Wednesday, April 14, 2010

An Abundance of Katherines, by John Green

Better than Looking for Alaska but not as good as Paper Towns, this book is about a child prodigy, Colin, who has to come to terms with the fact that his peers have caught up to him in some aspects. For some reason that's never fully explained he has only dated girls named Katherine. (I dated a Kathryn once, who very temporarily broke my heart. She was a good girl.) He comes up with this idea that a way to prove his usefulness as a former prodigy is to create a mathematical formula that can explain the relationship arcs of all his Katherine romances. I had a problem with the fact that his variables were not actually exogenous; Colin assigned each Katherine a rating of how likely she was to dump him AFTER he'd experienced how likely she was to dump him. Milton Friedman says a theory should be judged by its predictive power, and this theory doesn't have much. The story was enjoyable, though, but I don't know if it was worth the time it took (I'm a pretty slow reader, which means a book has to be better for me or else it has wasted more of my time).

Rating: four and a half out of seven giant inflatable monkeys.

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