Ensiform's Reviews > Beyond the Chocolate War

Beyond the Chocolate War by Robert Cormier
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Apr 07, 12

bookshelves: fiction
Read in June, 2008, read count: two

Written ten years later, this sequel takes place a few months after its predecessor. Jerry Renault returns to Trinity after recovering in Canada; Obie meets and loses a girl, and plots revenge against Archie for all the injustices he’s done; Carter does more or less the same; David Caroni, the blackmailed A-student, has lost his mind and awaits orders for revenge from his piano; and a student who loves magic has built a guillotine that may play a role in the students’ revenge.

This book is not quite as unbearably bleak as the first, though there’s certainly no traditionally happy ending: Archie receives no comeuppance; Jerry is beaten albeit unbowed; Obie gets no revenge, not even on the students who attempt to rape his girl. Brother Leon suffers the tiniest of indignities at the end, which is a nice moment. While I found the original to be believable as far as the students’ interactions, in this sequel I couldn’t put credence in Archie’s almost mystic power over the other students. When Archie tells Carter he will inevitably take his revenge against the jock for his betrayal, why Carter doesn’t just smash Archie to a bloody pulp is beyond me.

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