Saturday, October 01, 2016


Why is this not assigned to high school students to read?  You want to give them a life lesson?  Holy FUCK is this book brutal.  Robert Cormier ROCKS.  Man was a motherfucking genius.  Sure, To Kill a Mockingbird was good, but I never read it again after I got out of school.  I still read The Great Gatsby every few years, but it's the only good book Fitzy ever wrote. 

Ethan Frome sucked.

The Assistant was pretty dull.

We read The Stranger and No Exit and I became a lifelong devotee of existentialism, but that was about as good as it got.  The teacher loaned me her copy of Ionesco's Rhinocerous, so that was cool.

The smart kids read Chaucer and Shakespeare, and better them than me.  They also read The Grapes of Wrath and Catcher in the Rye, which I checked out independently just to see what all the hoo-ha was about.  They were okay.  I was into Stephen King by this time, and checking out some Faulkner and Hemingway.  Vonnegut and Thomas Berger were still a few years away.  I read Atwood's first novel, it turned me off to her until someone loaned me Cat's Eye a few years later and I realized she was a superstar.  Although that first novel still doesn't do it for me.

I remember reading Thomas Thompson's Celebrity during this time.  Good Stuff.

Also read Thomas Tryon's Crowned Heads.  Four nasty novellas about the dark side of Old Hollywood glamor, but the last one goes off the rails completely. Essentially, a group of Manson-ite types break into the Hollywood Hills mansion of an old actor and literally crucify him.  Heavy shit for a small town library.  They also had a copy of Blatty's The Exorcist, which is even freakier than the movie.

But I digress.  The kids STILL read Gatsby, they STILL read Shakespeare.  What the fuck?  Granted, they get to read The Outsiders these days, which is awesome but, goddamn, do they need to add some fresh blood to these school reading lists if they want to keep the kids interested.

Sixteen years old when she wrote that thing.  That still boggles my mind....

In summation - The Chocolate War.  A thousand times YES.

And maybe I Am the Cheese for extra credit.

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