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3.76 of 5 stars 3.76  ·  rating details  ·  1,807 ratings  ·  165 reviews
IT IS THE summer of 1938 when young Paul Moreaux discovers he can “fade.” First bewildered, then thrilled with the power of invisibility, Paul experiments. But his “gift” soon shows him shocking secrets and drives him toward a chilling act.

“Imagine what might happen if Holden Caufield stepped into H. G. Wells’ The Invisible Man, and you’ll have an idea how good Fade is. .

Hardcover, 310 pages
Published October 1st 1988 by Delacorte Books for Young Readers
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As someone who wasn't IN LOVE with Cormier's book The Chocolate War as many others, I was simply blown away by FADE. A perfect example of magical realism - the real world here is painstakingly detailed, rendered so beautifully and realistically that when the magic is sprinkled in it, too, seems completely and utterly real. Plus, this is the type of book with writing that was so beautiful, a narrative voice so striking that I would find myself going back and reading passages over and over again,...more

Correspondingly, not sure if this book is a work of genius... or a really awkward literary sandwich consisting of a slow moving coming-of-age first half and a ridiculous super-fast, quiveringly violent second half smooshed together with post-modern central filling where the author pauses to dissect and analyse the meaning of the first half of the novel (I'm so serious my face has gone stiff)

I loved The Chocolate War, Beyond the Chocolate War and I am the Cheese and Robert Cormier to bits genera...more
Knowing nothing about it, somehow I ended up with this book to report on for a high school English class. Needless to say, I didn't report on all of it, as there are some pretty adult themes. I found the concept (boy that can turn invisible but must deal with the consequences of his gift) interesting and would like to reread this one sometime with a more mature perspective.
Paul can Fade.

One second, he's there, the next he isn't. Just like that.

At first, he's thrilled: we've all wished we had the ability to vanish from sight, spy on our friends and family (if you say you don't, your a liar). He now has the opprotunity to observe his Aunt Rosanna, attractive and proud of it. He can watch the people in his town behind closed doors, discover who they really are without risking being caught. Every teenage boy's dream, right?

But then, as time goes on and more and more d...more
Paul Moreaux, a thirteen year old boy living in Frenchtown, has an exciting summer in 1938. His Aunt Rosanna returns for a visit, his Uncle Adelard shows up, unannounced as always. These two were always the topic of interest in their family, never staying long and afterwards Rosanna would lose all touch with the family and he would never see her graceful figure or smell her enticing perfume again. During such a difficult time, Paul struggles with the events of bullying, financial hardships in hi...more
When a book’s cover likens it to a hybrid between Catcher in the Rye and H. G. Wells’ The Invisible Man, it sets high expectations. In the first third of Fade, I felt like a more apt comparison would have been Neil Simon’s Lost in Yonkers (part of his semi-biographical Brighton Beach trilogy) or Woody Allen’s Radio Days bred with Wells’ infamous Dr. Griffin. Indeed, the Wells’ influence is undeniable. Indeed, if one leaves out the famous “meat” scene from Portnoy’s Complaint, Fade bears resembla...more
If we were just talking about the first half, this would be a five-star rating. Everything from the main character's childhood is absolutely riveting - the descriptions of his town, his family, the introduction of his gift/curse, and all of its unexpected consequences. There were numerous instances where I was caught completely off guard and my jaw literally dropped.

Cormier's style is so infectious. Dense, but somehow still breezy. He really puts you in Paul's shoes. This is a story that delive...more
Logan Erdmann
I really liked this book. It starts off with a young man, Paul, who realizes he has the power to become invisible. He calls it being able to fade. Paul at first is empowered by being able to spy on the ones around him. He startled and actually horrified by what he finds out. Paul uses the power and kills a very powerful and crooked man of the community. The power also begins to drag on him as he gets older and you can see that it is actually killing him.

The main characters are Paul Moreaux, the...more
I remember finding this book in my high school library and being thoroughly scandalized by how much graphic, kinky sex there was in it. Scandalized and titillated, naturally- I was a teenager after all. If I recall correctly, I took it without checking it out, with the halfassed justification that they would never keep it there if they knew what was in it. I... don't remember if I ever put it back. I might have. Unlike the copy of Nobody, Nowhere that I still have 20 years later. Ditto for Dream...more
Rosa Li
Speaking on a rather childish level, the book is horrifying and traumatizing at the end.
However I have to admit that everything in the book is the reality; the ugliness of this world and humanity that we often chose not to see. Cormier added the component of magic, or power into the story that truly manifests... everything.
I cried very hard when Bernard died; my jaw dropped every time Paul talked about sex so frantically; I winced and my face churned whenever another uncontrollable "sin" is com...more
This book takes place in the summer of 1938 where a young boy named Paul finds out that he has this inherited ability to turn invisible. Paul has a lot of fun discovering the possibilities of things he can do while he is invisible. It all seems fun until he does some horrible things that cannot be undone no matter how much he wishes they could. I thought this was a really good book. I would recommend it to anyone who is a fan of Robert Cormier, or who likes a surprise ending because I never saw...more
James Hoch
"Fade" was my second Cormier book that I read. When I started reading the first pages of the book I thought it was going to be boring, but I was completely wrong. "Fade" is about a young boy named Paul who inherits the ability to render himself invisible. He learns that the power he posseses isn't what it seems. "Fade" was very exciting and kept me guessing what was going to happen next. I would reccommend this book to teenagers who like mystery books.
This book is quite disturbing to a certain extent but an accurate reflection of real life. Paul's innocence fades as reality reveals itself in this coming-of-age novel that will have you turning the pages until dawn. "Fade" is Intriguing, captivating, and weird (in a good way)
Although this book is definitely not for children (I'd say 13+, for incest, sex, and a whole lot of alienation), it's really excellent and interesting and made me think. I'd say Cormier's best book is I Am the Cheese, but this one comes in a close second.
Chris Griffith
Kept me riveted, wondering what was going to happen next. The problem? Nothing ever did (happen).
This book was a strange mixture of fictional history and fantasy. However, the book was slow, and it was so focused on building its characters that I had thought the author must be trying to portray some kind of theme or idea through the actions of these characters however, there wasn't any circumstance where I felt connected to any of the characters in this book. Neither was there a message, atleast not one that I could discern.

It was a strange and sad book. It had strong depictions of the har...more
Expect the unexpected when it comes to the stories of Robert Cormier. No one knows how to rip the cover off the traditional novel any better than he does, and it always seems that at least one or two major bombshells await in each of his books.

Fade is the longest Cormier book I've read (three hundred ten pages in hardcover), which seems to suit the story's style well. The plot isn't dotted with lit sticks of literary dynamite that threaten to blow the reader away with the raw intensity of revel...more
This was brilliantly written and had an interesting premise but I found it quite disturbing in parts and can't understand why it's supposed to be a YA book. It was very violent and sexually explicit and the themes were very adult.

I thought the whole section with Susan and Marianne or whatever her name was should've been left out, it added nothing to the story and really disrupted the flow of the plot. It was weird, like Cormier was using two new unrelated characters to try and convince his read...more
Robert Cormier is my favorite author.

Paul Moreaux has a special power: he can become invisible. He inherited this power from his uncle, who calls the power the fade. However, the fade is more curse than blessing, as it shows Paul things about himself and others that he never wanted to know, and begins to isolate him from everyone around him. Years later, a publishing editor tries to uncover the truth; is the manuscript another of Paul's novels...or an autobiography?

This is my favorite of Cormier...more
Kyle Smith
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Ashley Phillips
This book is listed as a Young Adult fantasy novel, and actually that is how I came across it. It was in a B&N list of great YA books to enjoy and I like to read YA still, however I think the themes in this book are far from appropriate for the majority of young readers. I personally enjoyed some of the mature content because it added a cool dimension to the novel, but for a younger person to read about incest, murder, *almost* molestation, and lots of masturbation is a bit off-putting to me...more
I have to say this first...some parts of this book were very weird. But, after reading the whole thing, I think it was weird in a very good way. I loved this book. I had read another one of Robert Cormier's books in middle school, I am the Cheese, and I remember thinking that book was strange too. I also remember enjoying it. It is a very interesting mix of crazy and innovative, and strange and brilliant. They way everything comes together is just so nice!

The main character, Paul, does remind me...more
I really do love Cormier. He's become one of my favorite authors and, honestly, is one of the main reasons I started writing YA in the first place. He was a pioneer from the start and continued throughout his career, pushing boundaries further and further.

FADE continues in that vein, becoming a hybrid YA/adult-ish novel that created that "crossover" appeal long before the term was ever viable.

In truth, this one is probably closer to a 4.5, as there were only a few things that kept me from having...more
Robert Beveridge
Robert Cormier, Fade (Delacorte, 1988)
[originally posted 26Jan2000]

First, the prurience issue.

Some fool-- and hopefully it's only one fool making noise-- wants to yank this book off the shelves in northern Joisey. Why? Because it's SEXUALLY EXPLICIT. (One wonders if those same shelves have V. C. Andrews' novels, and whether said fool has ever "flipped through" those.) A sexually explicit coming-of-age novel from the eighties. Who'd'a thunk it? And when it comes right down to it, if you really th...more
When I was a teenager I’d find myself being ignored to such a degree I’d have to practically grab people by the lapels and scream in their face just to have them recognize me. Fade is about people who are systematically ignored to the point of invisibility, case in point the misfit members of a large French Canadien family. These family members are the outcasts of the family and one of them, Paul Moreaux’s Uncle Adelard has the ability to render himself invisible. This talent is passed from uncl...more
Stephen King's description of this book as a Catcher in the Rye / Invisible Man hybrid caught my attention. I don't know why considering how much I despise Catcher, but that description, mingling with my enjoyment of many of Cormier's other novels, made me pick this up. The first half of the book deserves five stars. It falls apart after that.
The first half of Fade examines secrecy and voyeurism by giving 13 year old protagonist, Paul, the ability to fade, or become invisible.
Paul is a beautifu...more
I think I just found my next Salinger. No kidding–Reading the haunting account of Paul Moreaux, the main protagonist of Robert Cormier’s 1988 novel, Fade, feels like bumping into Holden Caulfield again in another place and time. Think Catcher in the Rye with superpowers. Served with a playful dash of fantasy, the book ironically brings dark realities to life with its stunning pace and twists. This book is utter brilliance from cover to cover. Trust me, even Stephen King says so.

I devoured the na...more
This is one of my absolute favorite books of all time. I've read it a few times but just re-read it recently because I remember the slight drama surrounding it. About fifteen years ago (the book was originally published in 1988, though that is far before I read it the first time), I just lived for this book. I remember I was on vacation and was supposed to be out enjoying my time and playing with relatives but instead I was laying on my bed reading this book every chance I could get.

Fade is set...more
Karyn Huenemann
Definitely the greatest of Cormier’s novels that I have read to date. Not only is the plot interesting, successfully incorporating fantasy into a dark social realism of life for French immigrant mill workers in the late 1930s Massachusetts (again, the community of Monument), but also in carrying the reader along through skillful manipulation of narrative perspective. I won’t give away the plot, nor anticipate the joy the reader gains in following Cormier’s skillful narrative lead. I can only say...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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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 Tenderness

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“It came to me that hell would not be fire and smoke after all but arctic, everything white and frigid. Hell would be not anger but indifference.” 9 likes
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