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Paranoid Park

3.68 of 5 stars 3.68  ·  rating details  ·  894 ratings  ·  127 reviews
It was an accident. He didn't mean to kill the security guard with his skateboard - it was self-defense. But there's no one to back up his story. No one even knows he was at Paranoid Park. Should he confess, or can he get away with it? It's an ethical question no one should have to answer.
Writing more intensely than ever before, Blake Nelson delivers a film noir in book fo
Hardcover, 180 pages
Published September 21st 2006 by Viking Juvenile
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,687)
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Daniel Parsons
Nov 21, 2009 Daniel Parsons rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Daniel by: (by proxy) Eduardo C
It's extremely rare that I read a book in one day, let alone in one sitting, but Paranoid Park had me gripped from the first page. I read this primarily because I wanted to watch the Gus Van Sant film, but always prefer to read a book before seeing the film adaptation. I knew the basic background - a teenage skater accidentally kills a security guard;

When the train finally released him - ripping the collar off his coat - it left him sprawled over the track. He lay there, unmoving for a whole sec
Imagine killing someone and having to deal with it for the rest of your life. How do you think you would feel? Well in the book Paranoid Park by Blake Nelson this kid(never say his name) has the courage to go to a park by himself when his friend Jared decides to go get laid.

When he goes to the park he meets new people which lead him into trouble. When he finds out that he accidentally killed a security guard he is really terrified. He is freaking out, he is clueless. The main character's name i
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Sally Kruger, aka "Readingjunky" for

If you dare visit Paranoid Park in Portland, Oregon, you will find the Streeters and the Preps. In Blake Nelson's new novel, PARANOID PARK, the reader enters the dark side of the skate park world along with the main character, who happens to be one of the Preps.

Paranoid Park is the nickname for an old skate park being used by the less desirable Streeters. While visiting the park, the main character is dared to jump a train car wit
I heard about this from Fresh Air, during an interview with the author of this now-movie. It's an epistolary novel of unsent letters, similar to confessions in a diary. The protagonist, a high school boy, accidentally participated in the death of a railyard security guard after visiting the infamous Paranoid skate park in Portland. He spends the rest of the novel paranoid about the results of his actions, questioning his guilt/innocence, who he can trust, and how this will effect the rest of his ...more
Oh, man. Wow. This book is suffocating. It so vividly captured what it might be like to be a good person, caught up in something so terrible, something that is yours and yours alone, that you can't share with anyone. You feel the weight and isolation of this truly terrible secret and what it must be like to force yourself through the day-to-day in the mean time. Just wondering if this poor kid will ever get out from under it. It is so good and so grim and so real, which is what made it so terrif ...more
The unnamed narrator (no, he's not named Alex -- that's the name he was given for the movie, so those of you who keep saying, "Alex, the narrator" and what have you -- well, guess what, you just tipped your hand and I'm going to tell your teachers on all of you, so FEAR ME) accidentally kills a security guard in a train yard and has to live with the aftermath.

Another very fine, well-written YA from Blake Nelson. Nelson maintains tension throughout while still deftly examining the moral issues su
Ad un giovane americano di sedici anni, amante dello skate succede qualcosa d'irreparabile ed inizia a scrivere un diario per sgravarsi del peso che hanno le cose non dette, le tragedie non spiegabili a voce, i silenzi sotto il peso del senso di colpa.
Ho trovato dei buoni spunti di riflessione per pensare a ciò che può accadere nella testa di un adolescente, per interpretare certi momenti "così" che tutti i giovani prima o poi attraversano. Si nota che il libro è scritto da un adulto che tenta
When a Portland, Oregon teenager is involved in the accidental death of a train yard security guard he is plagued with guilt, fear, and confusion about whether or not he should confess. Nelson has a real talent for bringing teen characters to life. The awkwardness of certain situations will have you squirming in your seat, and the dialogue is peppered with phrases like - "nah, she's know" and "I dunno. You know what I mean".
Jorge R
This book its pretty chill because I want to learn more things about skateboarding.I also like this book because it talks about how he hangs out with his friends and what he did before he went to the "PARANOID PARK" and what he thinked off it when he got their. I havent finished this book so I could not talk too much about this book pretty much.
this book is about a boy who is a skater and finds himself in a problem when he go's to paranoid park by himself to skate because his friend jarred went out of town. when he go's he mets some exposed people meaning crazy and does anyhting with their life.if u want to find out more about it then go pick it up in the libary
Kaela Marie
Paranoid Park, in my opinion, is an amazing book. I don't read a lot but this book had me wanting to read it more and more. It irritated me that he never gives his name. For a nonfiction book, it seems almost too real.

This kid decides to go to a skate park, Paranoid Park. He meets a group of people, which gets him a little trouble. The kid witnesses a horrible tragedy and wounds up feeling guilty about the situation. He lets the guilt eat at him, and he's not too sure what to do. He goes throug
Sara Comuzzo
questo è il romanzo da cui il grande Gus Van Sant ha tratto il suo film.
una bella storia, un libro breve e ben scritto, carino e molto teenager andante.
un ragazzo che per sbaglio provoca la morte di una guardia e che poi convive ed è divorato dal rimorso. una sorta di delitto e castigo moderno, ambientato in un ambiente di periferia dove i personaggi sono skater e punkabestia.

lo stile di scrittura non ha nulla di particolare, serrato, americano, semplice.
piacevole, ma forse è una delle rare volt
Jan 07, 2010 Clinton rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone
Recommended to Clinton by: My English Teacher
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Bryan Cary
Written as a series of letters or journal entries for an unknown person, Paranoid Park is the story of a young skateboarder from Portland, Oregon dealing with the normal issues of adolescence- his parents are getting divorced, he’s a senior with some serious choices ahead of him, he has a new girlfriend, but he also is part of an unsolved death which may or may not be considered murder.

The typical feeling of adolescence, that feeling of going through something by yourself without anyone to talk
Wrong place, Wrong time, someone ends up dead… One mistake and nothing will ever be the same again, your world is turned upside-down in an instant. If you call the cops, you could be charged with murder, but you’re just a kid… it was an accident and there are no witnesses... What would you do?

In PARANOID PARK a 16 year old skater kid in Portland gets himself mixed up in a very serious situation and finds he has no one he trusts enough to turn to for help. Author Blake Nelson does an excellent jo
Paranoid Park was a really interesting novel, and a fast read. I wasn't sure if I was going to like it first, I don't know much about skateboarding, but it really pulled me in after the first ten pages or so. The thing that I liked most about this novel is the way that Nelson wrote it. The short and choppy chapters and sentences made the reader feel the same anxiety that Alex was feeling. He also paced the action just right so that as soon as your interest in one crisis wavered, another one was ...more
Hanna C
Paranoid Park by Blake Nelson
Speak (Penguin Group), 2006. 180 pages. 978-0-14-241156-8. Y.A
Think of this book as a murder scene or a mysterty. The main character is a skateboarder and his best friends name is Jared. The book takes place in Portland, Oregon. This book consists of three letters to whomever is reading it. The Book revolves around the "crazy" skate park named, "Paranoid Park". This name came about mostly because the park was not necessarily safe to be there by your lonesome. The ma
Jayme Fleming
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
In short : a gripping story. I love how the main character remains anonymous, I find this heightens the reader's empathy with this young man trapped into a dilemma : to give oneself up or to remain silent. The author does not bring a definite answer and lets the reader make his choice. A powerful read.

Full review (in French)

Ce livre commence comme une confession. Celle d’un adolescent anonyme, envoyant des lettres à une jeune fille avec laquelle il entreti
BCL Teen Librarians
Paranoid Park is a clandestine hardcore skate park located under the Eastside Bridge in Portland. When the narrator decides to check it out for a night of edgy skating, events culminate in him hopping a train with a "streeter" and nearly getting nabbed by a security guard. Rather than go quietly, he panics and cracks the guard over the head with his board, causing the man to fall, then be pulled along and run over by a passing train. Suddenly, his conscience and paranoia become his own worst ene ...more
This is a YA novel, so I wasn't expecting highbrow literature when I picked it up. I was mainly interested in reading the book before seeing the movie. But I was really surprised by how much I liked this book, and how well it's written. It takes one single moment (in this case, an accidental murder), and discusses the aftermath in a universal and somehow specific way, relating it to larger themes (identity, divorce, high school, authority). Some great passages:

"But it was too late now. And losin
Prima di leggere questo libro avevo visto (purtroppo) il film e quindi a grandi linee la storia la conoscevo già, ma il libro è molto meglio, trasmette tantissime emozioni ed è avvincente (il film invece l'ho trovato piatto e noioso). Inoltre ho apprezzato molto una certa somiglianza (seppur la storia è totalmente diversa) con i tormenti di Raskol'nikov di delitto e castigo. Peccato solo per il finale un po' incompleto.
I've still haven't officially finish paranoid park. I've "finished" it, or in other words I read one page in the middle of each of the chapters in the middle to the end, I read the beginning and sort of gave up. I did however read the last chapter figuring it was important. The middle chapters were just about him complaining about his terrible life. He kept changing his mind on what he should do. The book included all these minuscule details of what was going through his mind, that were constant ...more
I can not find my review so I hope this isn't a duplicate.
This book offers lots of topics for conversation about family, friends, trust, the law, school.
I wonder who we go to when we need to confide the awfulness of our lives? How do we sort out the bad from the really bad when we're kids. In retrospect, my dilemmas were of limited consequence; I certainly didn't kill anyone, yet I had things I wanted to tell. Looking back from my adult perspective I see that really these were small, yet I dwel
Nov 01, 2007 Julie rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: high school students and skaters
I heard Blake Nelson speak and read from his new book at the St. Pete Festival of Reading, and I knew I had to follow up by reading some of his books. His style is very simple, and this book is a very fast-paced read (It's hard to put down once you start and then it's over before you know it). The book isn't really about skateboarding at all, but the book is very much grounded in the world of skateboarding, which makes it feel authentic to teenage life today. This isn't a feel-good book by any s ...more
Brian Rheinhardt
Why can't I find a YA book with a main character that's a skater and actually focus on stakeboarding throughout the novel? Slam is really about a baby-daddy. Skate is really about a runaway. Paranoid Park is really about guilt, and the author's attempt to write a modern-day version of Crime and Punishment. How many ways can you stress that the main character feels guilty about what he did? Apparently quite a few. Nelson, the author, understood Dostoyevsky's focus on the effects of guilt but miss ...more
Fast-paced, convincing. In some ways I wanted more resolution at the end. But at the same time I think it's an interesting thought to imagine the young narrator in the future as someone who has never truly revealed his secret. Also, I visited Portland for the first time this past summer, and it was fun to read this book actually knowing some of the landmarks that the author references. (Not to mention that I ordered my copy of this book--autographed--from Powell's!)

I'm a Blake Nelson devotee. No
Nov 30, 2008 bjneary rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: skater dudes
Shelves: realistic-fiction, ya
Gripping, intense and thrilled to go to Paranoid Park to use his skateboard, a 16 year old kid ventures back a 2nd time without his friend and meets up with scary skater dudes and decides to hop the train with him, just for fun. What happens when they get to the train yard forever changes his life. A guard tries to yank them off the train with a fierce club that he uses visiously on both guys. In their effort to defend themselves, they kick him and then hit him with his skateboard. The guard end ...more
Paranoid Park: I liked it, but I certainly didn't love it. You can't deny it's gritty, realistic tone. Unfortunately, due to the some of the more graphic scenes, this isn't a novel that I'd be 100% comfortable book-talking enthusiastically. Granted, I think those graphic moments are necessary to the "authenticity" of the story, but it might be a little too much for some of my 7th graders. I've got to admit that I'm a bit disappointed that I can't recommend this book with great gusto, because I d ...more
Daphne Jauregui
Paranoid Park is such an intriguing book. The fact that this kid stayed anonymous throughout the entire book, made me feel very curios and more alert to my reading because i kept thinking to myself that the author would mention his name at least once; i was wrong. The things that this skater was going through were very intensifying. I did not want to put the book down because I wanted to know what was going to happen next. I also loved how the author is so descriptive throughout the book especi ...more
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Blake Nelson grew up in Portland, Oregon. He began his career writing short humor pieces for Details Magazine. His first novel GIRL was originally serialized in SASSY magazine and was made into a film staring Selma Blaire and Portia De Rossi. His novel PARANOID PARK won the prestigious International Grinzane Literary Award and was made into a film by Gus Van Sant.

His highly anticipated new Young A
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“But what were you supposed to do with that weight? Once it was on you? Just be a man? Just suck it up? Maybe you were. Maybe that was the real test. Maybe that is exactly the thing that made you a man: the ability to function with the worst possible secrets in your brain. Which was why so many grown-up men seemed so ridiculous. They never felt that responsibility. They were untested, unproven; they were boys in grown-up clothes.” 3 likes
“É o que têm os segredos, acabam por nos enlouquecer. Mas enlouquecem-nos mesmo. Isolam-nos dos outros. Separam-nos da nossa tribo. Acabam por nos destruir. A não ser que uma pessoa seja forte. A não ser que uma pessoa seja muito, muito forte.” 2 likes
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