©1974 Robert Cormier; (P)2004 Random House, Inc. Listening Library, an imprint of the Random House Audio Publishing Group
"The Chocolate War is masterfully structured and rich in theme; the action is well crafted, well timed, suspenseful; complex ideas develop and unfold with clarity." (The New York Times Book Review)
"The characterizations of all the boys are superb....This novel [is] unique in its uncompromising portrait of human cruelty and conformity." (School Library Journal)
I have friends who swoon at the late Frank Muller's voice; I've usually found him to be overeager. But I can't imagine anyone else reading this one.
"Chocolate War" is an elegantly written book. I especially like the moments when a bit of exposition suddenly makes you hit rewind while saying, "What was that?" because a significant plot point has suddenly, unexpectedly been laid in your lap.
This tale of a Roman Catholic boy's school is a sort of American "Lord of the Flies." It's about courage, cruelty, control and the chaos that occurs when the people who are supposed to be in charge just don't care. By turns amusing and appalling, I found it absolutely riveting.
A highlight is the introduction by the author. The worst part was the replacement of the usual "This is Audible" with four-year-old voices chanting "Audible Kids."
This is NOT a "kid's book." This is extraordinarily well-crafted fiction written for, and about, young people. Many parents need to hear it to understand that the occasional anachronisms in the story do not mean these issues have been left in the past.
Thanks, Robert. Thanks, Frank. Outstanding job.
This book had so much potential. I liked the idea of a kid who went against the grain, despite all the peer pressure. Robert Cormier's writing was beautiful and poetic. But the story never left the ground. The opening scene shows you the school bullies plotting some scheme that has danger written all over it. Then you meet Jerry and think, "Oh, there he is. He's going to do something great." There's all this anticipation and then nothing happens. Nothing. They don't even announce the chocolate sales until halfway through the book. I could see right away Cormier's flaw in developing the story. In the intro, Cormier explains that the idea for Chocolate War came when his own son refused to sell chocolates. Unfortunately, that made the author too attached to his characters. So much so, that he refused to let them suffer. The bullies, instead of being violent and dangerous, had a "no violence" policy. Huh? If they don't beat anyone up, where's the threat? Jerry was represented as a great hero. But he didn't do anything except say "no" when his name was called. No one pressured him. No one threatened him. He just said no. There was a little violence toward the end, but by that time, it seemed forced and out of place. It was also too brief. I was pretty disappointed, because, as I said, Cormier had a great talent with words. He could have made this story monumental if he'd have just released the apron strings.
Never. It uses filthy language and sexual images.
I only read about 3 chapters. The story might be good, I don't know. I refused to read more and have discarded it. It appeared to be written for youth. I sure wouldn't want my children reading this.
He did fine reading.
No. The author clearly is desensitized to filthy language and sexual imagery.
There should be ratings for books like there are for movies. If there are in Audible, I haven't found it yet. I'm new, but bet your life I'll be looking for that in my future purchases! I wasted a credit.
Probably a younger person may enjoy this book better.
I am not sure.
I'm not sure
I just really couldn't get into this book. Although, I listened it just didn't make me feel like I was a part of the story.
This is a very good book. I read it when I was about 13 or so (I don't believe it is a young adults book...my father had me reading adult stuff at a pretty young age), there is also a movie. I have not listened to in on audible but the book is great. It really brings you into his world and you can feel the torment he goes through. I really enjoyed it. If you liked the movie "The Power of One", with Morgan Freeman, this has the same feel; a boy, alone, struggling and some boxing. All in all I would have to say that I loved the book...I might just order it on audible some day.
I'm constantly listening to recorded books. Right now I'm a bit sick and weak, but can still enjoy a good listen. I'm so glad I have this resource available.
This was about the competition in a school to sell chocolates as a fund raiser and what one student went thru because he refused to participate. I did finish this story, so that says something, but it certainly wasn't one I'll remember OR recommend.
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