The Perks of Being a Wallflower
The Perks of Being a Wallflower
|Shipping: ||Eligible for FREE Super Saver Shipping on orders over $35. |
Usually ships in 1 business days|
Standing on the fringes of life offers a unique perspective. But there comes a time to see what it looks like from the dance floor. This haunting novel about the dilemma of passivity vs. passion marks the stunning debut of a provocative new voice in contemporary fiction: The Perks of Being a Wallflower.
This is the story of what it's like to grow up in high school. More intimate than a diary, Charlie's letters are singular and unique, hilarious and devastating. We may not know where he lives. We may not know to whom he is writing. All we know is the world he shares. Caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it puts him on a strange course through uncharted territory. The world of first dates and mixed tapes, family dramas and new friends. The world of sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, when all one requires is that perfect song on that perfect drive to feel infinite.
Through Charlie, Stephen Chbosky has created a deeply affecting coming-of-age story, a powerful novel that will spirit you back to those wild and poignant roller coaster days known as growing up.
|Publication Date:||February 01, 1999|
|Product Length:||6.9 inches|
|Product Width:||5.0 inches|
|Product Height:||0.6 inches|
|Product Weight:||0.55 pounds|
|Package Length:||6.97 inches|
|Package Width:||5.0 inches|
|Package Height:||0.28 inches|
|Package Weight:||0.35 pounds|
|Average Customer Rating:|| based on 6150 reviews|
|Average Customer Review: ( 6150 customer reviews )
Write an online review and share your thoughts with other customers.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
893 of 947 found the following review helpful:
Startling, Gripping, and Absolutely Honest Jun 30, 2000
I read The Perks of Being a Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky, in April of my sophomore year at college. A friend lent it to me and I had read it within twelve hours. This book reaches inside of you and pulls everything to the surface. It is a beautiful and painful story about a 15 year old boy, Charlie, moving through his freshmen year of highschool. It is written in letter form to an unknown friend. Charlie is always completely honest, whether he is describing his first "beer" party where he witnessed a girl being raped by her boyfriend, or explaining masturbation and his excitement for this newfound "activity." Charlie is a wallflower who observes people and feels very deeply for the experiences occuring around him. His favorite Aunt Helen died in a car accident when he was six, and he holds himself accountable, and his best friend committed suicide a year before he began the letters. His English teacher realizes Charlie's potential and brilliance and asks him to try and participate, which Charlie agrees to do. He becomes friends with two seniors Patrick and Samantha and begins to experience dances, parties, the Rocky Horror Picture Show, pot, love, bad trips and sexuality. We feel exhilerated when Charlie describes his happy moments, and we are swallowed in pain when Charlie is overwhelmed by his depression. Charlie's realizations are eye opening for us, and we are so captivated and immersed in his life that his life and stories become a very real experience. This book is about moments, and being as much alive within each moment as possible. It is about looking around us at the world and the people and appreciating that we don't know what their lives are like, and the pain and happiness that they experience day to day, so we shouldn't judge them but accept them and appreciate them. A favorite section of this book, for me, was when Charlie describes the movie It's A Wonderful Life, and how he wished the movie had been about one of the less heroic characters so the audience could have seen the meaning that this person's life held. That moment is just one example of Charlie's amazing intuition. This book should not be limited to a certain "category" of people. I truly believe that it would be understood, appreciated, and loved by everyone aged 12 (+ or - a few) and up regardless of gender, race, sexuality, etc. This book changes you, if only for a moment, but you are not the same upon completion, and you become more appreciative of life then ever.
167 of 190 found the following review helpful:
Going through the tunnel Dec 07, 1999
By Michael Rogers
When I finished The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chybosky, I sat there in a stunned silence. The book was strongly powerful in a manner that diary or letter style books rarely achieve. There is usually a sense of implausibility in those types of books that Charlie's character completely negated. When trying to describe Charlie the mind suddenly reels, he's honest. Completely and utterly genuine in his perceptions and most of his actions. Charlie is also and emotional basket case that somehow manages to attract a special group of friends to him. A group of voluntary outcasts that go through the same problems teenagers face everywhere. Sex, drugs, relationships and acceptance figure heavily into everyone's lives, despite their personal beliefs on those subjects. I would like to mention Stephen's portrayal of Patrick, I was pleased to see the sbuject of homosexuality treated in such a plain manner. It was accepted as a fact and only the feelings invovled in the situations were important. I would recomment this book to a wide range of people, old or young, straight or gay, conservative or liberal. It was a pleasure to read and I enjoyed it immensely.
108 of 127 found the following review helpful:
Bought it for my teenager, read it myself in one sitting Jul 13, 2001
I bought this book for my 13 year old daughter but wanted to read it first to see if it is appropriate It is a wonderfully written book in which Charlie, a deeply sensitive boy, finds true friends and learns to live, to love, to lose, and move on. The author gives this boy a voice and it's magnificent. I so appreciate Charlie's depth of emotions. I have a sensitive, emotional son and will want him to read this book in a couple years. Suicide, homosexuality, infatuation, deep deep friendships, finding yourself and re-finding yourself are all themes in this book. The author captures "moments" of adolescence -- those incredible high moments that might last just minutes -- and makes them so real. If only more kids could put a voice to these feelings. One reviewer doesn't think this book captures adolescence in the 90's -- I don't know because I'm a Mom . . . but I don't care. Charlie deals with drugs, smoking, drinking, messing up friendships, feeling alone, and uncovers family problems he has to deal with. And he deals with it as a young man who can stand back, look at it all, and make decisions about what he has experienced. I want my daughter to read it, maybe now or maybe in a couple years, for the hope it left me with. Charlie survived being hopelessly in love with one of his best friends. It hurt and he felt it and it didn't defeat him. With everything thrown at kids in jr. high and high school this book might just help them survive it a little more intact. I think I'm going to go talk to my kids right now . . . .
43 of 54 found the following review helpful:
A clichéd, forced mess Apr 11, 2008
By M. M. Vrabel
I read this book for the first time recently, well aware that many of my friends when I was in high school (I'm currently a senior in college) raved about it and considered the book one of their favorites as an absolutely necessary read. I can see why they believed that (they probably still do) but I guess I just don't see the light.
There have been other reviews which comment on this, but the sheer amount of clichéd teen-angst drama make for a jumbled and highly unrealistic mess. People who loved this book have told me it that encapsulated what it was like to grow up in high school. Really? While issues like sex, hardcore drug and alcohol use, peer pressure and abuse, dealing with death and suicide and having some pretty severe sexual abuse problems certainly exist as fragments of adolescent lives, the idea that all of these issues and more can barrage a kid in one calendar year is too unrealistic for me to handle or relate to. Does a friend's suicide and sexual abuse need to even be part of this book to make it poignant and accessible? Teens, for all their supposed angst and emotional problems, also for the most part live pretty normal and healthy lives with spots of trouble that generally fade in significance as they mature and experience life. When teens read books like this, I'm willing to bet they are more likely to think they are as "deep" and "conflicted" as people like Charlie or Holden Caufield than they really are. It's as if teenagers need to read literature that says, "you're life is complex, unique and desperate" when most are truthfully not.
This is another book to be read with self-importance and pseudo-self awareness that invokes all the worst and rare parts of growing up and not enough of the quiet memories and stable lives which most kids have. Life can be complex and meaningful outside of tragedy and it's a shame that an author who writes in such an accessible prose chose to go the easy path and formulate a story that could be found in a bad lifetime movie. Read it if you want to, but don't believe the hype.
By the way, "Catcher in the Rye" was one of my favorite books as a teenager and it still ranks up there. Looking back, I believe that I was one of those victims of that "I'm deep and special and nobody understands the depth of my depthness and specialness" mentality that a book like "Catcher" can evoke. Yet "Catcher" is a far better book than this piece and will deservedly outlast it in terms of influence and readability.
10 of 11 found the following review helpful:
Well written, but somewhat cliched Apr 09, 2008
By Josh More
"Entropologist - www.starmind.org"
This review contains spoilers
OK, seriously, how I could pass up a book with a title like The Perks of Being a Wallflower? Especially after I read the back and it painted a picture of a shy, gawky and confused highschool kid who had to deal with similar issues that I did during that time?
Well, at least that's what I thought I'd be reading. It started out good enough. The writing is amusing, and some of the teenage "insights" were downright hilarious. There were also a few bits here and there that were amazingly well done and surprisingly painful.
However, taken as a whole, it's a bit too busy and I lost the believability near the end. I don't doubt that a great many intelligent kids have social difficulties in high school (I know that my own experiences were... suboptimal)...
However, the concept that, in the course of one year, a kid can learn about sex and masturbation, get addicted to tobacco, experiment with marijuana and LSD, overcome his own self-esteem problems, deal with child molestation, witness a rape, witness physical abuse, deal with an abortion, have his first drink, etc etc etc... well, it seems contrived. (As is the concept of a kid that gets to be freshman, knows about sex, but has never masturbated before.)
Let me just say that a person can be interesting and have emotional issues resulting from intelligence and poor social skills without having to have been physically or sexually abused. It gets tiresome to read books where such a situation either launches the character on their journey, or (in the case of this book) it becomes a surprise twist at the end.
This book would have been so much better had the kid just been a really bright kid who "didn't get it". There's ample drama and angst in a normal well-adjusted teenager that it's unnecessary to create especially painful experiences for the reader. In many ways, this seems to be the easy way out.
The format is one that is easy to do wrong (collection of letters), but works in this case because the writing style is believable for the type of character writing it... and it's all written by one person, so you don't have the problem of tracking dialogue that often results such such a format.
All in all, the writing is good, and there are some very well written and evocative bits. However, I don't recommend that anyone make it a point to read this one. More importantly, I don't recommend that any angsty teenagers read it at all... it's not likely to help (and could well hinder).
See all 6150 customer reviews on Amazon.com
You May Also Like