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An Abundance of Katherines
Author John Green
Genre Young Adult Fiction
Release Date September 1, 2006
Pages 229 pages
Publisher Dutton Juvenile
Website John Green Books

An Abundance of Katherines was a 2007 Michael L. Printz Honor book and a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. It was also named one of the books of the year by Horn Book.


When it comes to relationships, Colin Singleton’s type is girls named Katherine. And when it comes to girls named Katherine, Colin is always getting dumped. Nineteen times, to be exact. On a road trip miles from home, this anagram-happy, washed-up child prodigy has ten thousand dollars in his pocket, a bloodthirsty feral hog on his trail, and an overweight, Judge Judy–loving best friend riding shotgun—but no Katherines. Colin is on a mission to prove The Theorem of Underlying Katherine Predictability, which he hopes will predict the future of any relationship, avenge Dumpees everywhere, and finally win him the girl. Love, friendship, and a dead Austro-Hungarian archduke add up to surprising and heart-changing conclusions in this ingeniously layered comic novel about reinventing oneself.

Plot Summary

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Colin Singleton wishes to accomplish his goal of becoming a "genius" by having a Eureka moment. As well as not being the genius he hopes to be, his girlfriend, Katherine XIX, recently dumped him (over the span of his life, Colin has dated nineteen girls named Katherine, all spelled in that manner). In these relationships, Colin remembers only the Katherine dumping him.

After graduating from high school, and before college, Colin's best and only friend, Hassan Harbish, convinces him to go on a road trip with him to take his mind off the breakup. After driving for a while, all the way from Chicago to Tennessee, they come across the alleged resting place of the body of Archduke Franz Ferdinand. There, they meet Lindsey Lee Wells. After a short time, Colin and Hassan find themselves employed by Hollis, Lindsey's mother and the woman running a local factory that is currently producing tampon strings. They live with their employer and her daughter in a rural town called Gutshot, Tennessee. The employment she sends them on is to interview all current adult residents of Gutshot and assemble an oral history of the town.

As time passes, Colin finds himself becoming attracted to Lindsey, though matters are somewhat complicated by her on-again, off-again boyfriend Colin (he and Hassan call him TOC, "the other Colin"). Our Colin, the prodigy, attempts to become a genius by having his Eureka moment. He chases this goal through his theorem, called the Theorem of Underlying Katherine Probability, which is meant to determine the curve of any relationship based on several factors of the personalities of the two people in a relationship. It would predict the future of any two people. His theorem eventually works for all but one of his past relationships with a Katherine. But it is later discovered by Colin that he had dumped this Katherine (Katherine III), rather than the other way around. The graphs all make perfect sense at this juncture.

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As Colin’s story is revealed to the reader, we find that K-19 was also the first of the Katherines, “Katherine the Great.” While the backstories of Colin’s life play out, Hassan gets a girlfriend, Katrina, a friend of Lindsey’s. The relationship is cut short when Colin and Hassan go on a feral hog hunt with Lindsey, her friends and Colin's father, end up chased into the wilderness by hornets, and once they arrive back at civilization, caught Katrina having sex with TOC in the graveyard where the Archduke Franz Ferdinand’s corpse is located. A fight between TOC and all of the surrounding acquaintances begins when Lindsey finds out that he’s been cheating on her. While recovering from a knee whack to the groin, Colin anagrams the Archduke's name to dull the pain, and realizes that it is actually Lindsey's great-grandfather, named Fred N. Dinzanfar, that is buried in the tomb.

Colin finds Lindsey at her secret hideout in a cave that she had shown him previously, where he tells her the story of every Katherine he ever loved. Lindsey tells him that she feels so self-centered, claiming that she does not feel sad but instead slightly relieved by TOC's affair. They then confess their love for each other. Lindsey then slips a note under his door, four days later, stating that she cannot be his girlfriend because she is in love with Hassan. But she leaves a P.S. stating that she is joking. Colin realizes that his theorem cannot predict the future of a relationship. It can only shed light on why a relationship failed. Despite this, Colin is contented not “mattering”. Hassan also states that he is applying for two college classes, which Colin has been trying to convince him to do throughout the book. The story ends with the trio driving to a nearby Wendy's, with Lindsey saying they could just "keep going and not stop." Colin takes her advice, as a transcendental and ecstatic feeling of "connection" with Lindsey, Hassan, and everyone not in the car surges through him. He has finally found peace and happiness via connection with other people, rather than from the pursuit of distinguishing himself from everyone, feeling "non-unique in the very best way possible."


  • Colin
  • Hassan
  • Lindsey
  • Hollis
  • Krazy Keith
  • Kathrine I
  • Katherine II
  • Katherine III
  • Katherine IV
  • Katherine V
  • katherine VI
  • Katherine VII
  • Katherine VIII
  • Katherine IX
  • Katherine X
  • Katherine XI
  • Katherine XII
  • Katherine XIII
  • Katherine IXV
  • Katherine XV
  • Katherine XVI
  • Katherine XVII
  • Katherine XVIII
  • Katherine IXX
  • The Other Colin
  • Katrina