An Abundance of KatherinesBook - 2006 | 1st ed.
Michael L. Printz Honor Book
Los Angeles Times Book Prize Finalist
Katherine V thought boys were gross
Katherine X just wanted to be friends
Katherine XVIII dumped him in an e-mail
K-19 broke his heart
When it comes to relationships, Colin Singleton's type happens to be girls named Katherine. And when it comes to girls named Katherine, Colin is always getting dumped. Nineteen times, to be exact.
On a road trip miles from home, this anagram-happy, washed-up child prodigy has ten thousand dollars in his pocket, a bloodthirsty feral hog on his trail, and an overweight, Judge Judy-loving best friend riding shotgun--but no Katherines. Colin is on a mission to prove The Theorem of Underlying Katherine Predictability, which he hopes will predict the future of any relationship, avenge Dumpees everywhere, and finally win him the girl.
Love, friendship, and a dead Austro-Hungarian archduke add up to surprising and heart-changing conclusions in this ingeniously layered comic novel about reinventing oneself.
From the critics
QuotesAdd a Quote
"You can love someone so much. But you can never love people as much as you can miss them."
"Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me. What a dirty lie."
"Dude, if Kentucky is going to remind you of Paris, we're in a hell of a pickle."
"Yeah. God. We could, couldn't we? We could just keep going."
--Lindsey Lee Wells
(Part 2) But there’s another way. There are stories. Maybe stories don’t just make us matter to each other – maybe they’re also the only way to the infinite mattering he’d been after for so long. Say I tell someone about my feral hog hunt. Even if it’s a dumb story, telling it changes other people just the slightest little bit, just as living the story changes me. And that infinitesimal change ripples outward – every smaller but everlasting. I will get forgotten, but the stories will last, and so we all matter – maybe less than a lot, but always more than none. And it wasn’t only the remembered stories that mattered. There’s a place in the brain for knowing what cannot be remembered.
That brief walk – from the screened-in porch outside to the Hearse – was one of those moments he knew he’d remember and look back on, one of those moments that he’d try to capture in the stories he told. Nothing was happening, really, but the moment was thick with mattering.
(Part 1) Collin all of a sudden realized: you can make a Theorem that explains why you won or lost past poker hands, but you can never make one to predict future poker hands. The past is a logical story. It’s the sense of what happened. But since it is not yet remembered, the future need not make any sense at all.
In that moment, the future stretched out before Colin: infinite and unknowable and beautiful.
Collin’s brain was spinning with the implications: if the future is forever, then eventually it will swallow us all up. Even Colin could only name a handful of people who lived, say, 2,400 years ago. In another 2,400 years, even Socrates, the most well-known genius of that century, might be forgotten. The future will erase everything – there’s no level of fame or genius that allows you to transcend oblivion. The infinite future makes that kind of mattering impossible.
Okay, here’s the thing about storytelling: you need a beginning, and a middle, and an end. And you need a good, strong moral. Or a theme or whatever. And the other thing is romance and adventure. You’ve got to put some of those in. If it’s a story about peeing into a lion cage, give yourself a girlfriend who notices how gigantic your winky is and then saves you from the lion at the last second by tackling you, because she’s desperate to save that gorgeous, ginormous winky. In the beginning, you need to pee; in the middle, you do; in the end, through romance and adventure, your winky is saved from the jaws of a hungry lion by the pluck of a young girl motivated by her abiding love for giant winkies. And the moral of the story is that a heroic girlfriend, combined with a giant winky, will save you from even the most desperate situations.
"What is the point of being alive if you don't at least try to do something remarkable"
"The morning after noted child progidy Colin Singleton graduated from high school and got dumped for the nineteenth time by a girl named Katherine, he took a bath."
AgeAdd Age Suitability
RobertELPL thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over
violet_elephant_757 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over
SummaryAdd a Summary
Colin is a child prodigy, but that doesn't stop him from making the same mistake, falling for girls named Katherine. Colin's parents want him to get out of the house and so he and his friend, Hassan, go on a road trip. Many adventurous and funny moments occur throughout their spontaneous journey. Will Colin break his bad habits of dating Katherine's? Or is his doomed to repeat this mistake of the past?