Year of publishing: 2000
Related posts: Not yet available
Synopsis: Nothing matters. So says Pierre Anthon when he leaves school on the first day after summer break, climbs a plum tree, and stays there creating an existential crisis in his small, insulated suburban town.
But of course things matter. Of course life has meaning.
Well, prove it.
My Review: The story of this book begins in a normal class of a school of teenagers who just returned from summer vacations. Pierre Anthon, one of this teenagers, suddenly gets up from his chair and saying that nothing matters because nothing has meaning, then, He picks up his things and leaves the class and climbs a tree. All days, he tries to convince his schoolmates that the things that he says are true. His schoolmates who don’t want accept a so pessimistic point of view, look for the way to convince Pierre that he is wrong.
After several vain attempts to convince him, finally they decide that the only way to convince Pierre that the things are important and has meaning, is sacrifice important things for them, make a lot with all and then show it to Pierre.
The rules are clear, each one must sacrifice one important thing. At the begin, they choose the things by mutual agreement, but all of them sacrifice things that are not really important, and for that, they finally decide that the last one who sacrifices something must choose the sacrifice of the next. This causes increasing sacrifices promoted only by the revenge motivated by the resentment of losing an important thing for them.
This book exposes the same philosophical reflections about the meaning of life that the philosophers tried explain 20 centuries ago. In a begin, this book was banned by some countries in Europe considered a detrimental book for teenagers or for religious reasons. However, it was receiving an increasing acceptance and now it’s recommended in many schools.
In my opinion, this book isn’t appropriate for the public for which it’s destined. Not because the philosophical questions, but for its high content of macabre violence. It’s not a book appropriate for a teenager because they are not prepared for give an answers to the philosophical question and because he is placed on the role of a group of teenagers who pretend demonstrate that they are right, exerting an excessive violence against themselves under the pretext that anything is good to “create the meaning”
This book has caused suicides among teenagers for its questions about the meaning of the life, however, I think that is more worrying the fact that his book justifies and rewards somehow the things that happen as the story goes. Lately, we are seeing waves of unjustified violence among teenagers, recently in a shopping center in US there was a massive fight of teenagers who planned the fight via social networks. I think that this book can encourage this kind of attitudes because not only it puts you in the role of one of the girls who justify all that happen, also this teenagers are rewarded after all the damage that they causes. This book maybe transmits the idea that the cruelty and excessive violence is rewarded because also, the teenagers aren’t punished for their actions. My valuation for this book is 2/5.
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Written by: Josué