Paranoid Park by Blake Nelson

If you saw someone die right in front of you, what would you do? Run? Scream? Pull out your cell and dial 911? Or would you go home and pray no one ever found out you were there? The terrified narrator of Paranoid Park does exactly that—see, he wasn’t supposed to be hanging out at the notorious skate park, and he certainly wasn’t supposed to be hopping trains and joy-riding into the old freight yards. But he was and he did. So he was there when the freight yard security guard who tried to chase him tripped and fell under the deadly wheels of the train. Our boy takes one look and runs for the hills. Now he is consumed with fear and guilt. Did anyone see him? Will he be blamed for the man’s death? Has he ruined his life forever? As you read the choices the unnamed narrator makes, you can’t help but put yourself in his shoes: what would YOU do? Loosely based on the Russian classic Crime and Punishment, this white-knuckle nailbiter was an especially popular title with the 8th grade boys at my school this year. And don’t miss Paranoid Park: the movie, directed by Gus Van Sant, out in spring ’08.

2 thoughts on “Paranoid Park by Blake Nelson

  1. I just read this book and watched the movie and I have to say, it was a really good book. The movie was all right, but I found it harder to follow.
    But back to the book. Nelson does such a good job of getting into the narrator’s head and putting you there that it’s hard to put down. I tore through this because I kept wanting to know what happend next. I have to say, I probably would have done about the same as he does in that situation. I’ll definitely suggest this to any teen guys who come into the library!

  2. Hi Jill,

    I have to agree that I usually like the book better than the movie too! Glad you enjoyed Paranoid Park, both versions:)

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