The Gospel According to Larry

Front Cover
Henry Holt and Company (BYR), Apr 1, 2011 - Young Adult Fiction - 240 pages
15 Reviews

After creating a controversial and hugely popular website, teenager Josh Swensen becomes trapped inside his brilliant creation and must find a way to remain anonymous.

I am lying on my bed doing my homework in Greek and Latin roots for Advanced English. 'Ped' for foot, 'homo' for man, 'nym' for name. I sit with the dictionary in front of me, coming up with as many words as I can to complete the assignment. Pedestrian, homicide, pseudonym . . . I have more than thirty of them. By accident -- that's always how these life-changing things happen -- I connect two halves that don't seem like a word until I look it up. 'Pseudo', false; and 'cide,' to kill = pseudocide. To pretend to kill (yourself).

I stare at the word for a good long time. Homicide, suicide, genocide: these are words you can find in the newspaper every day. But pseudocide . . . now here was something different. My mind wanders from my homework to the blue cotton threads of my bedspread. Pseudocide. A way to start again as someone completely new, a way to burn the old self and try on a new one.

Josh Swensen isn't your average teenager - when he observes America, he sees a powerhouse of consumerism and waste. He's even tried to do something about it, with his start-up controversial website. But when Josh rises to messiah status of the internet world, he discovers that greed and superficiality are not easily escaped. Trapped inside his own creation, Josh feels his only way out is to stage his death and be free of his internet alter-ego, "Larry." But this plan comes with danger, and soon Josh finds himself cut off from the world, with no one to turn to for help. In this suspenseful young adult novel, Janet Tashjian has written a probing tour-de-force.


What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
4 stars
3 stars
2 stars
1 star

User Review  - Sonya H. -

ok not great but not terrible. Gave as gift to young adult. Recipient liked the gift so if it is on their wish list it makes a fine gift. There are other books that are better. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - ScoutJ - LibraryThing

Not bad, not bad. Interesting concept, certainly believable...Beth was a bit cliche'd and it could have done without that, but an the pure brain candy scale, not bad at all. Read full review


Title Page

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2011)

Janet Tashjian has been hailed in reviews as having her finger on the adolescent pulse. She is the author of Multiple Choice; Marty Frye, Private Eye; and Tru Confessions, which was named a New York Public Library Best Book for Teenagers and a Bank Street College of Education Best Children's Book. Ms. Tashjian lives in Needham, Massachusetts, with her family.

Bibliographic information