Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Go Ask Alice by Anonymous

I borrowed this book from my roommate and read it in about a day and a half (as she watched in awe, might I add), and came away from it a bit underwhelmed. The writing was a bit coarse and not what I would expect from a young teenaged girl, but the author got her (his? their?) point across all the same. From her first (innocent) hit of LSD at a party to her eventual overdose, the girl's story is full of dark turns and vows to repent, with little success.

With all of that in mind, the reasons for this book being banned are obvious. Drugs? Teenagers! Out of the question. Our children will become exposed to that and then want to go out and do it, too! they think, and consequently, the book was banned in 2002 (location unknown) and challenged in Berkeley County, South Carolina for blatant and explicit language (street terms for sex, talk of worms eating body parts and blasphemy), drug use, and sexual behavior. It was also retained for optional reading at a middle school in Girard, Pennsylvania despite a grandmother protesting that the book was offensive. Even so, the book has sold millions of copies, showing that people do know the difference between endorsing drug use and depicting the evils of it.

There has also been some controversy as to who actually wrote Go Ask Alice. Snopes.com says that Beatrice Sparks, a writer who has quite a few of these "anonymous journals" under her belt, takes credit as the editor, but guesswork implies that the book has been written by a group of people rather than just one. That makes sense, because the way this book has been written leads me to believe that an adult (or a number of adults), and not a 15-year-old girl, wrote this book. Even so, I think you should read it, despite a few cliches here and there- because after all, it's a banned book, and pretty much every banned book deserves at least a glance. :)

No comments:

Post a Comment