josh Swensen is obsessed with the number 75. Either way, though I find it almost ironic, this was clearly planned.
The word gospel is defined in the dictionary as the teachings of Jesus and the apostles. The word "Gospel" is used in the title/webpage because his sermons are the teachings of Larry.Part IV. "For what is man profited if he has gained the whole world, and lose his own soul?" "St. Matthew 16:26," I think that the biblical quotes have a meaning in that part of the book. Part Four is when Josh got revealed as Larry so he had the whole world following him and his webpage, but he lost his life for getting caught. He has lost his best friend, his step father, and everybody wants because of who he is and not for his views or beleifs. Yes the biblical quotes have a very big signifigance to the book.
As far as the organization and writing style of the book, I give the author credit for keeping the story exactly as Josh had written it. Janet Tashjian is munificent in the way she had the book published, giving nearly full credit to Josh Swensen. I find it much easier to understand a book when it is written in a first-person or omniscient point of view. In this case the first-person point of view allows us to put ourselves in Josh's shoes, and realize how he feels throughout the book. One thing I like about the book is the epilogue. I find it very interesting how the author chose to end the book by changing the view to her own, rather than leaving the end as Josh had intended it.
I think to emerge from the shadows of the people around us we have to do things differently than our parents. In "The Gospel According to Larry," he went his own way against what his stepfather does for a living (commercialism) and ended up casting his own shadow on millions of people.Yes it is just life he tried one way of being someone great and it ended up destroying some good parts of himself. Like anything else you have to get up and try something new.I believe it would be very difficult to stay who you are and have the impact we want. Whether you are trying to go through the internet or any other source of media not everone who visits your site or listens to your song or watchs your show will be admiring you because of your views and the more that happens the more subject you are to change.
In response to Emily, I do not agree that Josh manipulated his followers like the media manipulates the pubic. Can we really compare him and his sermons to cigarette ads? Cigarette ads show healthy, gorgeous people trying to make smoking glamorous when in reality those people generally end up getting cancer and looking really old and ugly. The makers of the cigarettes and of the ads for it know of the reality but still make it out to be something great because its their business and they need to keep getting the money. Josh/Larry posts his sermons but isn't aware what could really happen (the economy failing) because he is to focused on trying to change the world. Also, I do not agree that Larry is Josh's label for the sermons. He uses Larry as a way to keep his identity private. It's very true that people do judge and if people knew who he was and his demographic, they might not hear a word of what he is trying to get across because they could think that it's an opinion from that demographic just as he says on page 68. I agree with Marissa that Larry wasn't a product until he was out in the public eye. People listened to his sermons and did things such as make pseudo ads. It was many too, not just a few. Larry became a product once Betagold let out his identity to everyone. That was when people cared not about what he said but who he was.
Before I began to read The Gospel According to Larry, I thought it would be just another book we were assigned to read. Once I started it, I could not put it down. It was written very well and in a way that anyone who read it could understand it. The footnotes however made it a little more difficult to read because they were distracting. I found myself missing many of them and having to go back just to read it and understand what it was referring to. Although it took me away from the main text a bit, it helped understand Josh and a few events better. It was even comical at times. I also found that it was easy to relate to the book because it was realistic, like the sermon about your friends being there until someone better comes along on pages 54 and 55. I'd recommend this book to everyone and would reread multiple times myself. It is one of the best books I've read so far.
I thought "The Gospel According to Larry" was a very appealing book to me. I thought that the way the author setup was very unique in a way and it made the book seem more interesting. At the beginning of the book when Josh and Beth join the Larry club I didn't know what to expect of it. But then when I read the part about Josh secretly being Larry it grabbed my attention much more and I just kept reading. I also thought that the idea of starting the Larry website as a brilliant idea. He caught the attention of many other people to speak about a very important thing. And that important thing was about ads sucking us in to buy their products. Josh had such a great idea going. Just as he planned for all seventeen years of his life he did change the world in a better way.
Josh was a very different individual. He really didn't care what other people thougth of him no matter how much they made fun of him. He had one friend named Beth and he was perfectly ok with that. It seemed as thougth Josh and Larry thought alike up until you found out he was larry. Josh uses Larry to talk to millions of people about these ideas because he is afraid that if he tries to do it without using larry that people will think he is crazy and proposing rediculous ideas. So he talks throught Larry and he really does grab the attention of the people visiting his website. Then he writes these sermons and he startes to get these people on his side thinking about all of the problems our world has with greed and many other things. I took this book as a big life lesson and it was a meaningful story about a bout who helped changed the world a little bit.
Something that i thought was very interesting was some of Larry's sermons. Some of them were bible verses. I did not really believe that they came from the bible, but after reading a few more of the verses it made me curious. I went downstairs and found some of our bibles and looked up the verse that was mentioned in the book. Sure enough, they came straight from the bible. You do not see a book use the bible very often, so i found this very interesting. Earlier in the book when i saw some of the verses i thought Josh was secretively god and writing the sermons of the bible. That was not true at all, but the thought of it was pretty amazing. I have never read a book like The Gospel According to Larry in my life, but it was definitely a great choice.
Not all adults live in the shadow of their parents but every one is, in some form, affected by their parents. People generally manage to cast their own shadow by taking what they have experienced and their point of view on those experiences and trying to do and become what they believe is right and best in life. In Josh’s case he wanted to change the world, which is what he thinks his mother, who seems to have had the greatest impact on him and is whom Josh looks up to, would have been most proud of and approved of most. During the process of trying to become someone greater than who we are and trying to impact the world he destroys some great parts of his life. To Josh this was a necessary sacrifice for him to make in order to achieve what he believed was his life’s goal. For Josh this was just a part of life because it was how he interpreted his experiences and how he felt he should act to have the greatest impact on the world. Although later on Josh realized that he was, not necessarily doing the wrong thing, but doing it such a way that it was forcing him to give up his life in order to accomplish his goals. Thus he learned from his experience and did what he thought was necessary in order to begin anew so as to achieve what he wanted but keep intact his new identity. In conclusion, it is possible for us to still be who we truly are and have the impact we want by incorporating our goals into our personalities. As we mature our true identity emerges allowing us to accomplish our goals in a sufficient manner without losing our identity.
A lot of who Josh is pertains to who he believes his mother was. Josh does most things if he believes his mom would approbate his actions. He seeks finalization of each decision with a ritualistic visit to his mom’s favorite store. There he waits for her ethereal approval of his actions by listening for what he believes is her voice from above to determine his course of action. Over time he will most likely stop asking his mom questions and start intuitively ascertaining his mom’s answers. He will begin choosing what he believes is the best form of action to take during that situation. As for the other people in his life he will most likely take what he thinks or what they offer as their view on the situation and factor that into his eventual choice of action.
When I read about how Josh only has 75 things at a time, I thought more about why he did it. Of coarse his anti-consumerism played a role in it, but he makes a point by saying that every time he would buy something it was a major decision if his life(pg. 46). It really got me thinking about how many things we buy out of pure want. Over half the time we don't need anything, but we buy something anyways. As I realized what Josh was saying, I started to think about how many unnecessary items that I own. With all this thought, I pondered on a question of concern. Is it comforting to have all these possessions or should we think a little more like Josh?
If we all were minimalistic in our number of belongings, then sure we would be able to survive, but part of the fun of life comes in the form of possessions. I realize this sounds extremely shallow, but think realistically about it. If we owned only what we really needed, we wouldn't be able to explore a world of activities that may lie in the realm of instruments, computers, or mechanics. Our existence on this planet would become much less interesting, and our society would spiral into a more primitive time.
When I got toward the end it sounded like I had already heard that before. Then I realized that Janet Tashjian wrote about a boy (Josh) that came up to her at the grocery store and asked her if she was a writer. Of course she said yes. Then he asked her if she would have his book published and she did. So in the end the book that we all just read was the book josh wrote about his experience with Larry. At first I found it a little confusing but then I realized that she was telling the story that josh had given to her to have published. I thought that really made the book even better and very original.
I agree with Brianna. Maybe this book was written for Josh to teach us something. It seems like he’s telling us that we, who are fortunate enough to live in a house and be fed a good meal every night, need to realized what some other people are going through. At the beginning of part four it reads,” For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?" I interpret that as if you go through life just spending and spending, what good does it do you if you look back when you are getting older and closer to dying when you realize I could have given that money to charity or helped someone else. Then you have all of this stuff that you never needed and it just goes to waste. In the end I really think Josh told this story to teach us and make sure we don't make those mistakes.
I often come back to question Josh's thoughts on his identity. On one hand, he wants to tell people(Beth in specific) who the real Larry is, but on the other hand, he feels that it's better to keep it all to himself. He even keeps Larry's identity private from the readers until page 37 when he tells us that he is Larry. I kind of wonder why Josh made Larry in the first place. I know that it was a way for him to secretly express his feelings about the world, but Larry was also just a distraction to some of his followers. All Larry does is cause Josh more problems. In the beginning, it seems as if Larry is a good thing for Josh, but when more people start wanting to know his true identity, everything that could go wrong does. In the end, it all turned out to be one big mistake, but I really want to know if Josh would change anything if he had a chance to go back and fix his mistakes.
In the case of Larry, Josh having a relationship with Beth is a negative thing. It is a negative relationship for Larry in the regard that in certain sermons his view is narrowed down to solely his view of Beth. He loses sight of the fact that what he may be going through does not necessarily pertain to the rest of the world. In other words, his sermon is not as important a message as it could be. Not only that, but it shares no relation to his anti-consumerism agenda.
I would like to add on to the topic about Josh and Beth's relationship involving Larry. Being Larry, Josh is able to direct his sermons to Beth to keep her away from Todd. This is a great thing for Josh and it with strengthen his relationship with Beth. The downside to this is that Josh is directing his sermons at he and Beth could read the sermon and realize it sounds exactly like her. She would become suspicious and maybe find out that Josh was taking advantage of using Larry.
Another unique things this book had was the little footnotes at the bottom of the page. Some of these footnotes really help me understand the book more. There were some parts were without the footnotes it would be very confusing. They explained parts that had happened from the past like parts where it told about things him and his mom used to do. Without those footnotes the story would be a little different. Though there were some footnotes that just mad the book more confusing. But as a whole i thougth they were used well in the right places.
One thing I was wondering was why just put up with the media for a while until it got old. Then he would have even more people viewing his website. The only downside to that is Peter would not agree. But still he would be able to connect with more people. So many people loved it. They really were glad that someone stood up and they realized these advertisers need to be stopped. I think he should have continued the website and really start to make that change he wanted to.
I found that there is a lot of biblical involvement in The Gospel According To Larry. First of all, there is the title itself, although the word "gospel" has other meanings that apply to this book, it is also a biblical term for the stories that are told. Another thing is that at the beginning if all six parts to the book there is a verse from the Bible. The verses also apply to each part of the book, pointing out a specific event or summing the whole thing up. This really surprised me because not many books have to do with religion anymore.
I agree with Carl on the fact that Josh having feelings for Beth is not a good thing for Larry. Josh does write things for Beth sometimes, and maybe if he didn't like her like that then he would think more about what he is writing. In most cases he writes what he thinks will make Beth realize they are ment for eachother, even though we find out she wanted them to be together since 9th grade.
In response to Brianna's comment about why Josh created Larry in the first place, I obviously agree that he created the site to promote his ideas. However, I believe that once the site began receiving more views Josh ended up using the blog for other reasons. For one, I think that he used it as a way to vent his frustration and unhappiness with his life. I also felt that Josh used Larry to attempt to strengthen his relationship with Beth. For example on page 54, he writes about how our society is obsessed with popularity, and climbing higher on the social ladder. Josh wrote this particular sermon immediately after Beth chose to spend time with Todd instead of him, knowing that she would read it.
I think that every person in this book was mean to represent a person we each have in our own lives. We all have a person like Beth, a bestfriend thats always there for us. We all have a Peter, a person you might not always agree with but respect, and trust their judgement. I think we all definiately have someone like his mom to help guide us to the right decisions. We might even have someone like his stepdads girlfriend in our lives.
Hi Everyone, I've been very pleased with so many of your posts! You've really grasped the notion of blogging, responding to each other and raising significant comments about this book. Good insights!As I mentioned earlier, the date to complete posts is 8/17, today (!), so Mrs. Nelson and I can prepare evaluations while YOU relax before school starts (and, if needed, fine tune responses to MOCKINGBIRD or TRUMPET!).Some further considerations you might ponder...since we will need final debriefing on LARRY at FHS:What strengths and weaknesses does Josh display that make him an authentic teen? The book represents issues and responses from teen characters, adult characters, and families. How does Tashjian seem to characterize each group? Does she stereotype? Fairly?Lots of you have considered many of the book's symbols. To extend focus on allusions / symbols in this work, if you have a book of name derivations (origins and meanings) at home (or want to look on the web), see if you think Tashjian might have selected characters' names purposefully. Explain your responses.Apply literary terms to the novel: theme, irony, foreshadowing, conflict, characters: dynamic, static, round, flat, stereotype...etc. See you soon!Feel free to contact Mrs. Nelson or me before school starts if you have any questions / concerns. Our email addresses are listed on the FSD homepage.Mrs. Hurt
I somewhat agree with Carl and Marrissa about Josh having a relationship with Beth. I do think that it in a way it was a negative for Larry, because Josh would tend to focus some of his sermons towards Beth. Regardless of this, Beth actually contributed to the site without even knowing it. Josh and Beth often exchanged ideas that eventually made their way to Larry's blog. After Beth found out that Josh was really Larry, she even said that he used an idea that she wrote about in a paper(pg 165). I feel you could even go as far as to say that Larry's identity was shared by Josh and Beth.
I'd like to add to Joey's comment about the media. I agree that Josh could have put up with them for a while to promote his site, and reach an even larger audience. However, if he were to give in to the press, then Larry's image could end being corrupted by the media. This would probably end up ruining his relationships with Beth and Peter. I think he ended up trying to take the easy way out by faking his death. I thought this was kind of a selfish decision by Josh. Instead of facing his problems, he made a choice that ended up hurting his friends and family more so than anything else that he could have done.
One problem I have with this book is the lack of variety in Larry's sermons. It seems as though Josh thinks the only way to improve the world around him is to rant about (mainly) materialism. He only provides very basic solutions to issues that cannot be solved just by having a few people boycott consumer products, or something to that effect. A major part of the American economy is based on the buying and selling of these items. Larry also writes about major world issues, such as poverty in third world countries(pg 64-65). Josh spends an awful lot of time ranting about the subject, but at the same time proposes no solution. This makes Larry come across as very naive.
I agree with Dan about Josh's mom having a big influence on him. I think that a lot of his personality and the way he acted came from his mom. I liked the way the author was able to make her a fairly major character in the story without actually having her in it. I think Josh valued the memories of his mother more than anything else. One thing I noticed was that Beth was very similar to the descriptions of Josh's mom in the book. I felt Josh really saw a lot of his mom's qualities in Beth, and that was why he had such a obsession with her. I think Josh was really trying to find another person like his mom, and he found a lot of her in Beth.
Josh's character in my opinion does not contain much of his mom. The only aspect of his mother in him is his ability to recieve advice from her. We have not really read about his mom to much so it is hard to say how much he has of her, but it seems they have a special bond even though she is dead. The mom aspects of his life have to fade he is on his own and there is not to much advice that she can give him anymore. It would also be pretty hard for him to get in touch with her if he will not be in public to much. I believe he will not carry out any aspects of his ither family members. He is very independant now that he is on his own so he has no one to be but himself.
Josh's friendship and obsession with Beth makes him an authentic teen. Every teen has that one friend that they can always count on and can always trust. He also has that one thing hes good at and that is his intelligence most teens have one specific thing whether its sports arts of academics. It seems to me that Tashjian characterizes the teens by just like anybody would so yes she does stereotype the teens fairly. The adults are characterized a little different than what you would expect, they seem like they care a little more about the anti-commercialism and anti-consummerism. For example Bono is a big part of the adults, and he is a big part of the anti-consummerism. The families characterization seems to care about whatever is best for their families. The only one that is stereotyped is the teens and it is fairly done.
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