Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Gospel According to Larry” as Want to Read:
The Gospel According to Larry
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Gospel According to Larry (Gospel According to Larry #1)

3.77  ·  Rating Details ·  3,198 Ratings  ·  339 Reviews
Josh Swenson is not your average seventeen-year-old. At the age of two, he was figuring out algebraic equations with colored magnetic numbers. He is a prodigy who had always enjoyed learning. And he's only wanted one thing his entire life-to contribute and make the world a better place.
Josh's wish comes true when his virtual alter ego, Larry, becomes a huge media sensatio
Paperback, 219 pages
Published May 13th 2003 by Laurel Leaf (first published June 1st 2001)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Gospel According to Larry, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Gospel According to Larry

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Een leuk boek! Mijn recensie kan je hier lezen:
Oct 12, 2016 Lucas rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I liked the story a bit but I feel the book was very predictable in the sense of you knew what was going to happen in the end from the very beginning. It was overall boring but I think that the story has great potential
Daniel Wickstone
An exhilarating story, bombarded with twists and turns. As the plot develops you begin to ask questions about yourself... A must read for anyone who enjoys a modern story about teenage years.
Sep 28, 2016 Marshall rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Emily Janzne
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 21, 2008 Isaac rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I think my life would have better if I had gone to bed at a normal hour. But I stayed up to read this instead (on the recommendation of my sister-in-law, who also recommended Twilight—strike two, she's out). I guess this book is supposed to facilitate discussion of important issues among teens or some other trite thing, but I found it insulting. Is this what we think The Youth can handle? Is this what we think of their intellectual capacity? Are they really that stupid?

It's not just that the "is
Jackie "the Librarian"
Aug 27, 2008 Jackie "the Librarian" rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: environmentally minded teens 13 and up
The kids in my teen book group loved this, it really captured their imaginations. Josh is a high school kid posting editorials under the guise of his alterego, Larry. Josh loves to hike and spend days outdoors alone. His favorite book is Walden. He rails against consumerism and our shallow infotainment culture, and finds himself a cult hit in his high school.

He teases his readers with clues to his identity. For example, he keeps his possessions at 75 items, so if he gets something new, he has t
Sep 28, 2007 Mr.G rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Josh Swensen starts a blog called "the Gospel According to Larry" in which he shares his thoughts about high school, relationships, commercials, and God. His website rapidly becomes the most popular at his school, in his city, and in the world. Bands like U2 participate in "Larryfest", politicians opine on it, cable news shows debate it, and the true identity of Larry becomes the obsession of people everywhere.
How will the world react when Josh's secret gets out. And more importantly, how will
Initially I was amused by the layout of the book- the typewritten manuscript, the pictures and the wrap around story. Tashjian sells a convincing tale with these elements. However, I was rather dissapointed in the ending. Also I felt Josh’s rants were too unoriginal to fuel the amount of fame and hype that he received from his website.

Most teenagers would probably enjoy Josh’s story. Also the dark side of Internet fame is a modern reality. The book’s strongest message regards the repercussions
Jun 24, 2015 Alicia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humor, amexperience
This book is hysterical and I think kids would get a kick out if, especially since the world revolves around the Internet. Larry creates a character which people stand up and listen to, create music fests for, and always want to listen to-- his message is going to change the way commercialism is seen. But, when he gets caught, does his stepfather feel like he's done the right thing?
Feb 22, 2015 Elora rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Ik kan gewoon niet meer dan het eerste hoofdstuk aan. Dit meisje weet niet dat ik verliefd op haar ben en daar ben ik zo boos over, de jeugd van tegenwoordig drinkt alleen maar cola en moet eigenlijk literatuur lezen. Boo fucking hoo. Alles word uitgelegd, want de lezer is niet slim genoeg om te weten wie deze auteur uit 1800 is.
Gabrielle Prendergast
My only complaint about this very fast and fun read was the conceit of the author that this was "a true story", a published manuscript of Josh's hand typed autobiography that he handed to her in a grocery store. That added nothing to what was otherwise a very cleverly written tale.

Kristina Boni
Technology; the word of the century, created by different ideas and different intellectuals which changed how people today communicate. Like every great power, it has it bad sides, but can also do plenty of good, the human race couldn't live without it. Josh Swensen, a 17 year old, intelligent, outcast only wanted one goal in his life; to change the world and make it a better place. Josh decided to use his intelligence and the Internet to make a fake web page called, Larry. Larry posts inspirati ...more
Alivia Ward
Oct 12, 2016 Alivia Ward rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 20, 2016 Kai rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It was a fantastic and inspiring book. It's a bit complex but I suggest everyone reads it!
Sep 26, 2016 Luca rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is very inspiring I suggest it to every one
Scarlett Sims
This book was... disappointing. I picked it up at a thrift store after hearing a classmate book-talk it. It sounded like a contemporary version of Valentine and Ender's brother... I forget his name... hang on, Wiki-ing... Peter... yes so it sounded sort of like a contemporary YA version of what they did.

For the first half of the book, I really didn't like it. It had a very blatant anti-consumerism message. I don't necessarily have a problem with the message, it was just very Anvilicious and I fi
Jennifer Wardrip
May 05, 2008 Jennifer Wardrip rated it really liked it
Reviewed by Taylor Rector for

Josh is a bored seventeen-year-old genius. That is just a recipe for disaster!

Just for something to do, he creates a website where he posts all of his rants about our celebrity-obsessed culture, anti-communism, and any other random thing that he thinks of. Josh names his site "The Gospel According To Larry" because that is the most unreligious name he could possibly think of. He's getting two or three hits a day, until some kids from his school find
Dec 14, 2011 Alexa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
ok so i finished this book and dare i say i actually liked it? wow i read it for school and i actually liked it!!! i think thats a first haha... well it was a wonderful book and really made me think about anti consumerism. do i really need all the clothes hanging in my closet? well im not saying im gonna cut my possessions down to 75 as Josh or Larry did but it opened my eyes and is making me think before buying! :) :D :)
Oct 04, 2008 Angela rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book has a special way of writing; footnotes at the end of pages that explain a certain word or topic more clearly. As in getting the point across in a completely different way. I wish the ending was different though.
Jul 31, 2008 Jen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
The title teen is disgusted with the rampant materialism he sees in society and goes about critiquing it with a subversive and controversial website. I think 8th and 9th graders who embrace their uniqueness might identify with this one.
Oct 10, 2007 Jessica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
booktalking this tomorrow. it's a fun one.
Mar 03, 2016 Amy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Read several times
Jan 11, 2017 EmmaB rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked this a lot when I first read it- three days later, I remember the facts of the plot, but not as many connections to character. I kept thinking that Tashjian had read Bach's Illusions: the Adventures of a Reluctant Messiah (had to look up the title), and am not sure why she set the book in the almost recent past (many cultural references to late 90s, early 00s). Peter's girlfriend and Josh's friend both seem like stereotypes (if they're meant to be caricatures, Tashjian didn't go far enou ...more
Oct 12, 2016 Robin rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I thought it was a really cool story, but it was to predictable in some parts.
Feb 02, 2012 George rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 03, 2016 Syrah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book towards the end. I was confused at some parts and very interested at others. This is a good book for people who like plot twist endings.
Cassandra Barboza
The Gospel According to Larry was a book that I found in seventh grade and I constantly return to it, especially when I feel stressed from the constant consumerism that goes on all around me and when I feel like a hermit. It's a book that gives me a sense of people always being able to take back some control in their lives if they are willing to make the choice and the idea that we can't always prevent our secrets from blowing up in our faces. It was also the book that inspired me to read Thorea ...more
Chrissie the Reformed Book Hoarder
Still not sure how to rate this. Halfway through the book, I decided to give this 2 stars, 'cause of the improbable transition of scenes. I'm not buying into the sudden rise of fame (call it cult if you must) of the Larry website, as I think that his "sermons" are not really worth that much hype. I mean, I can also make a blog and rant about the corruption in my country and still would be overlooked because I'll only be stating the obvious, so what's the point? What I'm trying to say is, the pro ...more
Jul 12, 2013 Alessandra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
was hooked by this little book I found at the library, The Gospel According to Larry by Janet Tashjian. The ending was good for a stand-alone novel, but open enough for a sequel. A quick Google search confirmed it is the first novel in a three book series. I need to go back to the library and get Vote for Larry! Too bad that the final book in the series, Larry and the Meaning of Life, has never been published in Italian, so I won't find it here.

Seventeen-year-old Josh Swensen is a prodigy who w
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
  • Donorboy
  • The Adventures of Blue Avenger (Blue Avenger, #1)
  • The Rag and Bone Shop
  • Born to Rock
  • Memoirs of a Bookbat
  • Friction
  • The Sledding Hill
  • Dunk
  • Spanking Shakespeare
  • Buddha Boy
  • The Long Night of Leo and Bree
  • Storky: How I Lost My Nickname and Won the Girl
  • Shades of Simon Gray
  • Full Service
  • Zen and the Art of Faking It
  • Mistik Lake
  • Boy Kills Man
  • They Came From Below
Janet Tashjian is a middle-grade and young adult novelist who’s been writing books for children for fifteen years. Her first novel Tru Confessions was made into a critically acclaimed Disney TV movie starring Clara Bryant and Shia LaBeouf. The Gospel According to Larry is a cult favorite and Fault Line is taught in many middle and high schools. Her novels My Life As a Book, My Life As a Stuntboy, ...more
More about Janet Tashjian...

Other Books in the Series

Gospel According to Larry (3 books)
  • Vote for Larry (Gospel According to Larry, #2)
  • Larry and the Meaning of Life (Gospel According to Larry, #3)

Share This Book