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Paranoid Park

3.65  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,033 Ratings  ·  139 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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(showing 1-30 of 2,018)
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Apr 08, 2016 Hugo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
O relato vívido de um jovem do secundário que comete um crime grave e que se vê a braços com uma culpa imobilizadora, para além dos comuns problemas dos adolescentes.
Daniel Parsons
Nov 21, 2009 Daniel Parsons rated it it was amazing  ·  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
Jan 25, 2012 Bryant rated it really liked it
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
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
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
Dec 03, 2008 Margot rated it liked it
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
Apr 15, 2010 Laura rated it really liked it
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
Nov 28, 2010 Vera rated it liked it
Shelves: narrativa
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
Heather Munao
Mar 12, 2016 Heather Munao rated it it was ok
Shelves: young-adult, boys
This was truly awful writing. Example: the word "stuff" was used 3 times in a single paragraph. And not for effect. There is almost no plot. It is full of every sexist-promoting stereotype you can think of that might fill a boy's head. The thing that could have been best-- skateboarding-- was pretty much non-existent. The main character either felt nothing or cried: no nuance. I don't think even my male students would like this. Really awful book. I gave it 2 stars instead of 1 because the autho ...more
Simão Pedro
Mar 01, 2016 Simão Pedro rated it really liked it
Better than the movie.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Brody Mulligan
Jan 23, 2016 Brody Mulligan rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Skateboarders, High School Students, Young Adult Fiction, Teens, Males
Popularized by the adapted screenplay in the independent film directed by Gus Van Zandt, Blake Nelson's popular short novel explores the idea of youthful innocence in the process of its inevitable decay abruptly interrupted by dark, deep, and hauntingly irreversible events. Like many of Nelson's other works, the short novel is an easy (if not at times somewhat clichè) read for adults typically engaged by more complex prose and fiction, and engrossing, relatable, and motivating in perpetrating cu ...more
Jul 06, 2009 Hilary rated it really liked it
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
Feb 14, 2013 Jorge R rated it really liked it
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.
Nov 05, 2008 Michael rated it it was amazing
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
The concept of the book was great and unique, and there were some tense moments. Nelson created a wonderful sense of hopelessness for the main character. However, the ending was entirely disappointing and far too easy. Very unsatisfying.
Nelson Maddaloni
Paranoid Park is easily one of the best YA novels I've read. Blake Nelson handles the material with a lot of gravitas and severity, never once talking down to his audience. Intentionally, it reads like a young adult version of Dostoyevsky and his influence definitely shows through this epistolary novel. It's easily one of the better novels and quick reads I've read lately, it's a real page turner which is why it took me so long to read it, I wanted to savor the agony and the ecstasy of this nove ...more
Kaela Marie
Apr 03, 2014 Kaela Marie rated it it was amazing
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
Apr 15, 2012 Matt rated it it was ok
I remember reading this book! Just kidding -- I've no idea how it ends. I do remember the beginning/premise, though...
Jan 21, 2009 Melissa rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Didn't care that it kept switching from future to past without much logical reason for switch.
Ben Helgeron
Mar 18, 2016 Ben Helgeron rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sara Comuzzo
Apr 28, 2014 Sara Comuzzo rated it it was ok
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 it was amazing
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
Jun 04, 2010 Bryan Cary rated it really liked it
Shelves: adolescent-lit
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
Sep 10, 2012 Colleen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 09, 2011 Hanna C rated it really liked it
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
Nov 13, 2012 Jayme Fleming rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 01, 2013 Blackwatch_vw rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya
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
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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 most recent Young Adult novel
More about Blake Nelson...

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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.” 4 likes
“I stood there, watching her. The whole world was a dream, I realized. Everyone was acting in a bad soap opera. The whole world was one big FOX TV show.” 3 likes
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