Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe
Fifteen-year-old Ari Mendoza is an angry loner with a brother in prison, but when he meets Dante and they become friends, Ari starts to ask questions about himself, his parents, and his family that he has never asked before.
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To be careful with people and with words was a rare and beautiful thing.
I had a rule that it was better to be bored by yourself than to be bored with someone else. I pretty much lived by that rule. Maybe that's why I didn't have any friends.
I didn't understand how you could live in a mean world and not have any of that meanness rub off on you. How could a guy live without meanness?
See, the thing about guys is that I didn't really care to be around them. I mean, guys really made me uncomfortable. I don't know why, not exactly. I just, I don't know, I just didn't belong. I think it embarrassed the hell out of me that I was a guy. And it really depressed me that there was the distinct possibility that I was going to grow up and be like one of those assholes.
Man loneliness was much bigger than boy loneliness.
I renamed myself Ari. If I switched the letter, my name was Air. I thought it might be a great thing to be the air. I could be something and nothing at the same time. I could be necessary and also invisible. Everyone would need me and no one would be able to see me.
It was good to laugh. I wanted to laugh and laugh and laugh until I laughed myself into becoming someone else.
“You should just sit them down and make them tell you. Make them be adults." --- "You can't make anyone be an adult. Especially an adult.”
Dogs don't censor themselves. Maybe animals were smarter than people. The dog was so happy. My mom and dad too. It felt good to know that they loved the dog, that they let themselves do that. And somehow it seemed that the dog helped us be a better family.
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