When we first meet him, Chappie is a punked-out teenager living with his mother and abusive stepfather in an upstate New York trailer park. During this time, he slips into drugs and petty crime. Rejected by his parents, out of school and in trouble with the police, he claims for himself a new identity as a permanent outsider; he gets a crossed-bones tattoo on his arm, and takes the name "Bone."
He finds dangerous refuge with a group of biker-thieves, and then hides in the boarded-up summer house of a professor and his wife. He finally settles in an abandoned schoolbus with Rose, a child he rescues from a fast-talking pedophile. There Bone meets I-Man, an exiled Rastafarian, and together they begin a second adventure that takes the reader from Middle America to the ganja-growing mountains of Jamaica. It is an amazing journey of self-discovery through a world of magic, violence, betrayal and redemption.
©1995 Russell Banks (P)2013 HarperCollinsPublishers
As long as I have my Audible, I'm content.
This is the third Russell Banks book I've listened to now. While it is my least favorite of the three, it was still an enjoyable listen. This one tells the story of a couple of years in the life of teenager Chappie, soon to rename himself as Bone. He's had a tough life and it shows in his decisions. But it also shows how he keeps trying to make things better with his mother, but she just doesn't listen. It's sad when stories like this show just how easy it might be to turn things around, but the complexities of all the lives interacting with each other and the resistances the characters have built up around themselves just make it impossible for them to see beyond their own noses. I read to broaden my perspectives, but sometimes, what I read brings me right back to myself, and this one did that. It made me see where I've alienated people in my past because of my own inability to just stop for a minute and actively listen without letting my own agenda get in the way. And this one also provided a character who is an example of someone who knows how to listen. The narration was spot on. I loved the voice he gave the Jamaican characters and his voice for Bone was so innocent while telling of far from innocent goings on, which made the whole story that much more poignant.
1. The way the "kid" thinks is so age realistic along the way
2. The narrator was crucial to the character. I'll never hear anyone else when I pick up the printed version but Kirby Heyborne.
3. The ending was appropriate, satisfying, but not predictable.
4. I didn't expect much at first. In fact, I thought it was going to be another teen novel written at a teen level. But if you're a teen, you'll get it. And if you're past your teen years, you'll be reminded what the world looked like when you were still trying to make sense of it all.
5. I fell in love with each character for their own qualities, even the f'd up ones.
The narrator as Bone.
The hostage fire scene.
No. There's a lot to enjoy and process through. It's fascinating enough to sit through if one wanted. But that'd be like eating a whole cheesecake just to finish it off. I recommend enjoying the morsels fully before taking the next bite.
Narrator was fantastic. Excellent "voices" that were unique and believable. And so varied!!!
Definitely a talented "dude." ;)
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