Monday, December 9, 2013

Will Grayson, Will Grayson - John Green and David Levithan

The backside blurb gave me enough information to understand that it's a musical that "will have readers simultaneously laughing, crying and singing". And that "even the musical-averse will cheer". Sadly, none of this happened when I  read it. But it was enough to motivate me to read it.

Two teenagers both named Will Grayson meet at a porn store in  Chicago, neither actually belonging there but brought there by circumstances whose description takes half the book. This unexpected encounter steers their life in a way neither of them could have anticipated, and force them to understand themselves, something they've always avoided. Tiny Cooper, "the world's gayest person who's really really large, and the largest person who's really really gay" is the man whose name hogs all the titles in the musical's credits. Who the musical is about. Who is the cause of the upheaval in both the Grayson's lives.

The POVs of the Will Graysons are handled separately by the two authors. They are so RADICALLY different, you know instinctively which Will is written by which writer (especially if you know Green's writing style). Levithan's Grayson is intelligently written - he's depressed and (not because he's) gay, and we get that. Especially because of the lower-cased narrative and the intermittent IM-ish conversations. Both the Will Graysons and Tiny come out of the pages. The other characters are handled effectively enough.

But it's a musical. Although it doesn't have a Disney quality to it (thank god), it's...meh. And I definitely don't want to sing it.

The way the last few pages were leading me on, I expected The Insane to happen. What happened was Unexpectedly Lame And Didn't Cry.

So here's the verdict:

Narration: 4.5 stars
Characters: 4 stars
Story: 2.5 stars (The climax sort of ruined it for me).

Watch out for the Conversation Between JG and DL, and the Acknowledgments, though.

Lastly, me the physics nerd says: Thank you John Green for introducing to the less privileged, the Schrodinger's Cat.

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