June 9, 2010

What she read: Will Grayson, Will Grayson

For the past month blogging has taken a back seat to more pressing things, like finishing Book2 (now in the hands of my editor) and the &!%*&! neverending saga of painting the kitchen floor. After such a long pause it's hard to know where to pick up without doing a (boring) inventory of the past 4 weeks, so I'm just going to talk about one Very Good Thing: 'Will Grayson, Will Grayson'.

David Levithan and John Green's co-authored book has had enough written about it without me adding my two cents' worth - suffice to say I loveloveloved it. As so many others have said, John Green's Will Grayson is very much like his other protagonists*, which can never be a bad thing, IMO.

David Levithan's will grayson has been less warmly received, but for me that was because the character was so well written - David's wg doesn't like himself enough to make others like him.** wg's every-day pain was raw and real, and his anger at life struck a chord with me.

Much of the book's humour lies in WG's best friend, the gayer-than-gay Tiny Cooper, and the musical tribute to his life (and to love) that the book culminates in. As a writer, it was really interesting to see how each author approached Tiny's character and used him to develop their Will Grayson's story. (As a reader, I found Tiny infuriating and loveable by turn - I'd love to chat with him at a party but I don't think I'd have the patience/energy to deal with him every day.***)

My 'Will Grayson, Will Grayson' experience was topped off by this video of David Levithan being interviewed musical-style by Leanne Hall at Readings recently. (My fave number: 'That John Green', featuring the immortal lines 'I heard he likes to eat kittens/And he carries a Glock'.)

*smart, slightly nerdy guys who overthink, all of whom I have some degree of an age-inappropriate reader-crush on
** at the risk of coming over all Dr Phil on you
*** and the fact that I've just analysed my fictional relationship with a fictional character makes me think he had even more of an impact on me than I realised!

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