The Gospel According to Larry is a “coming of age” political, romantic teen novel by Janet Tashjian that explores anti-consumerism.
The Gospel According to Larry revolves around seventeen-year-old Josh Swenson, an articulate teen whose dream is to change the world. He creates his own website which he calls “The Gospel According to Larry” because Larry was the most un-biblical name he could think of. He writes articles on this site “preaching” his feelings and ideas about making the world a better place.
At first he does not get many hits until someone writes an article about him in a local newspaper and the number of hits begins to grow. That is when he decides to start photographing and posting his possessions. He was curious to see if it was possible to track down someone anywhere in the world simply by their possessions.
Josh only has 75 possessions counting all clothes, underwear, school supplies, recreational equipment, software and the keys to his step-father’s house. He has a list of guidelines to keep track of how many possessions he has. If he wants a new CD, or book, or video he has to sell an old one or trade for it. A notebook counts as one even though it has 70 sheets of paper in it. A pair of socks counts as one and so do shoes. He decided to start doing this after reading about Native Americans who did not want to leave a “footprint” behind. This means every purchase is a major decision and he takes it very seriously.
— The Gospel According Larry by Janet Tashjian