Nena's Reviews > Nothing

Nothing by Janne Teller
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's review
Jun 29, 2012

really liked it
Read from June 27 to 28, 2012

Pierre Anthon, on the first day of seventh grade, says to his class:

"Nothing matters. I have known that for a long time. So nothing is worth doing. I just realized that."

He leaves school and sits in a plum tree, throwing things and yelling that nothing matters. His classmates are understandably annoyed. What bothers them is not so much the yelling, but the possible truth behind his words, so they set out to prove Pierre wrong.

When throwing things back doesn't work, they set out to find things that have meaning and make a heap of them. No one wants to give up their most meaningful things, so the kids begin demanding things of each other.

This book is compared to Lord of the Flies, and for good reason. It's obviously not an exact comparison. The kids in this book have an option, they aren't trapped on an island or without adult supervision. Like many other reviews have said, the escalation in this book is like watching a train wreck. I didn't want to see what the kids demanded of each other next, but I HAD TO KNOW. I had to see if someone would say no. Every time someone would protest, the rest of the group would convince the person to relent. It was pretty awful.

It's a very interesting, haunting book. It's definitely not a good beach read, but if you're looking for a pretty quick read on nihilist existentialism, then here you go.

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