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The Chocolate War & Beyond the Chocolate War Bind-up: AND Beyond the Chocolate War Paperback – 28 Aug 2008


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Product details

  • Paperback: 496 pages
  • Publisher: Puffin; Bind-up Ed edition (28 Aug 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 014132483X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141324838
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 3.4 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,099,428 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

The Chocolate War is uncompromising and unsentimental. It is doubtful, and finally irrelevant, whether Mr Cormier was writing for adolescents or for adults, any more than William Golding was concerned with a specific audience as he wrote Lord of the Flies, with which this novel stands comparison (TES )

Getting inside the souls of adolescents seems to be Cormier's particular gift (Publishing Weekly )

From the Back Cover

CAN ONE SMALL BOY DEFEAT THE MIGHT OF THE VIGILS?

Jerry's one of the best: honest, straightforward and hard working. He's just scraped into the football team at his new school, and things are looking good.

Then he meets Archie, leader of the Vigils, the school Mafia. Archie can see straight away that Jerry's not going to fit in with the Vigils – and if you're not in with them, you're very definitely OUT.

Jerry wants to be out when the school sale comes round. Who says he has to sell chocolates? But Archie's help has been enlisted by one of the masters, and Archie has his reputation to uphold. Jerry MUST conform…

"A quick-firing journalistic exposure of the more atrocious processes of growing up. Can't happen here? It can and it does. Daily."
THE TIMES

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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29 of 32 people found the following review helpful By tanner on 13 Oct 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I never read books. The only time that I like to read books is if I have to for school, or I really love the book. In this case The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier was one of them. My tutor recommended me to read this book. In the beginning of the book I was not sure that I wanted read it, but when I read more and more of the story it got more and more fascinating. I have never finished a book in one day but when you read this book you will never want to put the story down.
The story is about this new kid named Jerry Renault who goes to this school called Trinity. The school is pretty much ran by a gang. Jerry gets caught up in this game that ends up making Jerry's life a living hell. Jerry must over come harassment, ostracization, and many more horrible things. All through the story one saying is going through Jerry's mind and that is "Do I dare disturb the world?" The author uses these simple words to make you keep on reading the story till you finish. One great part I really enjoyed in the story was when ten people jumped Jerry. The author writes the book as if it was a movie. For example, you get to see each and every character in depth just like in the movies. The author also uses a lot of descriptive words to explain every event happening in the story.
I would recommend this book to everyone. This book will probably the best book that you have ever read. It will keep you on the edge of your seat. I give the book three thumbs up. I hope that you enjoy the book as much as I did.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 22 July 2003
Format: Hardcover
The Chocolate War is a cruel but not entirely unrealistic study of school life at Trinity school for boys. Set in American, this is a chilling novel with similar themes for the Godfather (albeit on a smaller scale). Jerry has recently started at Trinity school and things are going well; he's made the football team and some friends. His problems start when the annual chocolate sale comes around; supposedly an optional activity, Jerry goes against the norm and refuses to sell his share of chocolates. This soon attracts the attention of other, less keen pupils, but also Brother Leon who is in charge of the sale. When Leon realises this one boy could make him fail the required target, he calls Archie Costello, the head of the dominating group known as the Vigils, to persuade Jerry to sell his chocolates.
I found this book very enjoyable, but also consistent with its themes of how power corrupts and non-conformism. Although a children's author, Robert Cormier's Chocolate War is recommended for all ages.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 20 July 2000
Format: Paperback
This is a great book, very dark, very serious. It takes some hard looks at social and moral issues about community, forced community, and forcing schoolchildren to pimp goods door-to-door to help pay for their education, in this case, chocolates. Set in a US Catholic all-boys parochial school, for anyone that didn't attend this kind of school, the background may seem surreal; trust me, it's as real as it gets. Brother Anthony made the hair stand up on the back of my neck in recognition.
P.s. don't waste your time on the Hollywood movie, they rewrote the ending to appeal to some mythical "American sensibility" which I as an American, find ludicrous and repellent. The rewritten version *completely* destroyed the message of the story.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By neverendings on 9 Aug 2012
Format: Paperback
Every year, Trinity High School raises money by recruiting its students to sell chocolates. One year, Jerry Renault says `no'. At first, this is on instruction, the result of a unique kind of bullying instigated by a select clique known as The Vigils; but soon Jerry is making a stand of his own - although he is not quite sure why. Warped Vigil mastermind Archie is behind Jerry's initial refusal, but his power is challenged when Jerry refuses to stand down. Can Archie regain control of the situation; and if not, will Jerry have proven or achieved anything? A war that is much bigger, and much more explosive than a box of chocolates has begun...

The Chocolate War could easily have been a straightforward exercise examining the fears and humiliation of peer pressure, bullying and conformity with a side-order of positivity and the championing of self-esteem, self-belief, self-awareness (etc), but Cormier goes much further in this chillingly human story, full of challenging ideas. There is a bleakness in the inherent corruption of the school and the lost innocence, or contamination of those who encounter it for the first time. Awareness dawns that life is not always happily ever after, and standing up for something that matters will not change the world - although it may change your perspective or perception of it. This novel asks more questions than it answers.

Cormier has an uncanny way of getting under his characters' skin, in prose that is clear and accessible, without excess. A `simple' school story about a boy dealing with the loss of his mother to cancer becomes a complex question of good versus evil. The refusal to offer pat solutions makes this young adult novel stand out from the crowd.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By TeensReadToo TOP 500 REVIEWER on 4 Jan 2008
Format: Paperback
This is a horrifying story about a boy's school where there is literally a chocolate war.

A secret society of boys, which the administration has always turned their back on, takes over a school chocolate sale. The boys are all asked to sell fifty boxes at two dollars apiece instead of the normal twenty-five at a dollar. And the leader of the secret society is one of the students who is pushing the sale. And he tells one student to refuse to sell the chocolate for ten days, but on the eleventh he is to take them. And he doesn't.

This book is interesting, and has a lot of twists and turns. I can see why a lot of schools use this book to teach with. There are a lot of moral lessons and many things that can be learned. I enjoyed reading this, and would recommend it to anyone who has ever had bully problems.

Reviewed by: Taylor Rector
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