Will Grayon, Will Grayson, is the story of two teenagers both named Will Grayson and the long list of coincidences that ends with their random meeting in an adult video store (where neither of them are actually shopping). in the text version, the two Wills are distinguished in several ways: The first Will the one written by John Green and narrated by Nick Podehl chimes in for the odd-numbered chapters and gets his name capitalized, while the second, written by David Levithan and read by MacLeod Andrews, takes over the even-numbered chapters and goes by the more idiosyncratic will grayson (all lowercase). Since both characters are written in first person, it’s up to Podehl and Andrews to make the distinction clear in the audio version, and they do it well: Podehl’s Will is a teen who’s made a point of not getting too involved with anything or anyone, and the narrator balances the guarded tones of Will’s speaking voice with the less-controlled run of his thoughts, while Andrews gives his will a fast-paced, sarcastic tone that matches the character’s typical teenage cynicism.
While the story builds to the chance meeting between the Wills, the narrators take on a lineup of secondary characters: parents, girlfriends, boyfriends, and one large boy named Tiny Cooper who ties them all together. Podehl has more to work with in his chapters, bringing Will, Tiny, and their friends to life; much of Andrews’ time is spent reading online chats and back and forth dialogue that will prefaces with “me:” and “her:” or “him:” so he has fewer opportunities to develop those voices. But both narrators infuse their readings with the emotions, attitudes, and sentiments that will be familiar to anyone who knows (or was) a teenager. Blythe Copeland
One cold night, in a most unlikely corner of Chicago, two teens—both named Will Grayson—are about to cross paths. As their worlds collide and intertwine, the Will Graysons find their lives going in new and unexpected directions, building toward romantic turns-of-heart and the epic production of history’s most fabulous high school musical.
Hilarious, poignant, and deeply insightful, John Green and David Levithan’s collaborative novel is brimming with a double helping of the heart and humor that have won both them legions of faithful fans.
©2010 John Green (P)2010 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
Love to listen on my way to work!
I have only listened to the book, but as an English teacher, I think that listening really brings a dimension that many readers ( possibly struggling readers) would appreciate.
I think John Green books belong in a category of their own. This one is tied for first place in that category.
Tiny Cooper will live in infamy forever in my mind, but both Will Graysons (main characters) were captured perfectly. The performers were both incredible.
I listened to this book with my teen daughters (14 and 16) as we were driving. We laughed out loud and became emotionally invested in all of the characters. A few times we had to drive more than needed just so we could keep listening. The book stimulated lots of great conversations!
This book deals with many teen issues in a way that is honest and hopeful. Everyone needs to embody a bit of Tiny Cooper!
The different voices were great at keeping the two Wills straight in my head...that being said,mboth were wonderful in conveying each character's point of view.
I both laughed and cried...it was wonderfully written and performed!
After reading soo many glowing reviews, I was disappointed. I'm an adult male with teenage boys and I bought this for them, but neither of them finished it. I think young adult women would appreciate this more than most guys unless the guys were struggling with their sexuality or really got off on musicals. I guess we were not the target audience.
This is the second time I bought a book based on reviews, without checking the names (gender) of the reviewers. I've found if 90% of the reviewers are women, then I may be disappointed (with the exception of The Help) and I was.
On a whim and a general recommendation that anything John Green touches turns to gold, I used a credit on this audiobook and I'm so glad I did. While it didn't make me want to hit play and listen again as soon as I reached the end, this was a solid story with a lot of heart. I enjoyed the treatment of LGBT issues and how the authors balanced acknowledging the unique situation gay teenagers must deal with and treating gay characters the same as straight ones. The narrators were good and I liked the alternating chapters from the points of view of the two Will Graysons -- kept it interesting and fresh.
I really enjoyed the characters and how their lives interwined with each other in a modern, digital age. The story is very clever and funny! It was a unique way to write a novel.
The language was so deplorable that I couldn't listen beyond an hour.
The language and continual sexual issues - I couldn't even get to the plot!
I loved The Fault in Our Stars so I decided on this book by John Green without fully investigating the content or reviews. I am no prude but the language in this book was beyond that heard on teenage rugby fields or ice hockey practices. I only lasted about an hour after listening to more foul language than ever - some that I have never heard.
I would recommend this book to my friends who are openminded about sexual differences.
The most memorable moment was during the performance of Tiny Cooper when all the people calling themselves Will Grayson spoke up.
The performers were excellent!!
Yes, I cried during the performance.
Having Andrews and Podehl as readers made the book so entertaining. The singing voices were superb. It made me wonder how this would come across in the book itself.
I have to give myself 1 star for selecting a book focusing on adolescent issues. The narration was great, and the authors successfully crafted a story full of teenage dark drama; relevant to a (sadly) much younger reader then me.
I bought this book on a whim when it was the reduced priced "book of the day" a few weeks ago. I looked at the ratings, saw it was highly regarded, bought it and listened to it. What really disappointed me was I guess what I would call a "niche" feel to the book. Maybe a good way to describe it is a love it/hate it book. Turns out I'm not one of the people who found it funny or relatable. Just wanted to say you might not like this book if you don't have an adolescent mindset.
I'd say it compares poorly, but that's more of a comment on John Green's other work than on this book, which is very good.
The performance was exactly as it should be - unnoticeable. However, this particular book could have used two people who sound less similar. It would have cleared up some confusion in the earlier chapters. I spoke to someone who read this book in print and they said they had the same confusion I had, so it's not entirely the fault of the format. And... the confusion may have actually made the book more interesting.
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