Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Bumblebee Flies Anyway” as Want to Read:
The Bumblebee Flies Anyway
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Bumblebee Flies Anyway

3.78 of 5 stars 3.78  ·  rating details  ·  925 ratings  ·  45 reviews
Sixteen-year-old Barney can't remember life before the Complex, an experimental clinic. He knows he's different--he's the control subject. Then he uncovers a terrible secret about himself, a secret that drives him to fulfill his and his fellow subjects' ultimate dream. The Bumblebee must fly!
Paperback, 256 pages
Published November 1st 1991 by Laurel Leaf (first published January 1st 1983)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Bumblebee Flies Anyway, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Bumblebee Flies Anyway

The Unbearable Lightness of Being by Milan KunderaOne Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcí­a MárquezA Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled HosseiniExtremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran FoerThe Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers
Most Poetic Book Titles
191st out of 991 books — 551 voters
Animal Farm by George OrwellHarry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J.K. RowlingThe Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. LewisTo Kill a Mockingbird by Harper LeeOf Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
Species and Animals in Titles
65th out of 504 books — 111 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,452)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Robert Cormier is my favorite author.

Barney Snow lives in the Complex, an institution for the terminally ill. Everyone around him is slowly dying, day by day. But is Barney any different? He's not sick, so why is he here? He devises a plan to make the most of whatever life he and his friends have left, because there is no escape from the Complex...except death.

Despite the incredibly depressing setting for the novel, this is another one of Cormier's lighter books, because the end, while sad, is o
Nancy Chaffin
Barney is a young man who is in the hospital for a series of experimental treatments, while most of the other patients in the hospital are suffering from terminal illnesses and have consented to participate in scientific studies in the hope that mankind will be benefitted by their service. A doctor is performing experiments on Barney which affect his memory and he has been experiencing terrifying dreams as a by-product. Barney is a good friend to some of the patients and tries to serve them in s ...more
James Hoch
The Bumblebee Flies Anyway is a book about a sixteen year old boy named Barney Snow who lives in a medical facility for experimental medicine.

The main characters are Barney, Billy, Mazzo, Allie, Cassie, and the Handyman. Barney is the only subject in the facility that is not close to death. Billy is another patient at the hospital who makes friends with barney. Allie is another patient at the hospital who has a speech impediment. Mazzo is also close to death and never leaves his bed at the facil
Ron Christiansen
Classic Cormier--a psychological thriller which reminds me a bit of his better-known *I am the cheese* A dark tale focusing on several boys with terminal illnesses who have volunteered (at least we think) their waning bodies and minds to medicine so as to benefit others. Barney, the main character, is different though. He's not sick and the experiments he is undergoing are on his mind, his memory. A touching relationship springs up between him and Mazzo's (a grumpy bedridden case) twin sister wh ...more
Oct 03, 2011 Feathzzz rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: teenagers, werid people
What makes Cormier a favorite author of mine is his ability to write extremely good realism involving esoteric concepts. Following his trademark The Bumblebee Flies Anyway is about a boy undergoing brainwashing experiments unbeknown to him in an experimental clinic. Never did it seem unreal, impassible, too much, or even cliché. It's much more sweet and simple then you might think.

This is the lowest rating I've given one of his novel's and the reason for that is it wasn't as suspenseful as his
The Bumblebee Flies Anyways by Rober Cormier is a very good book that made me realize many stuff about our society. Throught out this book, a character named Barney who tries to find out who he really is after waking up in a hospital with no memory. There were many clues that helped him find his way throguh. The author brings up government referring to God who controls all the citizens in this book. This book is very adventurous Cormier was excellent in rising the suspense in readers' mind. Betr ...more
Feb 17, 2010 Meaghan rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: teenagers and people with critical illnesses
Cormier tackles medical ethics in this book, set in a research facility for people with terminal illnesses. Considering that nearly every character in this story is dying, it's not as depressing as it could be. This is due to the protagonist, Barney, and his strength of spirit. The ending is so tragically beautiful it brought tears to my eyes.
"There is something in human beings that whispers secretly to them that they are personally immortal, that other people die, but not them."

The Bumblebee Flies Anyway, P. 41

As always, I am awestruck by the writing of Robert Cormier.

The Bumblebee Flies Anyway is such a different kind of book from anything else out there that to compare it to another novel would be a disservice to it. That would be bringing it down to a level of commonness that the story totally flies above, separated into some

In first picking up this book, I noticed its rather dark cover and the contrasting red car. Obviously, this car is important, and cars in general must have some role in this story because of the junk yard depicted on the front cover. However, all of these details made me feel disconnected because they seemed rather male oriented; because of this, I was a bit apprehensive in getting into the text.

As I read the text, I found myself motivated to continue because I wanted to know more about the pro

This was surprisingly a very good read for me. It started off slow and was slow to fill in details or have much excitement. The characters were interesting and it had potential so I kept reading. Getting close to the end, the unexpected reveal of secrets and the final ending had me reading quickly to find out what happens, and was very enjoyable! I definitely will be keeping this on my bookshelf and looking into reading another robert cormier book.
Linda Cohen
I was reading this the night my mom flew to London and I was sure her plane was going to crash so I had to do something/anything to keep my mind off the fact I forgot to call and wish her goodbye until it was too late. I don't remember what airline she was flying on but they had had a rash of bad things happen on flights around that time she flew with them. I had always Robert Cormier's books so it seemed like a good idea to read him to keep my mind occupied(this was back in 1987-88) Everytime I ...more
This book made me cry so much, and I think if a book has the power to affect you like that, you know it's pretty amazing.
I had to mark this book as read to get it off of the currently reading list, however I could not finish it and put it on my pile of books to go. I just could not get into it. I think the author may have expected the reader to glom on to all the terms his main character was spouting but I've been able to follow medical terminology easier than this. I reached the point where he explained what everything meant but by that point I didn't like the characters, had no idea where the plot was going and ...more
Hector Medina
Well this book was interseted but not that when I first read but it actually changed my mind when i read it more often it is about a sixteen year old named barney who can't remember his lif so he goes to like a experimental clinic, but ends up finding a terrible secret about himself in a dream and it is kind of why the book is called the bumblebees flies anyway which is basically the bumblbee must fly. So barney must actually recover from his memories and think about his past and his deepest sec ...more
Mar 17, 2009 Neaka rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Neaka by: I had to read it for English in 8th grade
Definitely one of the better books I've read. The Bumblebee Flies Anyway tells the story of sixteen year old Barney, who lives in a "hospital" called The Complex. It's actually an experimental clinic. What makes the story so interesting are the characters. Barney runs across a couple key characters, and the whole story revolves around Barney trying to figure out who he really is, and what The Complex is really trying to achieve. It was a VERY interesting read, and one that I thoroughly enjoyed. ...more
Just reread this book after a few years and it is still very good. The character of Barney Snow is engaging and the ending is still heart breaking. However, it is not Cormier's best work-I'd save that for I am the Cheese or After the First Death- but still solid. It also raises some interesting questions on the quality of life and companionship. Much better than the movie of the same name. The movie tries too hard to make the story fit into the quintessential "Hollywood Happy Ending" so much tha ...more
I had to read this book for school (of a list and I chose this one) and I really liked it! It was a bit confusing at first but that was just because pieces hadn't fit together yet... I would definitely recommend it.
Julie Bennett
"Sixteen-year-old Barney can't remember life before the Complex, an experimental clinic. He knows he's different--he's the control subject. Then he uncovers a terrible secret about himself, a secret that drives him to fulfill his and his fellow subjects' ultimate dream. The Bumblebee must fly!"
This book was interesting, but kind of scary at the same time. Barney seems to be the one constant for all the other people in the clinic until.... Lots of interesting twists and turns that keep you sucked
Karen Mcilhargey
Takes more than one read to get what is happening, but I really enjoyed this book. The basis is about relationships: 1) between oneself; as an individual and 2) with others. The twist is that the novel is set in an experimental hospital where the patients have volunteered themselves to be tested with drugs but not with the intention of being cured. I was drawn in with the strangeness of the dark setting and felt connected to the protagonist who I found to be a raw character.
Almost more of a 2.5 due to my high expectations for Cormier. Barney is in an experimental hospital, taking the "merchandise" and reporting back to The Handyman about it. He's the only one who isn't terminally ill, so why is he there? Barney keeps getting odd flashes of images in his head. Mazzo refuses to see his family, so his attractive, concerned, older sister visits with Barney who reports on his friend's condition. But she has ulterior motives for her visits.
Lauren Dietrich
This is one of my favorite books. I rarely reread books but find myself going back to this story time after time. To this day it still makes me tear up.
Andrei Secu
This book is very interesting. The main character, Barney, lives in the Complex, an experimental hospital. He is surrounded by people who are dying and take untested drugs in the hope of helping someone in the the future. As Barney's days of living in the Complex dwindle, he sets his sights on one goal, to build the Bumblebee and give Mazzo, a terminally ill patient, his last ride.
I did enjoy this book but felt like I had no clue what was going on for a lot of the book. People would ask me what the book is about, and I found myself unsure of what to say really. It is an interesting and easy read, but I don't think I would want to read this book again. Perhaps I need to check out other books by him to get a better feel for his novels overall.
Diana Welsch
This was good, but not Cormier's best work. Great setting, wonderful descriptions, good plot, interesting characters, intriguing twists. But hey, word to the publisher: don't put an image of the climactic scene on the cover. It sort of spoils it. KTHXBYE.
Cormier is the master of getting inside young men's heads. The Bumblebee Flies Anyway is simply beautiful...a story that breaks your heart but leaves you with a feeling of hope. Every young man should read this book.
I adore this book. The ending left me crying : ) Barney's development was amazing to watch... especially after the great discovery...if you know what I mean...hope everyone who reads it loves it!
Another heart-wrenching story, also a wonderful read and good for young adult readers. I probably read this when I was about 13, and it still leaves a huge impression.
Oct 30, 2007 Amy rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: anyone
Haunting, endearing, sad. This book is about a teenage boy in a facility for medical testing. The story is all at once hopeless and hopeful. An interesting read.
Ashley Reynolds
This is heartbreakingly beautiful, just like all of Cormier's work. I enjoyed The Chocolate War more, but I still really really like this book!
The title was so promising that I HAD to read it.

Turned out to be an interesting look at twin-connections and experimental treatments.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 48 49 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Stotan!
  • Uncle Vampire
  • East of Midnight
  • The Burning Questions of Bingo Brown (Bingo Brown, #1)
  • The Undertaker's Gone Bananas
  • Lockie Leonard, Scumbuster
  • The Maestro
  • This Place Has No Atmosphere
  • Midnight Hour Encores
  • Cruise Control
  • Bat 6
  • Eva
  • Rumble Fish
  • Stripes of the Sidestep Wolf
  • The Perfect Distance
  • A Hero Ain't Nothin But a Sandwich
  • Driver's Ed
  • Ugly
Robert 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 ...more
More about Robert Cormier...
The Chocolate War (Chocolate War, #1) I Am the Cheese After the First Death The Rag and Bone Shop Fade

Share This Book