John Green deviates from his regular fiction writing to bring us a collection of essays on the current geological age. I knew that this would be a collection of essays, but I have not listed to Green's podcast, from which these essays are adapted, so I didn't have a clear idea of what to expect going in. However, I was pleasantly surprised by the quality. Green reviews everything from Super Mario Kart to Diet Dr Pepper to the world's largest ball of paint. I expected many of the reviews to be informational content, yet Green infused each review with personal anecdotes and connections to his life and the larger world. The book, in many ways, reminds me of the YouTube vlogs he's been doing with his brother Hank for many years. I used to watch every vlog, but their videos have since drifted out of my watch list, although not because they became less entertaining or diminished in quality. I simply got too busy to keep up with them.
A Beautifully Foolish Endeavor is the sequel to An Absolutely Remarkable Thing, which is the story of an "alien" visitation by a giant samurai robot referred to as Carl (the Carls when plural). It's difficult to discuss the second book without inadvertently giving away the ending of the first, so be forewarned that this review contains a spoiler for the first book. I do not, however, include spoilers for the second book.
The vibe of this book is reminiscent of stream of consciousness in that there isn’t a solid plot throughout the novel; rather, it’s more of an overarching theme of grief and stagnation and this oppressive feeling that there is a crisis at hand yet you have no idea how to handle the crisis, let alone identify and clearly articulate the crisis.