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Nothing
by Janne Teller and Martin Aitken

Overview - "Nothing matters."

"From the moment you are born, you start to die."

"The Earth is 4.6 billion years old. You'll live to be a maximum of one hundred. Life isn't worth the bother "

So says Pierre Anthon when he decides that there is no meaning to life, leaves the classroom, climbs a plum tree, and stays there.  Read more...


 
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More About Nothing by Janne Teller; Martin Aitken
 
 
 
Overview
"Nothing matters."

"From the moment you are born, you start to die."

"The Earth is 4.6 billion years old. You'll live to be a maximum of one hundred. Life isn't worth the bother "

So says Pierre Anthon when he decides that there is no meaning to life, leaves the classroom, climbs a plum tree, and stays there.

His friends and classmates cannot get him to come down, not even by pelting him with rocks. So to prove to him that there is a meaning to life, they set out to build a heap of meaning in an abandoned sawmill.

But it soon becomes obvious that each person cannot give up what is most meaningful, so they begin to decide for one another what the others must give up. The pile is started with a lifetime's collection of Dungeons & Dragons books, a fishing rod, a pair of green sandals, a pet hamster -- but then, as each demand becomes more extreme, things start taking a very morbid twist, and the kids become ever more desperate to get Pierre Anthon down. And what if, after all these sacrifices, the pile is not meaningful enough?

A "Lord of the Flies" for the twenty-first century, "Nothing" is a visionary existential novel -- about everything, and nothing -- that will haunt you.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9781416985792
  • ISBN-10: 1416985794
  • Publisher: Atheneum Books
  • Publish Date: February 2010
  • Page Count: 227
  • Reading Level: Ages 12-UP


Related Categories

Books > Juvenile Fiction > Social Issues - General

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page 48.
  • Review Date: 2010-01-04
  • Reviewer: Staff

“Pierre Anthon left school the day he realized that nothing was worth doing, because nothing meant anything anyway,” opens Teller's haunting novel, a violent sequence of events sparked by a seventh-grader's decision to leave school and live in a plum tree. Pierre's fellow students are confused and then outraged by the boy's actions and taunting, and they decide to prove Pierre's philosophy wrong by creating a hidden pile of objects that demonstrate meaning in life. It starts out innocently enough, with shoes and boxing gloves, but anger surfaces. The frustration and fury the children feel, as they challenge each other to sacrifice increasingly “meaningful” things, is visceral and chilling. Soon the pile includes the severed head of a dog, the exhumed coffin of a child, and a desecrated statue of Jesus, among other gruesome objects. Sofie is forced to give up her “innocence”; Hussain gives up his faith; and Jan-Johan loses his index finger. Matters don't improve once the stash is discovered by the community either. A provocative and challenging parable about human instability. Ages 12–up. (Feb.)

 
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