the perks of being a wallflower was writen by stephen chbosky. The title was left uncapitalised because that's how it is on the book - it feels somehow almost pretentious that the author of a book like this would attempt to escape the accepted norms of title capitalization in a book where the main character is all about escaping cultural norms. I'll stop myself before I read too much into it. There are a few small problems I have with the technicalities of the book, the title being one and the fact MTV Books was one of the publishers being the other.

"perks" was writen in the form of letters from this guy Charlie to some anonymous reciever. Charlie establishes in the begining that he will be using pseudonyms for himself and others because he doesn't want the reader of the letters to know who he really is. The setup makes it quite easy for us as the reader of the book to accept all of his self analysis without it feeling to forced as background information.

"perks" is one of the first books that has given me a soundtrack for it. A bit of the way through part two of the book, Charlie talks about a mixtape he has made for a friend. The theme is 'one winter', and Charlie gives us the playlist* for the second side. There’s something I’ve found very pleasing about listening to music and knowing the author was thinking of these songs as he wrote. Musical allusions, I believe the proper term would be.

There are many literary allusions inside too, but they are done quite well. Occasionally in books you’ll find times when the protaganist will reference how some book or another has changed his or her life – this often feels quite sloppy for me. Stephen Chbosky manages to allude to many other titles in a surprisingly neat and clean way. Charlie is a high school student, and at various times he will write about the newest book his English teacher has had him read.

All this said – I liked the book. A lot. This has become one of the most highly referenced books I’ll give people because it’s one where the readers empathy (or sympathy as the case may be) comes easily. It speaks with a teenage voice about ‘adult’ issues without sounding to much as if Chbosky has stepped on a soap box.

Asleep by the Smiths
Vapour Trail by Ride
Scarborough Fair by Simon & Garfunkel
A Whiter Shade of Pale by Procol Harum
Time of No Reply by Nick Drake
Dear Prudence by the Beatles
Gypsy by Suzanne Vega
Nights in White Satin by the Moody Blues
Daydream by Smashing Pumpkins
Dusk by Genisis
MLK by U2
Blackbird by the Beatles
Lanslide by Fleetwood Mac
Asleep by the Smiths