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An Abundance of Katherines

In: English and Literature

Submitted By Xoxoshanyia
Words 1700
Pages 7
The setting of An Abundance of Katherines started off in Chicago but changed when Colin and his best friend Hassan decided to take a roadtrip to (what began as) anywhere. They ended up in the small town of Gutshot TN; possibly the actual definition of “The Middle of Nowhere”. The boys just hopped into Satan’s Hearse (the name given to Colin’s car because of its dated age and greying paint job). The original plan was just to drive and drive until Colin’s mind was finally distracted away from his break-up with Katherine XIX, then they would turn around and find their way back home. It didn’t end up happening that way, though. Hassan pointed out a sign on the highway advertising tours to see the grave of Archduke. Colin, being a child prodigy therefore loving new information to further enlighten his brain, gladly accepted. They branched off the exit and went to check it out, when they met Lindsey Lee Wells, a beautiful girl who worked for her mother Hollis at their convenience store, giving tours to the fake grave or Archduke to all of the non-existent tourists interested in history. (Gutshot was not exactly the most popular tourist attraction in the country.) After Hollis met the boys and instantly loved them, she felt they would be great candidates to help her with her “top secret project”, so she offered them board in her giant pink mansion for the rest of the summer in exchange for their assistance in her project. The story takes place in modern times which I inferred by their use of cellphones. A stereotype of this community may be either very unpopulated therefore all of its members are close (which is true) or that they live a redneck lifestyle just because TN is part of “the south”. They do have country accents, but they don’t play the banjo while roasting rats over a trashbin fire. Colin Singleton is the protagonist of this book. When he was a child, he learned things at an abnormally fast pace and picked up information and smarts that a human would only learn at maybe five or six years in advance than he was. After seeing doctors and scientists and such, his family soon learned that he was a child prodigy. Colin’s only real victory was winning $10,000 on a game show called Krazy Kids as a child. Now he yearns to prove himself as a genius more than just a worn-out prodigy who doesn’t get any attention anymore. He’ll know for sure that he has become a genius when he has a “Eureka moment”. The way that he wishes to prove himself to the world is by creating the Theorem of Underlying Katherine Probability. Why the name Katherine you might ask? Well Colin has dated 19 girls, all of which named Katherine. He doesn’t mean for it to be that way, it just happens. The last one (K-19) meant the world to him and he thought they would go on to live a long happy fairy tale life together until she dumped him out of the blue at the end of their high school graduation party. His heart was torn to shreds and every time the phone rang his heart skipped a beat incase it was Katherine calling to tell him she had made a mistake. Hassan finally had enough of Colin moping around his house all day and basically giving up on life, which is why he dragged his friend onto the road trip in hopes of lightening his spirits. To describe Colin Singleton in one word, I would say intelligent, of course. He is also very clingy with girls, which I noticed by how he had never dumped a girl, he had always been the one to be dumped (or so he thought.) I would most definitely consider Colin as a developing character, because throughout the book he matures a lot and learns more about life itself. Lindsey Lee Wells is the antagonist of this story. She is the girl who Colin met at her family owned convenience store. In the beginning, she had a boyfriend named Colin (not Colin Singleton) who is referred to as TOC, standing for The Other Colin. Lindsey was madly in love with TOC until about a month after Hassan and Colin came, she found out that he had been having sex with Katrina who was her best friend. Ironically, they were doing it on the fake grave of Archduke where Lindsey gave tours. Lindsey was a paramedic in training which meant that she acted as a doctor to the people in her town but knew she couldn’t make it out of Gutshot to go to medical school, even though that was her real dream. She is a fierce but deep down very sweet girl. She gives off this aura that if she tells you to do something, you’re going to do it. Lindsey has a secret area in a cave that she likes to go to whenever she needs to think or just needs an escape. She showed Colin this place and he became the only person to know about it which made him feel very special. Something about Lindsey drives Colin crazy but it’s hard for him to admit it because her name isn’t Katherine. Towards the end of the book, the two fall in love. Lindsey is a dynamic character because she realizes that if she tries hard enough and works at it then she can leave her small town and start her own life outside of the drama over her ancestors’ condom factory business. The internal conflict of this novel is Colin trying to get over K-19, the Love of His Life. She was also his first Katherine, which means a lot to him. She started and ended his habit of falling for Katherines. It’s hard to forget your first love who you told everything to, who guided you through everything in your life. All Colin wanted was K-19 back… That was, until he met Lindsey. It felt wrong to possibly be in love with a Lindsey. The external conflict is Colin trying to figure out his Theorem of Underlying Katherine Probability. The way this works is when you apply information such as common interests, age, past, similarities and such that you can calculate the outcome of any couple- when they break up (if they break up) how they break up and who will be the dumper and who will be the dumpy. This was made to avenge dumpys everywhere, especially ones who have a problem with being dumped by 19 different Katherines. Neither the external nor internal conflict are more important, because they both tie in together.

The inciting incident is when Colin meets Lindsey when he thinks he’s just going to pick up a historical lesson on the Archduke. Instead he unknowingly meets his first Lindsey who he goes on to lose his virginity to which meant a lot to him and to her too. She is the girl who will go on to change him in many ways from his personality to his street smarts.

The climax of this book is when Colin finds out that there is a flaw in his theorem! He thought he had it all worked out, because he had tested it with all of his Katherines and it had come out right except one little flaw kept oddening his results out. He had calculated what his results would be with Lindsey (because of course he was curious) and learned that they wouldn’t make it far anyway, until he decided to call up Katherine VI to see if he could work out the flaw. What K-6 told him was very useful information: he was the one who dumped her! This meant that in fact his theorem didn’t work, and he realized that maybe he wouldn’t go on to be the next Albert Einstein, but he could still have a long future with Lindsey. (In fact, they do go on to get married in the eulogy.)

The conflict of the plot is resolved by Colin showing progress in realizing that maybe he was previously “Colin Singleton Child Prodigy” and that he doesn’t have to grow up to be “Colin Singleton Super Genius”. He realizes that maybe he can just be “Colin Singleton” and just “Colin Singleton”. This realization put his mind into a new perspective. Now he can be with Lindsey and it doesn’t matter that her name isn’t Katherine. Now he can go off to college and not worry about being depressed by the tragedy that was K-19.

I felt like the conclusion was perfect. Colin learned huge life lessons and became an almost completely new person. Lindsey ended up being with him, which was great because I hated TOC therefore I hated the thought of her dating and possibly marrying TOC. The theorem didn’t work and that was the only thing that was slightly disappointing about the end, because if it worked then it truly would’ve been a scientific miracle and John Green would be a super genius.

A reader that would enjoy this book would be someone who likes a good love story. John Green is a fantastic writer and he inspires me in my own writing. When reading his work, his personality shines through and you feel like it’s him telling you a story in your head. Other books by John Green are Paper Towns, Looking for Alaska, and The Fault in our Stars. I haven’t read Paper Towns, but Looking for Alaska isn’t really a great book because someone dies in it and I feel that usually when someone dies in a book that the rest of it is about how depressed everyone else is, and Looking for Alaska portrays that stereotype perfectly. The Fault in our Stars (in my opinion) is the best book ever written and I feel like everyone should read it, no matter your age or gender, you’ll love it, but I wouldn’t want to give away any spoilers on it. John Green is an extremely talented author and I’d recommend his writing to anyo…...

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