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The Rag and Bone Shop (Laurel-Leaf Books) Mass Market Paperback – 13 May 2003


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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Laurel Leaf Library (13 May 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0440229715
  • ISBN-13: 978-0440229711
  • Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 1.2 x 17.4 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,381,237 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

" Tense and terrifying, this final book from Cormier will leave a lasting impression."
"- Booklist," Starred
" The chilling results of the questioning will leave an indelible mark on readers and prompt heated discussions regarding the definition of guilt and the fine line between truth and deception."
- "Publishers Weekly," Starred

"Tense and terrifying, this final book from Cormier will leave a lasting impression."
"-Booklist," Starred
"The chilling results of the questioning will leave an indelible mark on readers and prompt heated discussions regarding the definition of guilt and the fine line between truth and deception."
-"Publishers Weekly," Starred

Tense and terrifying, this final book from Cormier will leave a lasting impression.
" Booklist," Starred
The chilling results of the questioning will leave an indelible mark on readers and prompt heated discussions regarding the definition of guilt and the fine line between truth and deception.
"Publishers Weekly," Starred"

From the Inside Flap

Twelve-year old Jason is accused of the brutal murder of a young girl. Is he innocent or guilty? The shocked town calls on an interrogator with a stellar reputation: he always gets a confession. The confrontation between Jason and his interrogator forms the chilling climax of this terrifying look at what can happen when the pursuit of justice becomes a personal crusade for victory at any cost.

"From the Hardcover edition.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9e541e88) out of 5 stars 84 reviews
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9e1e60b4) out of 5 stars The usual Cormier blend of compassion and cruelty... 21 Nov. 2001
By linus - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Reading Cormier's swan song is all the sadder for knowing it's his swan song. His time to be re-evaluated as a master of fiction, not just a master of young-adult fiction, is long overdue. In any event, the bulk of this one is a prolonged and bruising interrogation. A seven-year-old girl has been found murdered. Twelve-year-old Jason Dorrant is the prime suspect, though there's no 'physical evidence' to link him to the crime. Trent, a hotshot interrogator brought in to speed the case to closure, grills the boy. This being Cormier, you're pretty sure Jason is innocent, but only pretty sure. Hence the compassion and cruelty of Cormier's method -- sometimes when reading the latest Cormier book (including this one) you'd sort of get mad at him for creating such likable, sympathetic characters and then putting them into the meat grinder. But he made you care, so it was impossible to stay mad even if you hated what happened to the good people in his work.
This is classic Cormier -- childhood innocence broken on the rack of adult corruption (the town officials want to point the finger at Jason because they want SOMEONE to take the fall); sensitive and alert rendering of shifting moods and thoughts (Cormier's books have always been too interiorized to allow for good movie adaptations; I wouldn't want to see Hollywood attempt this one); the sense that evil often prevails, but that doesn't mean good shouldn't try anyway; and, most vividly, one of the most chilling final lines in all of Cormier. I sort of wish Cormier had left us with something a little more optimistic, but he was never particularly optimistic, just realistic. And his complex portrait of Trent -- as a man who has grown to hate what he does and who he is, but does it anyway because it's necessary and he happens to be skilled at it -- separates Cormier from many youth-flattering authors who indulge in easy kids=good, adults=bad equations. Cormier was about the messier arithmetic of the human soul. It's a shame he's not still out there crunching those numbers. He will be missed.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9e1e24b0) out of 5 stars For older teens: a quick read that packs a punch 1 July 2002
By k.c. fotheringham - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
The Rag and Bone Shop, Robert Cormier's last book before his death, is not for the young or faint of heart.
Interrogated by an expert, 12 yr. old Jason cannot avoid linking himself to the murdered 7 yr old. Does what he say cause him to become someone different? In the windowless interrogation room he perceives the double-edged sword of reality and its underlying currents of suspicion and need. This book is for mature readers because the seemingly simple story twists and turns into a stark fatal attraction. Are truth and justice found in the rag and bone shop? The suspense builds with each answer that Jason gives. Like writing an epitaph on a tombstone, author Robert Cormier lures the reader into formulating and answering a poignant question. And not until the end does he...reader, this is a master at work; you'll not want to close the cover of this powerful, slim book.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9ee568dc) out of 5 stars The last book 17 Oct. 2001
By Meaghan - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
How I wish Robert Cormier was alive right now so I could call him up and tell him exactly what I thought of this wonderful book. It was pretty obvious to me from the beginning who committed the crime. The question was: would Jason confess? When I heard about this book I figured it would be some combination of the elements of Cormier's previous books "Tenderness" and "I am the Cheese". Trent is not like Brint, but in the end they acted very much the same. And Jason is no Eric Poole...until the end. I read the second-to-last chapter and thought, "Whew." Then I read the final pages and I was like "Oh my god..." This book is like the grand finale at the end of a fireworks show. Good work, Robert!
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9e5dbb7c) out of 5 stars An economy of words, an exacting story! 19 Jan. 2002
By Christian - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Robert Cormier doesn't waste words. In his lifetime, he penned over 25 young adult novels...each one a gem in its own right. With "Rag and Bone Shop", he delves into darker territory with a precise economy of words, but doesn't ignore the deep emotional territory on which he treads...or at least his characters.
Telling the tale of Jason Dorrant, a middle-school youngster who is accused of killing his friends younger sister, Alicia Bartlett, Cormier drives the story along quickly and deftly. In a political (aren't they all?) manuever, local officials bring in Trent, an ace interrigator, who is known for eliciting confessions from even the most innocent suspects. Jason is brought into the local police station, and sequestered with Trent, who is undergoing some personal doubts about himself, the fairly recent death of his wife, and about the young man he is hired to make confess.
Cormier handles this taut, suspenseful story with guts and grit, drawing his characters with broad strokes, but making them feel like we've known them for some time.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9e1f12d0) out of 5 stars Forever Changed by Certain Events of Our Lives 13 Feb. 2007
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The last of Robert Cormier's 16 novels, THE RAG AND BONE SHOP is a chilling conclusion to this writer's fabulous career and life (January 17, 1925 - November 2, 2000). I can't say I've ever finished a book and felt the way I did after this one. Far from a happy ending, it'll have you thinking for hours.

"I must lie down where all the ladders start / In the foul rag-and-bone shop of the heart." ~ William Butler Yeats

The district has called in expert interrogator Trent for a special case. The whole town of Monument is riled up and wants a confession. They need a perp to make themselves feel better. Seven-year-old Alicia Bartlett's body is found in the trees a short ways off the path with no physical evidence. All they have to go on is the last person to see her alive, twelve-year-old Jason Dorrant.

Jason has a short history of violence, but if someone were to ask him about it, he would say that punching Bobo Kelton was necessary. After all, he'd touched little Alicia inappropriately, and no one had done anything about it, not even Alicia. Alicia intrigues Jason. She's honest, smart, expert at puzzles, and befriends him when the rest of the world doesn't.

The trouble is that Alicia's dead now. Trent needs a confession to move further up the ranks. Jason's trapped without an alibi. And the town wants blood. The tale Cormier weaves from this situation amounts to a social statement, or question, about the roles adults have in the formation of young lives. Are we innately good, or evil? Or perhaps we are forever changed by certain events of our lives, ones we'll never be able to forget, ones we'll eventually have to act on before our minds take over.

-- Reviewed by Jonathan Stephens
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