- Alisha Barnes
The Gospel According to Larry, by Janet Tashjian, is the story of what happens when anti-commercialism meets the world of blogging. Josh Swensen is a nature-loving, hyperactive, slightly ingenious seventeen-year-old boy who spends most of his time avoiding his classmates. Josh only has one friend, Beth, a young feminist in the making. The two have been friends since they were in elementary school.
Recently, Josh and Beth have been spending a lot of time following an anti-commercialism, semi-evangelistic blog by an unknown person with a code name of Larry. Larry is against the widespread commercialism that targets everyone, especially teenagers. He only has seventy-five possessions, which he photographs periodically to show his fans. He does this in order to show his lack of attachment to material goods. Larry sends out sermons that primarily target the faults of big-business marketing schemes.
Beth convinces Josh to help her start a Larry fan club at their high school. By the end of the school year, they have students from all grades, including teachers, involved in the group. Participants come together to discuss Larry’s sermons, which have a relatable message everyone seems to understand. Even the band U2 follows Larry’s sermons. However, when another blogger, Betagold, vows to find out the true identity of Larry, things become complicated for Larry lovers across the nation.