In one of the more ironic literary moments of recent Internet history, a lazy student's refusal to read a book for school might end up inspiring thousands of others to pick up a copy. Why? Because he was busted by the author himself. A few days ago, a Yahoo Answers user named "♥ Idiot America ~ ϟƘƦІןן∑x ♥" asked for a full explanation of the 2010 book The Boy Who Couldn't Sleep and Never Had To. "School starts on the 22nd for me, and I haven't been able to finish this book," the kid writes. "Can someone give me a complete review, including everything important? I REALLY need this!" He went on to explain that "it's not because I'm slacking." Rather, his local library is being remodeled, and he's "been busy." A day later, the book's author, DC Pierson, posted a 450-word response, giving the kid some tough love but also encouraging him to give the book a shot. "I'm not going to sit here and act like I didn't sometimes not read assigned books for class in high school," Pierson writes. "So I'm sympathetic to your plight. But I think you'll find there's a ton more sex, swearing, and drugs in my book than anything else you have been or will be assigned in high school, and I don't mean in the way your teacher will tell you 'You know, Shakespeare has more sex and violence than an R-rated movie!' " The author's response has quickly become finger-wagging fodder for parents, teachers and everyone else looking for evidence that today's youth is lazy and entitled. It's also giving the book the best PR since its launch. Check out the original question and the author's full response after the jump.
Can someone completely cover the book 'The Boy Who Couldn't Sleep and Never Had To' to me ?
School starts on the 22nd for me, and I haven't been able to finish this book.
Can someone give me a complete review, including everything important?
I REALLY need this!
AND it's not because I'm slacking. I only got the list of book a month ago, and it took me a while to get the book because the library I live next to is getting work done, and it was on hold already.
I've been busy, as well. And I'm no where near a fast reader. I've gotten somewhat through it, but I won't be able to finish it.
Someone please answer this, I have to get this done.
Hi! My name's DC Pierson, I wrote the book "The Boy Who Couldn't Sleep And Never Had To." First off, I'm really excited that my book is being suggested for summer reading. On the other hand, I'm bummed out that you don't want to try and finish it, and not even because you think it's bad, but just because it seems like work instead of like fun.
I'm not going to sit here and act like I didn't sometimes not read assigned books for class in high school. Even though it's referenced once in my book, the book you're avoiding reading, I've never actually read "The Scarlet Letter." So I'm sympathetic to your plight. But I think you'll find there's a ton more sex, swearing, and drugs in my book than anything else you have been or will be assigned in high school, and I don't mean in the way your teacher will tell you "You know, Shakespeare has more sex and violence than an R-rated movie!" I mean it's all there, in terms you will readily understand without having to Google them. Plus not once do I refer to anything as a "bare bodkin" or anything like that.
I guess all I'm saying is, of all the books not to read, to beg the Internet to read for you because your library is being remodeled, mine seems like an odd choice. (I recently had to read it aloud for an audiobook edition, and we recorded it in about 10 hours, and I was not reading fast at all. Maybe read it aloud to yourself an hour a night between now and when class starts? Or get together with other kids who have to read it for school and read it to each other? Maybe one of these other kids will be so impressed with your oratory skills you guys will end up making out. That would be pretty cool, right?)
Here, I'll give you an extra hint you'll get to put in your paper if you end up writing it: It was all real. A lot of people have asked me if it was supposed to be real or not, and my feeling is, it was. You won't know what I'm talking about unless you read 'til the end, though. And you might disagree with me on this "it was all real" thing once you get there. Just because I wrote it doesn't make my opinion more valid than yours. Wouldn't it be cool to tell your teacher, "The author says he thinks (it) was real but he's an idiot and I disagree with him and here's why!"
I finished my book. I bet you can, too.
Photo at top by Too Many Books in the Kitchen.