Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Outsiders By S.E. Hinton

Reading Hammock’s Rating:
The Outsiders
S.E. Hinton
Author Website:
Publication Date:
Puffin Books
Hardcover | Paperback | Audio

Author Synopsis:

        According to Ponyboy, there are two kinds of people in the world: greasers and socs. A soc (short for "social") has money, can get away with just about anything, and has an attitude longer than a limousine. A greaser, on the other hand, always lives on the outside and needs to watch his back. Ponyboy is a greaser, and he's always been proud of it, even willing to rumble against a gang of socs for the sake of his fellow greasers--until one terrible night when his friend Johnny kills a soc. The murder gets under Ponyboy's skin, causing his world to crumble and teaching him that pain feels the same whether a soc or a greaser.

My review:

The story is told from the perspective of Ponyboy and I was able to connect with him at the beginning of the plot.  He is a member of a “Greaser” gang, which consists of the poorer people in society.  I easily became attached to Ponyboy because of Hinton’s focus on his emotions.  One could recognize that Ponyboy has a deep love for his gang of “Greasers.”  The gang’s support and love for each other helps Ponyboy and his brothers, Darrel and Sodapop, overcome the death of their parents.  nHinEven though I immediately became attached to Ponyboy, one could also feel the emotions of the other characters, even those who were less important to the story.  This is vital to capturing the reader’s attention since many novels leave out the emotions of secondary characters, especially if the story is told from the perspective of just one character.  I have also noticed that some authors tell the story from the perspective of two characters in order to convey their thoughts.  What I found most remarkable in Hinton’s writing is her ability to write this novel from the perspective of just one character, while also providing insight into how other characters are feeling. 

Hinton uses rich descriptions for introducing new characters which helped me feel closer to understanding Ponyboy’s world. Hinton vividly describes characters’ eyes as a technique to describe their personality.  For example she describes Dally’s cold personality by telling the reader about his icy blue eyes.  Through Hinton’s fresh writing style, colorful descriptions and attention to miniscule details, I became engrossed in the characters’ struggles.

This was daring story about a young boy in the midst of life threatening fights, struggles to find his place in life.  I would recommend this novel to anyone who is looking for a change of pace from their usual genre.  Even though I am a science fiction fan this was an exciting read and I would even consider reading it again.

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