24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on 14 February 2007
I initially read this book for the first time in high school in 1983, the same year the movie was released. I still have that copy, which has seen better days. I remember the story and the characters drawing me in from the start. It's a classic coming of age tale of kids from the wrong side of the tracks struggling to fit in and fighting against those who view them as outcasts.
Not only do I find it a great read even as an adult, I feel it is as relevant today as when first published in 1967, showing that whether rich or poor, all teenagers are essentially the same, having the same concerns and fears and angst. The book speaks to kids in an unpatronizing fashion, and will continue to resonate with many long after they've turned the last page. After all, what kid hasn't been in Ponyboy's and his brothers' and friends' shoes at some point -- misunderstood and being put down simply for who they are, or aren't?
I have no doubt those who have read and enjoyed The Outsiders, both kids and adults, will enjoy the other Hinton greats (That Was Then, This Is Now; Tex and Rumblefish), in addition to other troubled teen novels such as The Catcher in the Rye, The Amboy Dukes and American Odyssey.
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on 3 December 2006
What can I say? I am finally writing this review after reading the outsiders for the eighth time. Literally. For me, this book had everything and then some. Hinton makes us feel happiness, sorrow, despair and hope within a few hundred pages, leaving us breathless and hungry for more. She wrote this book when she was just seventeen, similar to the ages of most of the characters in the book and we really live the story with the characters.
Ponyboy is a greaser. A lower class, vunerable fourteen year old kid who has to grow up much too fast in order to survive. Having lost his parents before the start of the book, Ponyboy and his brother Soda (16) - a reckless, cheeky, high school drop-out - have to adjust to being raised by their oldest brother Darry, who works two jobs to keep them all off the street. As if this isn't hard enough, they constantly have to be on their guard against vicious attacks from rival gangs of the upper class 'soc's', the social elites. With their friends hot-headed Steve, tough, cool Dally, Wise-cracking Two-bit and world-weary Johnny they get by as best they can. Until the night someone takes things too far and Ponyboy is thrown into a world of terror and despair. Ponyboy has to decide what is important in a world where the only things you can count on are your friends and the fact that being born poor means never being good enough, no matter how hard you try.
They grew up on the edge of society. They weren't looking for a fight, they were looking to belong.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on 17 July 2007
I must be one of the oldest persons to read and write a review of this book. I am in my late 50s and first read The Outsiders with my son when he was in middle school, years ago. I recently picked up the book again and read it all the way through. I had forgotten how quickly the story "grabs" you and how difficult it is to put the book down once you have gotten into the book. Yes, there are certain aspects of the story which are dated; but all in all, teens today face most of the same problems with peer pressure today as they did 40 years ago when this book was written (and when I was a teenager): being judged unfairly by others, being called names and made fun of, feeling isolated because they are "different", suffering the absence of parents or family members who really care and take time to listen and encourage them, and feeling the difference in social class, between kids whose families have money, education and status, and those whose working-class or single-parent families struggle every day just to survive. I highly recommend this book, especially to anyone under the age of 18, although it's a great read for anyone!
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on 27 April 2004
Having read more books than I can count and being an extremely hard personto please (ask anyone who knows me) I can honestly say, hand on heart,that this is one of the most touching books I have ever read.
At first glance the writting may seem somewhat simplistic and I have readother's reviews who think it is obvious that a 16 year old wrote the book,however I think that the book has an amazing amount of depth and can beinterpreted in so many different ways that it is anything butsimplistic.
This book is a remarkable story of friendship, devotion and learning toappreciate and understand all aspects of life and I would recommend it toanyone who likes a compelling read, different to all the typical, yet sopopular, mills and boons and sweet valley series.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 12 May 2003
I read the book while at High School, and was really into it. Its basically just a story of how kids who live on the rough side of town, and whose parents aren't round or don't care survive. There's alot of attitude in this book, and I promise you'll be gripped, but at the same time find a soft spot for the charaters as they have their weaknesses. Once you've the read the book, I'd recommend watching the movie, as it has a young Matt Dillon, Patrick Swayze, Rob Lowe, Emilio Estevez, Tom Cruise and Diane Lane. All ages will love this book.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 19 September 2001
I first saw the film when I was about 10. (oh yes there's a film with the original Brat Pack- Rob Lowe, Patrick Swayze, Emilio Estevez, Matt Dillon to name but a few.)I saw it with my mum and sister and all three of us sobbed. When I found out it was a book I rushed out to buy it. Never has a book had such an impact on me. I have read it dozens of times and never tire of it. I think it works because even though it is a children's book adults too love it. I am 22 and I dont think I will ever stop being amazed. For my English GCSE I had to do a book comparison. I chose The Outsiders and Compared it with J D Salingers The Catcher in the Rye. My English teacher agreed with me and for him to put another book on a par with the master Salinger is a real compliment. This is a book that everybody should read at least once in their life. Thank you S E Hinton. (Try some of her others such as "That was Then This is Now" and "Rumblefish".)
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 13 September 2003
I read ALOT of books, and only 3 have made me cry, 1 of them being the Amber Spyglass, 1 the Lord of the Flies and the other this. S.E Hinton is an excellent author, I've read all of her books countless times. It amazes me how she can write about horrible, but true things and still make them strangely compelling. She has the rare gifts of being able to keep the reader hooked in suspense and worrying for the safety of the characters. I love the way the main character, Ponyboy, puts up with the truth and speaks his mind, even though he's only a kid. This book was so good, I spent a whole day reading it and re-reading it, and each time I found a hidden meaning within the words. I know it so well, I sometimes even find myself receiting whole paragraphs that I have remembered!! I recommend this book to anyone who wants an excellent, to-true-to-believe read, and I warn them that when you've finished the book, you'll have alot to think about.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 4 February 1999
As a sixteen year old I have very clear ideas of which books I do and do not like. "The Outsiders" not only manages to pack a fast paced and exciting adventure between its covers, it also deals with the moving and important issues of family, class and hopes for the future. The relationships between the characters, true to life and blatently honest are one of the strongest parts in the book. A tremendous and heart piercing work.
on 1 June 2015
I’ve never read an SE Hinton book before; I’ll admit that until I read the introduction of The Outsiders that I didn’t even realise that Hinton was female. I assumed that a book about teenage boys and gang culture was written by a male writer. This was the first of many shocks; good shocks but ones that made me realise that I had a prejudice in me that I wasn’t aware of. Another surprise is that a book of such high acclaim could be written by someone so young. Hinton wrote her debut novel at the tender age of 17. Impressive – there is not much else to say on that matter
The Outsiders centres on two rival gangs the ‘Greasers’ and the ‘Socs.’ The ‘Greasers’ come from the wrong side of the tracks, have no money, work hard but for very little and they have little chance of bettering themselves. As opposed to the ‘Socs’ – the middle/upper class people of society who get away with whatever they do because they have the money to back them up.
Things get out of hand when greaser Johnny kills a Soc when trying to save his friend (and the protagonist of this story) Ponyboy. This causes an out and out war between both gangs and the results are fatal.
It would be fair to say that nearly 50 years on from its publication date that the slang in The Outsiders is dated but the intention and the thematic resonance of the book is still extremely powerful and relevant in modern society. There are still gang related crimes happening everyday; there are still young children playing at being grown-ups with no worry of the consequence. SE Hinton’s debut novel is still as potent and as readable today as it would have been when it was first released.
What I will say is that as a book reviewer it does take a lot to impress me and whilst I do really like a lot of the books that I read it does take something special to have be finish it in one sitting. That is exactly what happened with The Outsiders. This book is a classic for a reason.
The Outsiders by SE Hinton is available now.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
This is the story of the greasers and the Socs, the two social groups in the boys' town. The greasers are kind of a family of friends, because for most of them all they have is each other. The Socs are more violent and like to fight. They are the rich kids who have things that the greasers can only dream of. They fight every once in a while -- but one night someone takes it too far.
From that point on the story surrounds the two boys who are on the run from the "fuzz" (police). The story is told from the viewpoint of Ponyboy Curtis, who is a fourteen-year-old greaser. He has two brothers, Darry Curtis and Sodapop Curtis. Their parents were killed a few years back, but the courts let them stay together as long as they stayed out of trouble.
This book is about so much more than the cliché of popular boys vs. loser boys. There are feelings and characters that you want to see succeed. That's what makes this book different from all the others, in a good way of course.
I liked that the characters seemed so real, like you really knew them! I love it when a book is like that. There are internal conflicts with many of the characters as well as the good vs. evil aspect. Everyone in eighth grade should be required to read this book!
Reviewed by: Taylor Rector