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The Project by Brian Falkner

October 24, 2011

I have to admit that as titles go, The Project is definitely on the bland side. Despite this, the book itself is decidedly *not* boring, even though it is about the most boring book in the world. As Luke, one of the main characters in The Project, puts it, “This is a book about the most boring book in the world, which is a different book altogether.”

Luke and Tommy wanted to avoid reading the book they were sure was the most boring, The Last of the Mohicans. And what better way to avoid reading (especially if, like Luke, you can’t stand reading) than pulling a prank that demonstrates your feelings about the book? Unfortunately, as awesome as the prank would have been, Luke and Tommy get caught. They will still have to read The Last of the Mohicans…unless they can prove that the James Fenimore Cooper classic really is the most boring book in the world, in which case the vice principal of their school will let them do their English assignment on the book of their choice.

A quick Google search doesn’t bring up anything that will help Luke’s case. He does, however, find an article about a 19th century book that many historians consider the most boring book in the world. Only one copy of Leonardo’s River was published, and it’s been missing for over a hundred years. It’s worth a fortune, so there’s no way Luke has just stumbled upon it in an Iowa library, right?

He has, and he’s not the only one who recognized the book that day. As Luke and Tommy attempt to steal the book from the flooded library, they realize that they’re not alone in the library. Someone else is willing to do anything to get their hands on the book because while the book is boring, it also contains a secret that could change the history of the world.

Okay, some of the plot twists are implausible and/or wildly coincidental—beginning Luke’s photographic memory and Tommy’s desire to become a spy (and his ability to speak German), making these otherwise ordinary, average best friends the perfect duo outwit the bad guys—but this is a mild criticism for a book as entertaining and easy to read as Brian Falkner’s The Project. It’s fast-paced, action-packed, with some funny moments and a nice combination of high stakes without taking itself too seriously. Or, in other words, NOT BORING.

Best of all, The Project is the first book by Falkner that I’ve read, and I enjoyed it enough that I’m looking forward to reading his previous books, including Brain Jack, which Leila reviewed for Guys Lit Wire last year.

Book source: public library.

 Cross-posted at Guys Lit Wire.

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