Friday, September 14, 2012
The Perks of Being A Wallflower, by Stephen Chbosky
Apparently, one of the more "challenged" books in American libraries, the explicit nature of the book makes it a perfect "forbidden fruit" (and thus immensely popular with teens). However, this is something of a distraction as the appeal of the story is not really its sins, but the basic decency of the narrator. Charlie's naivete and well-rooted moral compass makes him a regular good guy throughout, even if his social ineptitude gets him into heaps of trouble.
That said, Charlie's ignorance can be a grating device. The cause is never identified - an artistic conceit meant to keep us wondering (and one that won't work on the big screen), but it is at times a bit too precious. Without an outside observer, I found myself getting suspicious of the narrative, and distracted by the attempt to figure out what was "really" going on.