Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Publish Date: 1967 (originally) re-released many times
S.E. Hinton wrote this book when she was just 16 years old. In 1967 that was just crazy. I read the book in junior high, like it okay; then saw the movie in high school and loved it. Ok, maybe that had something to do with the guys in the movie...C. Thomas Howell, Matt Dillon, Ralph Macchio, Patrick Swayze and Rob Lowe...go look 'em up - I swear they were hot at the time!
Back to the book now: The story is about two rival gangs in a small midwest town. The Greasers are the poor kids and the Socs (I always think SOCiety) are the rich kids. Each gang has their own turf and the other is to stay out, but that doesn't happen. Much like Romeo and Juliet or West Side Story - one of the Greasers (Ponyboy) falls in love with a Soc (Cherry). Eventually a major fight breaks out and one of Ponyboy's friends, Johnny, kills a Soc. Johnny and Ponyboy run away. While they're in hiding, they witness a school on fire. They run in and try to save the children. Johnny ends up burned and with a broken back. This is where Ponyboy realizes that things could have been different and even though they're (the two gangs) all different, in many ways they're all the same.