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.
Where do I start with this one? Will Grayson, Will Grayson is a lot of things: funny, sad, heartbreaking, true, romantic, sweet, loud, and so much more. Let me start by saying I had no idea what the story was about. That’s right, I went into the book without knowing anything about it. It’s gotten fantastic reviews, and I just finished something by David Levithan that I really liked, so I figured that was good enough for me.
So the bad thing is, when I started, I didn’t realize it was told from two different point of views. And I also didn’t realize that it was narrated by two different people, so when the second chapter started, I thought “Wow, Will sure did change all of the sudden. And why does the narrator’s voice sound so different?” (Yeah, I’m not so swift.) So, after finally reading the book description, I realized what was going on and could actually enjoy the story. And boy did I.
I liked the two Will Graysons as characters, though I preferred WG#1. He was kinder than WG#2, who had a bad attitude and was especially vicious to his mother for no clear reason. WG#1′s bestie, Tiny Cooper, was something, he was practically the star of the book. He was big, loud and proud. He was self-centered and completely unapologetic about it.
"Tiny is talking about his blinding light spiritual awakening in a way that, nothing against Tiny, kind of implies that maybe Tiny has not fully internalized the idea that the earth does not spin around the axis of Tiny Cooper."
He was hard to like at first, but he eventually grew on me. All of the other characters were unique and interesting. No one-dimensional people here. They all had their own flaws and personality traits that made them so believable. Nobody was perfect or flawless or always said and did the right thing. The dialogue was full of cussing, and some of it felt unnecessary, but otherwise, I liked the way the kids talked to each other. They were real and (most of the time) honest. The story was full of one-liners and sarcasm that made me happy. There were several occasions where I laughed out loud and even once or twice I had to replay something I had missed because I was laughing too loud to hear it.
The plot was interesting; it focused mostly on the Wills (and Tiny), but also their friends, school, partying, and the choices they made in all of those areas. It really flew by, although there were maybe one or two spots I thought could have been whittled down for a more streamlined story. There was also a bit at the end I didn’t feel added anything to the story or the characters. It was supposed to be a big learning moment for Tiny, but I didn’t get it. It just seemed silly and pointless to me.
The narrators were amazing. They sounded similar, but once you know there are two different Wills (duh, Andrea), they were easy to tell apart and the two voices make it easy to know which Will was speaking in that chapter. They became the Wills so perfectly and completely, I can’t imagine anyone else playing those parts.
One of the plot lines involved Tiny and the musical he created. Throughout the novel, and at the end, songs were performed by the students. The narrators did such a fabulous job of bringing those songs to life, I can’t imagine reading the novel and not knowing how the songs sound “in real life.”
Funny and touching, this is a one-of-a-kind gem. I highly recommend the audio version, you would be missing out on a lot if you skipped it.
Yes. It's a great story with wonderful narration. Tiny Cooper imparts myriad lessons about being true to one self, and Will Graysons' paths to learn this is worth another listen.
Looking for Alaska comes to mind, because of the small cast of central adolescent characters, their impassioned friendships, and their quest to find meaning in their lives. That said, I didn't give Will Grayson, Will Grayson 5-stars for story or overall, because I was comparing it to how strong of a reaction I had to Looking for Alaska. Will Grayson is a well written, very enjoyable story with memorable characters. Looking for Alaska is a whole other level of writing - a prime example of contemporary, YA literature and destined to become required reading in (progressive) high school English classes.
Love the voice of Tiny Cooper. Right on!
Yes. The print is awesome because the story is relevant and so well orchestrated. But the two voice actors make it come alive. They are talking to you as you follow them around throughout the action and you become emotionally attached, therefore heightening the emotion of the story.
The two voice actors with their clear vocal choices. You will not get lost when listening to the story.
Nick Podehl's voice is a cut above the company and his interpretation takes any story to a new level. Listen to his other stuff! (he is one of the voices in Wonder)
Haven't heard MacLeod Andrews before but this book has made me search to see what else he performs.
There were moments that made me laugh so hard I had to pull the car over because I was crying.
Do yourself a favor and listen to this book. As an adult it has been awhile to find a book that has excited the way books did when I was young. This book gave me that feeling again and I am forever grateful!
This book was a huge disappointment after reading Fault in my Stars, which was excellent. I dont know who this story if for? Its crude and rude and isnt for any of my teenage children, and it has little substance for adults.
I do not recommend this book. But The Fault in My Stars is terrific.
This co-written YA book alternates chapters between John Green's Will Grayson's perspective (narrated by an understated and very enjoyable Nick Podehl) and David Levithan's Will Grayson's perspective (narrated by a ridiculously overacting MacLeod Andrews). It took a lot to continue listening after Macleod Andrews' second chapter and book's fourth. While Levithan's first few even chapters are written about as cliche as a teenage character can be, MacLeod does the material no favors by insisting on overemphasizing just about every word he says with the most ridiculous inflection imaginable. John Green's Will Grayson is decidedly more relatable and better read by Nick Podehl. Green's Grayson isn't the most intriguing character John Green has ever written, but he comes across as real and I found myself caring about him. Green's best character is Will's best friend Tiny Cooper who really ends up being a main character in both stories.
Even as Levithan's chapters even out and the story comes together, there's nothing particularly memorable here.
Absolutely! it just is so currrent>
Tiny was such a great character.
Tiny and the Wills.
When the truth about Will Grayson (WG2) finds out about his date..
I am immortal ....so far. I enjoy a god story and love a great narrator. :-)
Decided to try this book after listening to The Fault in our Stars which I really enjoyed. It reminded me of Catcher and the Rye, teenage angst but the narrators just blew me away. In the end I enjoyed it more than I thought,
I am a miracle worker. Doing what I can to choose love over fear.
Some say this book is not suitable for teens due to the language. Unlike other youth novels, the bad language sounds like any school day. In "House of night" the use is wrong. This book does in no way teach you new swear-words. Rather, it reminds you that you are not a freak. I am 28 now but the language used is typical for youths. This should have been essential for youth 16 and up. It shows you have talking about sex is normal. The characters are all virgins. This handle everything about being different in a way that made me laugh way too hard. It is so amazing.
Gideon: What an amazing friend
Oh my, every IM chapter. Cannot pick one.
It was too good, I knew there would be way too hard to find a good listen after this. I feel empty now.
Yes, this book contains swearing and gay people. I do think it can stop bullying. Let God be the judge instead of you. This is amazing and so important. I did not feel this book was an adult book, rather it is written for youths and adults. Listen and laugh together.
The characters in this book are very realistic and fun to read about. It's not often that we get to read books from the perspective of two separate people, and one of those people being the typical sidekick of a group rather than the leader.
I do crossword puzzles in pen.
The performance of Will Grayson, Will Grayson was spectular. The book was written by two different authors from the viewpoints of two different Will Graysons and also narrated by two different actors - each with his own way of portraying the worlds of the WIll Graysons.
As an avid reader of young adult literature (YAL) and someone who has studied YAL at an academic level, I found this book to be good, even great, for teens but not the best for adults. While the novel delved into some very real issues (the treament of young gay teens), it dealt with a lot of very teen-level issues (popularity, finding a girlfriend/boyfriend, getting a fake ID, etc.) as well.
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