Thursday, January 3, 2013

The Perks of Being A Wallflower

The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Stephen Chbosky
Pocketbooks, 1999
Director - Stephen Chbosky
Summit Entertainment 2012

About the Book/Movie
Charlie is a freshman. and while he's not the biggest geek in the school, he is by no means popular. Shy, introspective, intelligent beyond his years yet socially awkward, he is a wallflower, caught between trying to live his life and trying to run from it. Charlie is attempting to navigate his way through uncharted territory: the world of first dates and mixed tapes, family dramas and new friends; the world of sex, drugs, and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, when all one requires is that perfect song on that perfect drive to feel infinite. But Charlie can't stay on the sideline forever. Standing on the fringes of life offers a unique perspective. But there comes a time to see what it looks like from the dance floor. The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a deeply affecting coming-of-age story that will spirit you back to those wild and poignant roller-coaster days known as growing up.

My Thoughts
Oops I started writing this just after seeing the movie but then I got distracted and it's a whole new year now! So here's what I can remember after having read the book then watched the movie. I thought the book was ok, not due to the events in the book, but the point of view. I'm not a fan of first person narrative, even though this isn't strict first person as it is an epistle novel it still creates the same effect. I don't like being so much in the characters head... which is just me. My favourite scene, written out below,  got to me and that's what I remember the book for.

I have to admit, I felt a little sad because other than Sam and Patrick, nobody got me a present. I guess I'm not that close with them, so that makes sense. But I still felt a little sad.And then it was my turn. I gave Boba a little plastic tube of soap bubbles because it seemed to fit his personality. I guess I was right"Too much" was all he said.Next was Alice. I gave her a book by Anne Rice because she is always talking about her. And she looked at me like she couldn't believe I knew she loved Anne Rice. I guess she didn't know how much she talked. Or how much I listened. But she thanked me all the same. Next came Mary Elizabeth. I gave her forty dollars inside a card. The card said something pretty simple "To be spent on printing Punk Rocky in colour next time."And she looked at me funny. Then, they all started to look at me funny except Sam and Patrick. I think they started feeling bad because they didn't get me anything. But I don't think they should have because I don't think that's the point really. p72

I so much more preferred the movie! As I usually do with movies made of books written in the first person (Twilight being the other notable example) As I was watching the movie I thought that at sometime our lives everyone feels like Charlie. There are times when we feel lost and alone. Then suddenly we are accepted by a whole new group of people.  Accepted but still apart from until you open up and accept them too. The scene above translates well to the movie, with a slight change where the guy that says "Too much" instead says "He knows me".

I liked the Charlie of the movie much better than in the book. In the book you get a clearer idea of his unstable mental state. It still comes through in the movie but it is a bit more subtle, I think. 

I definitely recommend it.

1 comment:

  1. Hello! Thanks for dropping by my blog. :)

    I haven't read the novel's version of this story, I only watched the movie. Usually the book version of the story is not the same as the movie version right, and I love to read more than watching it, cause we get more info through the reading ;p
    But I can't say much about this story, as I haven't read it.
    Nice post btw! Cheers book lover! :)