Read We All Fall Down by Robert Cormier Free Online
Book Title: We All Fall Down|
The author of the book: Robert Cormier
Edition: Turtleback Books
Date of issue: August 1st 1993
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 999 KB
City - Country: No data
ISBN 13: 9780785712206
Loaded: 1559 times
Reader ratings: 7.9
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We All Fall Down marks only the second Young Adult book that I’ve ever read and the first I’ve read by choice. The first novel, not surprising, was by the same author, which read more than a decade ago--maybe closer to two decades--when I was trapped some place (I don’t even remember where) and Fade was the only book available. I liked enough of what I read in the time available that I later found another copy and finished the book. I’d remembered Robert Cormier’s name and some years back bought We All Fall Down. I had not been exploring the YA section but since there was nothing on the front cover to indicate otherwise, it had been shelved out of place. A contributing factor may have the back cover’s encapsulation of the book. It read like a crime novel. It’s part of the reason Cormier had been considered a controversial author. He tended to cover adult subjects in his YA books. He argued: “Every topic is open, however shocking. It is the way that the topics are handled that's important, and that applies whether it is a 15-year-old who is reading your book or someone who is 55.”
We All Fall Down opens with four teenagers vandalizing an upper middle class house with nobody home. That changes when the 14-year-old daughter returns alone at the wrong time. Immediately we witness how Cormier flirted with adult themes. Two of the boys hold her arms as the leader, older and more vicious, drops his pants. Angered when she fights back and then tries to run, he pushes her down the basement stairs, the results of which leave her in a coma. The fourth boy, the least culpable of the invaders, watches the encounter from start to finish from the second floor. The girl’s eyes find him and beg for help, and he is unable to move. We will follow him as he tries to deal with varying degrees of guilt.
The second of the three viewpoint characters is the family’s oldest daughter, two years older than her sister. What was done to her house, and particularly to her room, disrupts her life at a critical time in her emotional development. The final player is a voyeur who had convinced himself that he was part of this house, of this family. He witnesses the entire event and--as he'd already christened himself “The Avenger” when prowling--he swears vengeance. His revenge, however, has a significant hurdle to overcome. As the first sentence from one of his early scenes explains: The problem with being an eleven-year-old Avenger was just that: being eleven years old and an Avenger.
Because the main characters each carry what seems to them to be substantial and deep-seated anguish (or at least the two that do not consider themselves an avenger do), it’s natural to suspect what follows will be a novel of introspection. While teenagers and angst tend to mix well in fiction, the story does open out include families and, in some cases, the past. There is movement, and through cause and effect their worlds begin to intersect, all in believable and interesting ways. But eventually it will wind down to only these three, initially a confrontation between just two of them, but with results that will deeply affect the third.
Which is where, had I not been so invested, I might have had cause to be wary. The other primary reason Robert Cormier was considered controversial was that things often did not turn out well for his protagonists. Not only did they not win, they often lost. Often suffered losses. I felt the conclusion rendered here was appropriate. “Happily Ever After” and “Deep Tragedy” need not be the only choices. We All Fall Down finds satisfaction somewhere in the middle.
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Read information about the authorRobert Edmund Cormier (January 17, 1925–November 2, 2000) was an American author, columnist and reporter, known for his deeply pessimistic, downbeat literature. His most popular works include I Am the Cheese, After the First Death, We All Fall Down and The Chocolate War, all of which have won awards. The Chocolate War was challenged in multiple libraries. His books often are concerned with themes such as abuse, mental illness, violence, revenge, betrayal and conspiracy. In most of his novels, the protagonists do not win.
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