It is said that good writing is the context which a writer creates and makes the readers think.
Going by this famous quote, The Chocolate War is not only a good, but an exemplary piece of writing. It not only makes the reader think but also sets a stage for him/her to be able to clearly recognise right from wrong, good from evil, and the consequences and repercussions of standing by one’s beliefs in a particular scenario, like the school in this book. But it stands true to every phase and situation in life. Calling it an analogy to society, as such, will not be wrong.
Written by Robert Cormier and first published in 1974, The Chocolate War remains the most discussed, analysed, debated and criticised book by Cormier and has been frequently labelled controversial and provocative. It has been banned in some parts of the world for it’s mature content, language and violence, but is equally supported by critics and taught in schools in other parts of the world.
The story is set at Trinity, an all-boys Catholic school where an annual chocolate sale is held to raise funds for the school. Brother Leon, the evil Headmaster at Trinity, doubles the number of chocolate boxes to be sold and also the price, clearly burdening the unassuming students. For this he cleverly seeks help from Archie Costello, the ‘Assigner’ with The Vigils, an underground student gang/group operating within the school in a clandestine manner. The Vigils intimidate the students and terrorise them into doing ‘tasks’ assigned by them. The protagonist Jerry Renault is a 14-year old freshman at Trinity who has recently lost his mother. Jerry refuses to sell chocolates for the annual sale and that sets into motion a chain of events, all unexpected and unusual for the school. How Jerry stands up to his beliefs, continues to refuse the sale of chocolates despite being bullied and harassed, how the complicated behaviour of students and Brothers at Trinity unfold layer after layer following this rebellious act from Jerry form the body of the book.
Continue reading Book Review: The Chocolate War
Do you DARE?
Do you have the courage to go where no book lover has gone before?
Can you step out of your comfort zone and enter a realm where the unknown can take you by surprise?
If you are adventurous enough to explore the fascinating world of books, then we recommend taking on the #TSBCChallenge head on.
Every month, one of the founders of The Sunday Book Club, will pick 10 brave challengers on Twitter and give them book recommendations to read. We will ask you for a budget so
that the recommendations lies within what you are comfortable spending.
Once we recommend the book, you buy it and over the challenge month, read the book. Hopefully, the book will be one that will make you explore a completely new genre or author. You can report back to us with either a just a few tweets telling us what you thought of the book or if you feel, or a mail if you so wish. You can also review the book and submit it to us for consideration of publication on this blog. If it meets with our criteria, we will be happy to publish it.
What you get in return is a honour of officially receiving our one of a kind badge and the authority to boast that you took the #TSBCChallenge and came out on the other side victorious.
So, are you GAME?
PS: We are a little late in putting up this blog post – the November and December Challenges have already been given out. Better late than never, eh ? 🙂
We are very happy to announce #TSBC’s latest initiative to spread the love and joy of reading — #TSBCPassItForward.
So, what is this #TSBCPassItForward all about? It’s simple really. Read the book you have been sent, and pass it forward to another person (within India) to read. But before you do that there is this small matter of rules and and suggestions:
- This book belongs to someone, so please take care of it the way you would your own book. Please do not bend, dog-ear the pages or tear the book.
- Feel free to add your thoughts or comments in the margins or wherever you find space throughout the book. You are more than welcome to underline or highlight parts that you felt were special in any way, maybe even add a note as to why you thought so. Try to be clean while doing this and using a pencil for this is recommended. You can always add as many post-it notes to it as you like.
- On the last page of the book, please write your name and the place you are in so that by the end of this run, which will last about 10-15 ‘passes’ we will know where all the book has travelled to.
- Please use the hashtag #TSBCPassItForward when tweeting about receiving, sending, or generally talking about the book.
- Do tweet us when you receive the book.
- Each book will have different time period to read it and this will be mentioned on the first page of the book. You need to read it and send it forward within that time period.
Continue reading Pass It Forward, the #TSBC Way