Michelle's Reviews > Deadline

Deadline by Chris Crutcher
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Feb 20, 2012

Read in March, 2012

This book was a bit weird for me. I liked that the general fact of the novel, that the protagonist is going to die, is presented at the very beginning but the way it was written wasn’t as agreeable for me to begin with. I think that of all the books that I have read so far, this one was a bit harder for me to read because I kept getting distracted. I don’t think that the idea that an eighteen year old will keep the secret that he has been told that he is going to die is entirely implausible, I think I can relate to keeping something so grand and inhibiting from others a secret.

As a reader, I knew that some of my classmates didn’t really like the book so when I started reading it myself it made me really question the book. On that note, I did however try to find elements of the book that I could appreciate. One of them being that there are many allusions in the text that I know most readers would not understand in middle or early high school which could compel them to research what the author was referring to. For example, Ben, the protagonist, refers to many books, psychologists, movies, and so forth. I also really appreciated that the books, movies, songs, etc. that a referenced in the book are real so that if a student is interested in reading further into the ideas in the books, they have sources to go back to. A couple elements that I found a bit annoying for my taste was the constant attempt at adding Spanish words into the book, like “Hey-soos” and “con fuego” as well as some of the really odd or crude metaphors like “…I’d swim through five hundred yards of molten turds…” (47). Also, I found myself more intrigued by Sooner’s character than Ben’s because of the way it was presented; I think that I would rather have read a book that elaborated on Sooner’s story than on Ben’s to be completely honest.

As a teacher, I am not sure if I would teach this book to my class. I would probably keep it on my bookshelf and give to any students that I felt would enjoy such a book. I do think that the book contains some elements that could be useful for the classroom like all of the outside references, the foreshadowing of Sooner’s problems at home, etc. All of these elements can contribute to excellent classroom discussions and bring to light many issues that students face in high school as well as how people deal with death.

Overall, it was not by any means a favorite book of mine but I do see the potential of recommending it to other readers. It took me awhile to get through all of the football jargon and the way in which it was all written but I am sure there are males and females out there that can appreciate this book.
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