Perks Of Being A Wallflower – my thoughts

The Perks of Being a Wallflower

The Perks of Being a Wallflower (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

September 13, 2012 : I started and finished reading The Perks of being a Wallflower book. It took two full days of rapid reading to go through it. In general I am not at all skeptical about anything. Perhaps, that is why I can be perfectly dumb and immature sometimes. Anyways, as I said I am not skeptical. But I doubt that anyone who is, will find it very hard not to be naive while writing an essay about the book. The book is written in a way which I have never seen a book being written before. It is a series of letters. I correct you if you think it a documentary. It is not. Its like a person writing a personal diary before going to bed at night. But instead of writing these in an actual diary, the narrator writes these letters to an anonymous person where he shares himself. By himself I mean his thoughts, his experience, his activities and not to mention his teenage musings. He found out this anonymous person by overhearing his classmate. He heard that this anonymous person listens to what one has to say. And the narrator trusts and believes that the person will also patiently listen to what he has to say.

The narrator is a 16-17 year old teenager from Pennsylvania, USA. He wrote his first letter the day before he was about to join high school. Its the year 1991. In his first letter he mentions his name as Charlie.

The fact that I like about Steven Chbosky is that he did not make the book conservative. He actually makes sure that all the facts are included in the book. These I think made the novel critically acclaimed. Drug use, getting drunk, sex and even gay sex – these are pretty common when you are in high school.

Some notable and not so notable songs and TV Shows are also referenced in this book. From among the songs I had only heard Nirvana – Smells like a Teen Spirit before. But I think that I will also like the other songs here. These songs come to light in the book when Charlie makes mix tapes to his various friends like Patrick and his sister Sam for the Christmas. On one night during Charlie reveals that he was secret Santa for Patrick, he reads him this poem. The poem is simple enough but when I read it a sort of river of feelings rushed through me. The best part of the book is very difficult to categorize. Its like you are reading and these ripples of huge emotional waves hit you flat to the ground, you recover from it and again it hits you to the ground. Its a kind of a feeling I cannot describe. I felt for the situations and the characters so much sometimes that a sort of numbness engulfed me.

After going to high school for a couple of weeks, Charlie makes friends with Patrick and Sam who are siblings and are one year senior to him. Mixing with them made charlie listen to a song which became his favorite. He discusses this with his anonymous friend. When he listens to this song he feels infiniteThis I think is the ultimate phrase of the whole novel.

Also one of the key turn around according to me comes at the climax. Sam prepares to leave for the summer to attend her school. After the farewell party with the friends, they leave and Sam takes Charlie to her bedroom and has a conversation with him while she does her final packing. This is the point Stephen Chbosky decides to fully reveal the character of Sam. The way she talks with Charlie shows real maturity depth in character and smartness. So I think Charlie’s sister was after all wrong about the fact that Sam suffers from low self esteem.

I’ll leave the other turn around for the reader to find out.


About Arnab

Blogger, undergrad and a slow learning introvert!!

Posted on September 16, 2012, in Book Review, personal and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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