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All information current as of 02:59:53 Pacific Time, Wednesday, 23 February 2005.

Vote for Larry (Unabridged)

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Editorial description(s):
After faking his own death in the last book (a "pseudocide") and then taking on a second phony identity, the allegedly real 17-year-old protagonist of the
shows up on author Janet Tashjian's doorstep again, with another manuscript detailing his latest exploits. Last time around, Josh changed the world by fighting global consumerism as Internet alter ego Larry; this time, he's going for the big enchilada as just plain ol' Josh--in a run for the presidency and an attempt to change U.S. politics forever. (And who's his running mate? Unrequited love Beth, of course.)

After going underground as a student at C.U.-Boulder, Josh (briefly "Mark") finds his anti-consumer ideals slipping--he tries to maintain his vow of austerity ("fewer than 75 possessions, in constant rotation"), but the slippery slope of a new girlfriend and an even newer credit card finds Josh in a Polo sweatshirt and Nautica pajamas before he can say "Walden Pond." Fortunately, Beth sweeps back into his life again with a big plan--and, more importantly, the proper jealousy-fueled inspiration, thanks to her Harvard boyfriend--to bring Josh back from the "dead" and into politics.

Fans of Tashjian's last award-winning outing will love catching up with their favorite activist superhero, as an almost unbelievable presidential campaign unfolds, amidst copious pop-culture references (U2's Bono is back, and Josh and Beth appear on the Simpsons), real-life stats about youth and the distribution of wealth in America, and--instead of Thoreau, this time around--quotes from the likes of Martin Luther King, Jr., Jim Hightower, and Paul Wellstone. Maybe it's just her "subject"/character's irresistible alacrity and idealism, but somehow Tashjian channels enough youthful hope and energy to inspire any proto-activist, adult or teen alike. (Ages 14 and up) --Paul Hughes --This text r" to the Hardcover edition.

From School Library Journal
Grade 9 Up-Josh (aka Larry) is back-and so are Beth, Peter, Mom's spirit at Bloomingdale's, and even his old nemesis, betagold. This time, the topic de jour is politics-the electoral game, campaign financing, crooked politicians, and the power of the vote. The story begins with Larry finding a new girlfriend who has him out shopping and wearing designer clothes, until he is kidnapped by Beth, who wants him to return home and run for state representative. But that's not enough-Larry decides to run for president. Never mind that he is only 18-Congress can change that rule! When his campaign begins to gain momentum, the story's pace picks up, and the mysterious betagold reappears. Tashjian has written another sermonizing book disguised as Larry. Not that the lessons aren't interesting-they are-but in this book, they feel more like lessons. In The Gospel According to Larry (Holt, 2001) the idea was fresh and interesting, but this time it seems almost forced. The story itself is good, but is marred by sequel syndrome, unnecessary frills, and jumpy writing. Larry's fans will eat it up, but it needs Gospel to carry its weight.
Angela J. Reynolds, Washington County Cooperative Library Services, Hillsboro, OR
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
--This text refers to the

The improbable presidential candidate in this satirical novel is Josh, a teen Internet guru (who used Larry as his nom de plume) returning to the scene after years in hiding. His offbeat, radical third-party campaign energizes young voters across the country and might bend the rules enough to put him in the White House. An 18-year-old's candidacy is obviously a fantasy at the national level, but the short, breezy novel is well-researched and sometimes perceptive. Maybe some politically minded listener will put Josh's tactics to work on a local campaign. Jesse Eisenberg is 20, no longer a teen, but is believable as the angst-ridden young candidate. Some jokes reflect the current scene, but the story line will likely hold up over time. J.A.S. © AudioFile 2004, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine --This text r" to the Audio CD edition.

Gr. 7-10. When readers left Josh Swenson, the anticonsumerism guru from The Gospel according to Larry (2001), he had faked his suicide to avoid the hoopla that was messing with his message. Here Josh finds his way back (well, his best friend, Beth, discovers him and then kidnaps him) to run for president of the U.S. Like the previous book (which probably needs to be read first), this is part allegory and part political thriller, and once again, Josh's plans to protect the planet and involve young people in the care and feeding of democracy go awry. The spirited story focuses on 18-year-old Josh's presidential campaign; although he's too young to be elected, a stunning show of support results in a constitutional amendment lowering the age of the president. However, even with the possibility of being the leader of the free world looming large, Josh still has plenty of time to decide whom he likes better--Beth or a new girl. Back matter allows readers to learn more about a handful of important political issues and informs them how to register to vote. Fans of the first book won't be disappointed in Josh/Larry's further escapades. Ilene Cooper
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
--This text r" to the Hardcover edition.

Book Description
Those were the magic words and Beth knew it. How many times had I uttered that phrase to Ms. Robinson in guidance, the standard answer for what I wanted to do with my life? CHANGE THE WORLD. Did I still have the strength and determination to get it together and try to make a difference?
Was it my destiny, my vocation?
Or was I just trying to impress a girl?
As I looked at Beth, I wondered if the reason why even mattered.

The indefatigable Larry is back, and this time he takes on the American political system

After falling off the wagon and becoming what he so clearly and strongly resisted-a consumer-Josh Swensen (aka Larry) finds himself in a hyper-paranoid state of no return. That is, until he's kidnapped and coaxed into resurfacing as his old persona. Before long, Larry is back on the scene with much more on his mind than a gospel Web site-this time Larry wants to affect change in government. What starts out as a campaign to get the younger population to vote turns into a run for the presidency. Can Larry really take on George Bush?

In this very smart, very witty novel, Janet Tashjian brings the political world to the forefront and explores it from many different points of view.
--This text refers to the edition.

Reader review(s):

An Amazing Book!, May 3, 2004
I cannot believe that I'm am the first person to review this fantastic book. Let me start off by saying that if you were a fan of "The Gospel according to Larry" you will not be dissapointed. This book perfectly continues Josh's quest to make the world a better place. But this time instead of tackling consumerism Josh/Larry comes out of hiding and gets into something totally different, politics. The author Janet Tashjian has an amazingly perceptive understanding of politics and the state of the world today. Not only that but she really makes the political system seem very exciting and interesting in an engaging story. This is an amazing book!

I'd vote for Larry, May 4, 2004
It is truly amazing how deep Tashjian has reached into Larry/Josh's inner being. Even though he was never once physically described, his personality is displayed in the most vivid of colors. Even in writing my own amateur fiction and psychoanalyzing my friends, I doubt I could come close to such a beautiful portrayal. The book is full of jaw-dropping political facts concealed within an adventurous story with mystery, romance, action, and a plot that keeps you on your toes. This is one of the best books I have ever read, to bad I won't be 18 by November. :-)
Thanks Tashjian!

Yeah right!!, May 24, 2004
Altogether, Vote for Larry was a good book, but some parts were so unbelievable that it was just stupid!! For example, Larry Fest 2 was stupid because all these top-name artists were cancelled on accident and it just happened that an entire clan of artists were in Portland (Maine)!!Also, the constitutional amendment that passed was dumb!!

one word, October 28, 2004
one word this book was not as good as the first but still i loved it, it was incredible

Incredible, October 28, 2004
This is the most optimistic book I have ever read. it toys with not only the idea that people WANT to change the world, but that they CAN, without superpowers or magic or an appearance on Oprah. This was a Kid Runs For President book without the immaturity; it focused less on the age of the candidate than on the issues-real, true, important issues-he's pushing. Is this book realistic? No, of course not--but instead of faulting the author, why not fault ourselves? Why couldn't a group of people who were willing to fight for something get the rest of us to care? Not only does Janet Tashjian provide real solutions to problems--exaggerated and stretched, but on the right track--but she also introduces the novel idea of the Critical Patriot: the person who sees the flaws of the country but doesn't retreat into cynical commentary. The person who actually loves this country with its flaws AND IS WILLING TO MAKE IT BETTER. Her realistic portrayal--using actual candidates, events, issues, and facts--makes it all the more relevant to us. I think that all teens should read this book, just as all teens should register to vote when they're old enough. Josh/Larry is the symbolic epitome of what teens COULD be--not necessarily candidates but activists, working to make America and the world a better place. This book takes a stand--so should we.

Not as good as the first, August 21, 2004
Don't get me wrong. I love this book. This book is all the way up there with my other favorites, but, however, is not anywhere near the first book, The Gospel According to Larry. Anyway, I love this book. I would reccomend it to anyone. Just make sure you read the first one before this one, or else you will be really confused.

A bit of a letdown, August 16, 2004
After loving The Gospel According to Larry, I couldn't wait to pick up VOTE FOR LARRY. It's a fast-paced read, which is nice, but it's not as great as the original.

I don't want to go into much detail about the book, because I don't want to give anything away. Let's just say that the first book, The Gospel According to Larry, sounded like it could actually be based on a true story (as Tashjian writes it to be). However, VOTE FOR LARRY doesn't have that same feel. Right away you know that it is fiction (I must admit that I did spend a little while wondering if Larry was a real person after I read The Gospel...), and the political jargon gets a little annoying.

My favorite part of the book is the footnotes. They're almost always funny, sarcastic, etc.

I recommend the book to fans of the original, because you find out what happens with Larry, Beth, and Peter. Fun, but nothing to serious.

Overall grade - C

one of the best books I have ever read, February 5, 2005
I just turned 13 and I ate this book up! I have lent it two 6 of my friends, because they loved the original. It is so informative to the next generation, full of teen empowerment. Josh, the main character, has always wanted to change the world. He is a prodigy and has been hiding out from his friends, family, and the rest of America. Upon turning 18, runs for Pesident. My review might make the book sound cheesy, but it is so good.

What Happened to Larry?, November 2, 2004
Somehow the lovely boy that was Larry got lost in the two years between this book and the first. He's lost his patience, his tolerance, and thanks to the author's forced writing, his compelling voice. The plot was a little too fantastic, with the constitutional ammendment and Larry's run for president, and the devices a little too pat. It's easy to solve problems when you create them, as a writer can do when she appropriates real people and events for a work of fiction. One also has to wonder why she forced it out ahead of the 2004 election when it's so obviously a problem. Starting with Kerry and Dean at the primaries and then referring to Bush and 'the Democratic candidate' for the rest of the race made it clear there was no ending for the book. And when even the writer doesn't know what's going the reader hasn't got much of a chance. It could be revised in later editions to cover that but with the rest of the story being so lame there isn't much reason.

The real problem of course is that Tashjian doesn't seem to have anything new for Larry to say and the book is really a rehash Gospel with a poor plot. It was fun once but how much preaching can we be asked to take?

Please don't be misled by this book, October 13, 2004
I only wish I had not only the money back I spent on this book, but also the time I wasted reading it. A good book should inspire readers to think for themselves and form their own opinions on issues. All this book does is force feed the author's political leanings on the reader. Her spin on today's politics, in other words. Her view on today's issues is very naive and the story defies any sense of reality or belief. Don't waste your time or your money!

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