Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Audiobites: Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green & David Levithan

Title: Will Grayson, Will Grayson
Author(s): John Green & David Levitan
Narrators: MacLeod Andrews & Nick Podehl
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Hours: 7 hours, 52 minutes
Awards/Honors: Best Audiobooks  - Young Adult (2010) by Audiofile Magazine, ALA's 2011 Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults & 2011 Top Ten Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults
Audio Excerpt

I picked up Will Grayson, Will Grayson because I'd seen, as indicated above, that it was named Best Audiobook by several different sources. I'd been wanting to read it so I figured the audio would be a good bet since it was getting such high marks!

The Story:

Will Grayson, Will Grayson is told in alternating chapters by two characters named, you guessed it, Will Grayson. Neither Will Grayson is aware of the other until a fated meeting outside a porn shop. United by one tour de force named Tiny Cooper. While the title would suggest the book is about none other than, Will Grayson, the book is, ultimately Tiny's tale. Tiny was definitely my favorite character. He's larger (and gayer) than life. With all the characters and all the events that take place throughout the book it boils down to a tale of friendship.

The Narration:

Nick Podel narrates Will Grayson #1 (WG1), the straight, broody and moody best friend to Tiny Cooper. I liked Nick's narration and voice. The first chapter is told from his POV and I was really getting into the audio book when it switches over to Will Grayson #2 (WG2), narrated by MacLeod Andrews. WG2 is the in-the closet gay teen whose botched trip to meet his online "boyfriend" leads to the chance encounter with WG1.

I really did not care for WG2'schapters at all, especially the first ones. WG2 is depressed and on medication for his depression. Now, I've never been clinically depressed, I don't mean to demean or belittle his condition. However, his whining, crying, pissing and moaning, and excessive cussing really grated on my nerves. After the second chapter I was seriously considering giving up on the audio book. I disliked WG2 that much. Then WG2's chapter would end and we'd go back to WG1 and I'd be sucked back into the story. If the whole book was from WG2's POV I would not have finished the book. He does get less whiney as the book goes on, but I never really warmed up to him.

There was a lot of cussing in this audio book. I think the excessive cussing was more noticeable because I was listening to the audio book. Had I been reading the book, I don't think I would have taken note of the language as much. However, there was a lot of bad language.

WG2's obnoxious "woe is me" diatribes really did not do this audio book any favors. However, overall, the story was excellent. I love a story that has a little bit of everything: friendship, romance, humor, and showtunes!


Challenge(s) Fullfilled: Whisper Stories In My Ear Audiobook Challenge


  1. Hm. I wonder if all his whining would be less noticeable in written form along with all the swearing? I don't think I would be a fan of WG2, but at least WG1 saved the book and made the story more interesting:)

  2. Jenny, that could definitely be the case. Reading vs. LISTENING to teen angst...guh. I'm just surprised since it was so highly recommended! But I guess ACTUAL teens will probably be able to relate to the angst. I just wanted to smack WG2 upside the head. :D

  3. You left me wondering about the whining in written form... if there is one thing I can't stand is Whiny characters.

    But I'm glad the other Will made up for it, I've been meaning to read this book, but I had tried John Green before and I couldn't get into it.

    Still, I shall consider it :D you made me want to know more about that Will and about Tiny Cooper

  4. Alex, I think the audio just magnified the angst/whineness of it. I didn't have a lot of patience for it.

    Tiny Cooper is a fabulous character!!! :)

  5. Interesting, Mollie. Wonder if you've enjoyed it more as a book. I want to try something else by David Levithan, but I don't know if this would be the one...


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