Book Review: Elliot Allagash by Simon Rich

Elliot Allagash by Simon Rich was released on 5th August 2010. It was published by Serpent’s Tail and the book is 224 pages long. Thanks to the publisher for providing a copy for review.

Thirteen year old Seymour is not a geek but he also is not popular at his expensive prep school. He is a little overweight and this has earned him the nickname ‘Chunk Style’. His life consists of being in the middle of the pack with nothing exciting ever happening. Until he meets Elliot Allagash…which is when he pushes Seymour down the stairs.

Elliot is extremely rich and his father had to pay just to get him into Glendale after being expelled from so many other schools. He doesn’t care about being the new kid either, all he cares about is learning how things work this time around. To put his theories to the test, Elliot plans to make Seymour the most popular kid in school. Seymour has no idea what he has let himself in for though. His life is about to change completely.

What I thought
I hadn’t heard of this book before receiving it for review so a big thank you to Jazz for getting me a copy.

I felt really sorry for Seymour to begin with. For starters, the way he introduces his parents to Elliot is by telling them that he pushed him down the stairs. I was kind of glad, but a bit worried, when Seymour and Elliot became friends. If you can call it friendship anyway. As the two start to spend more time together, it is quite clear that Elliot is walking all over Seymour, even if Seymour cant see that. Seymour does start off well though, questioning Elliot’s choices in his schemes and plans but being young and naive, he was easily influenced.

Elliot and his father were both interesting characters. Being from an extremely wealthy family, they have never really had to want for much in life as it has always just been handed to them. Both characters think that money will buy them anything but the one thing it cant seem to buy them is genuine friendships and relationships and it was quite sad that neither had these things in their lives. Elliot was so sure of himself with a lot of confidence but he also had quite the temper when things didn’t go his way. What I found most strange about him though was his strange obsession with watercress sandwiches though!

This book has a really interesting take on schools and one that I haven’t seen done in a book before. This book takes a look at how a high school works and what would need to be done in order to make a student go from unpopular to extremely popular and how other people would react. I loved all of the crazy ideas that Elliot came up with in order to further his experiment/ Seymour’s popularity and some of them I really couldn’t believe were happening. I would love to know if someone ever did try to do this in a real school so that I could see if it would work or not though.

Elliot Allagash is a fascinating, fast paced coming of age story and one that I enjoyed thoroughly. Simon Rich injects new life into characters which could have turned out bland and unoriginal. His witty writing had me hooked and I found myself giggling to myself throughout the book. Beforehand, Rich was an unknown author to me but now I will be looking out for anything else he writes. I do think that Elliot Allagash is aimed slightly more towards boys but I still really liked it regardless.


  1. Sounds interesting. Fab review:D

  2. Hi,

    I'm Kate Evangelista, author of Taste, and I just wanted to take this time to introduce myself. If you have the time, please stop by The Coffee Bar by using the link below:

    I hope to see you there.



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