Rule of the Bone

A Novel
Narrated by: Kirby Heyborne
Length: 11 hrs and 54 mins
4.3 out of 5 stars (134 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

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

What listeners say about Rule of the Bone

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Out of the mouths of teenagers

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.

4 people found this helpful

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Great book

One of the best books I have read had to get it again and it is just as good as the day I read it 6 years ago great coming of age story the bone rules

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

excellent

classic russ. this book was recommended to me by TC Boyle. who is one of the most creative writers out there. I've also seen the movie adapted from the Russell Banks novel The Sweet Hereafter. I've seen that many times. Unfortunately article does not have that title. luckily Boyle was extremely nice help me out

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Amazing narration!

I really heard Charlie in Hayborne’s voice. The story is difficult because it has a heavy drug & trauma focus. I won’t read it again, but like I said the narrator was amazing!

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Great Book!

My favorite book ever. Story is great! the only thing bad I'd say about it is that being an actual Jamaican, I can be nit picky about those attempting to imitate the accent and the Jamaican voices in the book had more of an African accent than a Jamaican one. Still... well done!

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My Hometown

Only real critique is he pronounces the name of the bar wrong. I only know because I use to own it! Chi-Boom’s. Pronounced ShhBooms. The bars spelling came from an album misprint. I know a lot of the people he basis the characters of this book, it’s so much fun for me to read and now listen to. The fight he speaks of was a real fight but involved House of Pain and Cypress Hill.

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Kirby Heyborne is the best option

Listening to the audio, you can hear how the story is meant to be told. Heyborne’s performance allowed for the anti-hero, Bone, to express his emotions through him. Nothing is rushed and nothing is mumbled.

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helluva sad story

great read, ups , downs, some laughter, some anger in all the perfect story

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Wow! An Authentic Voice Perfectly Performed

What made the experience of listening to Rule of the Bone the most enjoyable?

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.

Who was your favorite character and why?

The narrator as Bone.

Which scene was your favorite?

The hostage fire scene.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

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.

Any additional comments?

Narrator was fantastic. Excellent "voices" that were unique and believable. And so varied!!!

Definitely a talented "dude." ;)

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Banks does it again.

As always, I am drawn to the characters that Banks creates, and the storyline is captivating as well as realistic.