3.76 (14,352 ratings by Goodreads)
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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?show more

Product details

  • 12-17
  • Paperback | 224 pages
  • 126 x 194 x 22mm | 220g
  • Strident Publishing Limited
  • Glasgow, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1905537328
  • 9781905537327
  • 278,838

Review quote

"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. -"Publishers Weekly "(Feb.) STARRED REVIEWshow more

Rating details

14,352 ratings
3.76 out of 5 stars
5 32% (4,545)
4 33% (4,708)
3 21% (3,054)
2 9% (1,319)
1 5% (726)

Our customer reviews

I really don't know how I feel about this book and I'm unsure on how to rate it. It actually felt almost like a short story to me. The book is very philosophical and certainly made me think about things though at the same time it is easy to comprehend. Teller is writes in a very clever manner. This novel was definitely intriguing, in a way where you want to look more at something that is, at the same time, quite disgusting. The acts of savagery in this book weren't graphic, but they still held that disturbing feeling and this is what the book relied upon - it was quite tense. I think that this book will have an impact on me the more I reflect on it, but immediately after reading it, I'm still more
by Stephanie Forster (Stepping out of the Page)
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