Nothing

Nothing

3.75 (18,809 ratings by Goodreads)
By (author)  , Translated by 

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Description

This modern-day Lord of the Flies is a haunting existential novel, both award-winning and and provocative. Now in paperback as part of the Atheneum Collection! "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 there is no meaning to life, leaves his seventh-grade 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 give up things of importance, challenging one another to make increasingly serious sacrifices. 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, events take a morbid twist. And what if, after all these sacrifices, the pile is still not meaningful enough to bring Pierre Anthon down?
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Product details

  • 12-17
  • Paperback | 227 pages
  • 150 x 210 x 15mm | 222g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • Reprint ed.
  • 144244116X
  • 9781442441163
  • 151,307

Review quote

Indelible, elusive, and timeless, this uncompromising novel has all the marks of a classic. A group of Danish seventh-graders have their insulated suburban world jolted when classmate Pierre Anthon stands up and announces, "Nothing matters." He promptly takes up residence in a plum tree and creates an existential crisis among the group with his daily reports on the pointlessness of life. Feeling a need to refute the alarming notion, the kids decide to assemble a pile of objects that will prove Pierre Anthon wrong. It starts simply: Agnes gives up her favorite shoes; Dennis, his beloved books. But as each sacrifice grows in intensity, each kid enacts revenge by demanding an ever-greater sacrifice from the next. With chilling rapidity, the "heap of meaning," which they keep stored in an abandoned sawmill, is towering with gut-wrenching artifacts of their loss of innocence--if innocence is something that ever existed. Teller offers just enough character detail to make the suffering and cruelty palpable. The terse purposefulness of her prose may put off some readers, but that singularity is also what will endure the test of time. Already a multiple award winner overseas, this is an unforgettable treatise on the fleeting and mutable nature of meaning. "-- Daniel Kraus", " Booklist "STARRED REVIEW
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About Janne Teller

Janne Teller was born in Copenhagen, Denmark, and has written several award-winning novels that have been translated into a number of languages. Nothing is the winner of the prestigious Best Children's Book Award from the Danish Cultural Ministry and is also a Printz Award Honor Book in the United States. Janne lives in New York City and Denmark. Martin Aitken has a doctorate in linguistics and has translated hundreds of articles, poems, and novels. Born in England, he lives in Copenhagen, Denmark.
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Rating details

18,809 ratings
3.75 out of 5 stars
5 31% (5,845)
4 33% (6,155)
3 22% (4,106)
2 9% (1,740)
1 5% (963)
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