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March 29, 2020

S.E. Hinton: The Outsiders

S.E. Hinton: The Outsiders—Published in 1967, this classic novel follows the clash between Socs and Greasers through the eyes of Ponyboy Curtis.

Though I enjoy discovering new authors and books, sometimes I want the comfort of a book I’ve read many times. Most of you have probably either read the book or seen the remarkably faithful movie released in 1983 (which launched the careers of a host of well-known actors).

Ponyboy Curtis, a 14-year-old orphan living with his older brother’s Soda and Darry, gets good grades and runs track at school, but hangs out with a tight-knit group of troublemakers in his own neighborhood, the Greasers. He and two friends—Johnny and Dallas—chat with two girls at a drive-in movie which draws the ire of their boyfriends, part of the Socs (aka, Socials). Later that night, Pony and Johnny are jumped by the boys, Johnny stabs and kills one in self-defense.

Dallas, wise to the ways of police and jail, sends the two of them to an old church out in the country to hide out. They pass the time smoking cigarettes and reading Gone with the Wind, but their cover is blown when they rescue a group of young children trapped by a fire. Returned to town, they face the consequences of their actions.

Why don’t I rate the books I read? The simple truth is I stop reading any book I don’t like, so I never finish it and don’t count it as a book read. Thus, I like every book I complete. The rest is subjective. Whether or not you will like the book is as much about whether the subject interests you and the author’s style is one you enjoy.

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