• Outsider books

    08 November 2019

    A little follow up to yesterday's post. When I was writing about The Breakfast Club, I started thinking about books which gave me similar vibes to that movie, and which might be of interest to you guys too, and three immediately leapt into my head. I've talked about them many times before in various interviews and posts and at events and signings over the years, so I won't go on about them at length here -- I'll just draw them to your attention and leave them at that -- I'm sure you can get them all easily enough if interested, either through your local bookseller or by searching around online. In alphabetical order...


    Bless The Beasts And Children, by Glendon Swarthout. A group of outsiders set off to try and save a herd of buffalo from being slaughtered. I saw the film of this before I read the book, and it reduced me to tears.



    The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier. This continues to be one of the most-banned books in America, which always astonishes me. I would have thought that the story of a boy who takes a stand against powerful, oppressive forces would have been required reading everywhere in the Land Of The Free, but I guess a lot of people working within The System don't like books that pit individuals against that system. Well, unless that individual is Charlton Heston with a rifle in his hands... There's a brilliant, vastly under-rated film of this book too, and I recommend both the book and film unreservedly.



    The Machine Gunners, by Robert Westall. Set in World War II, this focuses on a collector of war memorabilia and his friends, and what happens to them when they find a machine gun… and its German operator. The cover is the same as on the edition that I own. Well, I say "own"... It actually belongs to a school friend of mind. I borrowed it one day, and he kind of forgot about it, and I kind of forgot to give it back... I will one day, of course, but for now it's mine, all mine!! Mwah-hah-hah-hah!!!!



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