I read this book in 8th grade for English class and I thought it was a good read back then. I revisited it this weekend to see if it still held my intI read this book in 8th grade for English class and I thought it was a good read back then. I revisited it this weekend to see if it still held my interest. This is a book that is based on a real story of how a History teacher tried an experiment to teach his class about group-think with regard to what happened in Nazi Germany. The book is a fictional re-telling of the basic experiment and results of it. I love reading about group-mentality and sociology as a rule, and this book didn't disappoint the second time around.
As an adult, I'm much more interested at this point in reading the account of what happened that inspired this book, but as someone who is aware of the influence this book had over me and the way that I think about the world, I am very glad that I read it back in 8th grade. I'll be sure to keep it around when my daughter is a bit older and would appreciate it....more
M.T. Anderson is a true gift to the literary community; especially for young adults. Reading his works reminds me of those thrilling times in late eleM.T. Anderson is a true gift to the literary community; especially for young adults. Reading his works reminds me of those thrilling times in late elementary and early junior high when I was actually assigned reading I liked. He speaks in layers with colorful prose. He challenges the reader to become more aware of the ridiculousness that he gently points out. Experiencing his writing is like becoming an advocate of change at the very basic level: simply being more aware of what the world, society, our innermost selves desire from Life and how to achieve it ethically.
Personally, he makes me comfortable with that grey area of not knowing what the right thing is. Among so many authors, M.T. Anderson bears the true gift and talent which marks the writer's worth. His books explode with sincerity, thoughtfulness, sensitivity, intelligence and wisdom without being preachy or sounding trite. A true visionary. I feel honored every time I read anything he writes. And I also want to immediately re-read it start to finish.
This book obviously didn't disappoint. I love this author and look forward to reading many more by him....more
I'm sort of embarrassed that I liked this book enough to give it 4 stars. It's just the right amount of mindless reading to read quickly but not so miI'm sort of embarrassed that I liked this book enough to give it 4 stars. It's just the right amount of mindless reading to read quickly but not so mindless that it's annoyingly shallow. I was surprised that there was some pretty decent character development in the two main characters. Most of the side characters were flat, though. There were certain phrases that were repeated over & over, potentially to exhaustion, but I personally didn't get too irritated by them. I expected to be more shocked than I was, too. The subject matter wasn't as bad as the highly critical people have made them out to be and, as I should have expected, it was definitely taken way out of context. I didn't find any basic editing issues with the writing and liked the way it flowed. While I wouldn't use some of the writing devices, I definitely didn't think that the essence of the book was made less by the choices the author made. I'm glad that I read this and am happily moving on to the sequel.
Edit to add: I get the dislike from well-articulated reviewers, but most of the 1 stars seem incomplete from what I've read. Also, I read this as a social experiment to find out what the hype was about. I still don't get the hype, but I also don't get the over-the-top criticism. ...more
This book was really well written. For my tastes, it was a 3/5 and for my tastes about 15 years ago when I was a ... teenager ... it would have been aThis book was really well written. For my tastes, it was a 3/5 and for my tastes about 15 years ago when I was a ... teenager ... it would have been a 5/5 for sure. This book is a rare look at something that I would have really wanted to, and needed to, read when I was younger to help me understand the world a little better when I was to become older. I think I don't quite fit into the target audience for this story, though. Not because I haven't been affected by cancer or friends and family having it, but more because I had to learn the things that this book teaches in less palatable ways. If I had read this book as a teenager, the next 15 years would have been a bit easier. One thing this author isn't afraid to do is tell the truth. It's refreshing....more