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The Outsiders

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The Outsiders is about two weeks in the life of a 14-year-old boy. The novel tells the story of Ponyboy Curtis and his struggles with right and wrong in a society in which he believes that he is an outsider. According to Ponyboy, there are two kinds of people in the world: greasers and socs. A soc (short for "social") has money, can get away with just about anything, and has an attitude longer than a limousine. A greaser, on the other hand, always lives on the outside and needs to watch his back. Ponyboy is a greaser, and he's always been proud of it, even willing to rumble against a gang of socs for the sake of his fellow greasers--until one terrible night when his friend Johnny kills a soc. The murder gets under Ponyboy's skin, causing his bifurcated world to crumble and teaching him that pain feels the same whether a soc or a greaser.

Librarian note: This record is for one of the three editions published with different covers and with ISBN 0-140-38572-X / 978-0-14-038572-4. The records are for the 1988 cover (this record), the 1995 cover, and the 2008 cover which is also the current in-print cover.

192 pages, Mass Market Paperback

First published April 24, 1967

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About the author

S.E. Hinton

50 books6,538 followers
S.E. Hinton, was and still is, one of the most popular and best known writers of young adult fiction. Her books have been taught in some schools, and banned from others. Her novels changed the way people look at young adult literature.

Susan Eloise Hinton was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She has always enjoyed reading but wasn't satisfied with the literature that was being written for young adults, which influenced her to write novels like The Outsiders. That book, her first novel, was published in 1967 by Viking.

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Profile Image for Virginia Ronan ♥ Herondale ♥.
548 reviews34.7k followers
November 17, 2018
”Sixteen years on the streets and you can learn a lot. But all the wrong things, not the things you want to learn. Sixteen years on the streets and you see a lot. But all the wrong sights, not the sights you want to see.”

So this was my first time reading “The Outsiders” and I really don’t get why our teachers never forced us to read THIS book at school! I’m convinced my teenage me wouldn’t only have approved but also would have enjoyed it immensely and I’m kinda sad I had to discover this book so late. Well, my school system obviously failed but that definitely didn’t stop me from reading “The Outsiders” and I’m very glad about it.

Soda threw one arm across my neck. He mumbled something drowsily. “Listen, kiddo, when Darry hollers at you … he doesn’t mean nothin’. He’s just got more worries than somebody his age ought to.”

I swear the moment I read about the interactions and relationships between those boys I was already hooked! It felt like reading “The Raven Boys” all over again; just a couple of years earlier, with other troubles and with a smaller book size. XD I mean alone the fact that Ponyboy and Soda were sleeping together in a bed! Their brotherly relationship was so nice to read! Those brothers cared about each other and their friends and they would have done almost everything in order to help them! <3

He was stroking my hair and I could hear the sobs racking him as he fought to keep back the tears. “Oh, Pony, I thought we’d lost you … like we did Mom and Dad …” That was his silent fear then – of losing another person he loved.

Darry, the oldest of those three brothers, broke my heart as well. I mean their parents were dead and he had to look after his two younger brothers. I can’t even imagine how much strength it takes to take care of your brothers at such a young age, but he still did it and was even successful. He got a job and looked after them and this alone makes him a hero in my eyes. Who knows; if Johnny and Dallas would have had such family ties they probably would have never even ended up where they did in the end. >_< Johnny… that poor little boy! He didn’t deserve what happened to him and it’s no wonder he was so jumpy after the “Socs” almost beat him to death. I’m right there with Ponyboy when he says that it’s not fair that they were jumped for being “Greasers”.

It wasn’t fair for the Socs to have everything. We were as good as they were; it wasn’t our fault we were greasers. I couldn’t just take it or leave it, like Two-Bit, or ignore it and love life anyway, like Sodapop, or harden myself beyond caring, like Dally, or actually enjoy it, like Tim Shepard. I felt the tension growing inside of me and I knew something had to happen or I would explode. “

The interesting thing about this book is that it acknowledges the fact that the “Socs” fight the “Greasers” because they think they are lowlives, but that none of those two parties actually wants to do anything against it. They accept this injustice, it’s just a part of their life and they all act like they are supposed to fight because it’s only natural. The only three people who truly question their situation are Pony, Johnny and Randy. In one way or the other they are all tired of fighting and try their best to get out of that vicious cycle – some more effective than others. >_<

”Stay gold, Ponyboy. Stay gold …”

Oh my, that line killed me big time! T_T I had a lot of mixed feelings about that ending and I could relate to Ponyboy so much. He was confused, he knew what they had been doing wasn’t right, that the fighting didn’t get them anywhere; that his friend was in trouble because he had done something right and something awfully wrong and that sooner or later he would have to pay for it. I think this book is such a damn good example for humanity. It points out that good people are able to do horrible things and that seemingly bad people aren’t always as bad as they seem to appear. They have their problems and troubles too and there is always a reason why they leash out at others, why they act in a certain way.

”We’re all we’ve got left. We ought to be able to stick together against everything. If we don’t have each other we don’t have anything. If you don’t have anything, you end up like Dallas …”

They are all human, whether it are “Socs” or “Greasers”, they all just want to live their lives, they want to be happy and accepted for who they are and in the end they actually aren’t as different as they seem to be. It’s an epiphany us readers experience while we read this book, but it’s a lesson not all of the characters learn. >_<

To say it with Martin Luther King Jr. words:
“Hate begets hate; violence begets violence; toughness begets a greater toughness.”

And I think this quote describes the book more than just well. The ending made me sad, because there’s only one way this could have ended and it was exactly the way I expected it to be. Not all of it, but most of it anyway.

If you haven’t read “The Outsiders” yet, you definitely should give it a try! It’s a great book which teaches an important lesson and I can recommend it to everyone. This book will make you think and feel and it will continue to do so even after you finished reading the last page. ;-)
Profile Image for Zoë.
328 reviews65.8k followers
September 8, 2020
Read for the third time for my YA class in grad school! I've read it twice before - once on my own in 2014 and once for my undergrad YA lit class in 2017. Despite knowing what I was getting going in, the novel still holds up, and I can't wait to examine it more deeply in class!
Profile Image for karen.
3,988 reviews170k followers
September 30, 2021
the outsiders is a book about a group of youthful greasers living in oklahoma, and about their struggles to exist in a society that seems designed to dismiss them.

oklahoma is also the name of a popular musical.

draw your own conclusions, or continue reading.

see, i don't know from oklahoma in the sixties. maybe that is a place where street toughs call their little brothers "honey" and "baby" and enjoy sunsets and stars and reading margaret mitchell aloud to one another and who recite robert frost in quiet moments. maybe they do gymnastics before what they call "skin fighting" with the local rival boys. maybe they cry and snuggle together in bed at night and hold each other through hard times.

not that there is anything wrong with that.

it just seems to be queer behavior for a gang of juvenile delinquents.

what?? no, i didn't mean queer like that. no, really, i just meant odd. but, now that you mention it. huh. yeah, it does seem a little queer. who knew that boys in leather could have a queer connotation??

and putting on tight t-shirts that show off every muscle before they go to meet the other boys? and making sure to fix their hair?? no, that's just what it says. in the book.

these are their modern-day equivalents

maybe this is just what happens when a teen girl writes this kind of material, tomboy or not. i had seen the movie before, so i knew it was about pretty boys fighting, but there is a lot more at work here, subtextually. i have also seen rumble fish, which is an awful movie based on another hinton book that is even more... musical, but is an excuse to look at this:

and how is tom waits in both movies?

but all of that is just me giggling.

what is more interesting, from a serious literary perspective is just an observation from reading this, the pigman, and revisiting the chocolate war and catcher in the rye for this portion of my young adult readers' advisory class which will meet this tuesday where we will discuss the "classics" of teen fiction. (and i know catcher wasn't specifically produced for a teen audience, but it is on the damn syllabus and if it makes you happier, i will call this "the teen in literature" instead)

in the fifties and sixties, there was seemingly more free-floating apprehension and fear: the a-bomb, the draft, various factors contributed to this fear of an imminent death beyond anyone's control. all this anxiety and fear of the establishment created a more pronounced sense of "us" and "them" that i think i blabbed on a little in the pigman review, but children were just treated like smaller adults, really. and the literature reflects this. all of these books seem to emphasize a value placed on the preservation of childhood innocence - staying gold, protecting a younger sister from the taint of phoniness, encouraging kids to act like kids and roller skate through the house and disregard the parental restrictions in this one safe place...

now, the boundaries are blurrier - girls are getting their periods at 8, and grown men in suits are playing video games on the subway. the distinctions are less clear. and a lot of teen fiction today is more escapist in nature, less didactic. teens don't need to be told to value their childhood anymore because, don't worry, it will never end.

peter pan FTW!!

this all means nothing, except it is something i noticed. sorry for blabbing on...

come to my blog!
Profile Image for Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin.
3,538 reviews9,967 followers
October 30, 2018
I have watched this movie over and over when I was younger and I still have it today and love it just as much. I will admit I was in love with Dallas and had a crush on Sodapop but Dallas was my man =)

I just can't believe it took me this many years to read the book! And the book was so close to the movie it is almost unreal. Maybe it was due to the fact that S.E. Hinton was on set helping with the movie, I really don't know. I just love that I can read a book and watch a movie and there not be that many things different.

Ok, there will be . . . .


This is a remarkable story of people from different sides of the tracks. The greasers (the poor boys and some girls) and the socs (the rich kids)

This story is told from the greasers side which is awesome because I really don't care about the socs!

These boys all looked out for each other in the best ways they could. Even if they were dirt poor, they did what they could for each other.

They had fun times getting in rumbles with the socs, most all of them loved to fight. It was like getting set loose in a candy store.

Most of the beginning of the story revolves around Ponyboy and Johnny. They are the best of friends and poor Johnny seems to have it bad no matter which way he turns. His parents treat him bad, he sleeps outside most of the time and he got a very bad beating from the socs. That's what they do, cruise around and find a greaser or two alone and gang up on them. They damn near beat Johnny to death and all of the other friends always rally around him and try to protect him from things.

Until one tragic night Ponyboy and Johnny get attacked by a group of socs AGAIN, but this time Johnny stabs and kills the jerk that beat him so bad before. They were trying to drown Ponyboy. They have to run to Dallas to help get them out of town. Because that's what friends do, they hang out and help each other if they are in trouble.

Dallas tells Ponyboy and Johnny to hop on this train and go to a town and stay in an abandoned church until things die down and he would come up there. He gives them money and a gun. Johnny buys them food and hair dye for Ponyboy (which he hates) and he also gets "Gone With The Wind" for Ponyboy because he has always wanted to read it. I thought that was so nice of him and he picked a really great book. Ponyboy spent time reading the book to his friend when they weren't playing cards to pass the time.

At one point Dallas shows up and tells them some things and takes them out to eat. The boys decide they are going to turn themselves in but when they get back to the church, it's on fire and there are a couple of people and a bunch of children huddled around it. When the boys get there they find out some of the kids are inside and Ponyboy and Johnny (being the good guys that they are) go in after them. Of course Dallas is yelling for them to get back out!

Needless to say they get the kids to safety but Dallas and Ponyboy get a little hurt in the process. Johnny gets messed up bad. It's always Johnny! He always just wanted to be normal for shite's sake! The people thought they were heroes which is truly what they were.

"We think the towheaded kid is going to be all right. He burned one arm pretty badly, though, trying to drag the other kid out the window. Johnny, well I don't know about him. A piece of timber caught him across the back--he might have a broken back, and he was burned pretty severely. He passed out before he got out the window. They're giving him plasma now." He must have seen the look on my face because he hurriedly changed the subject. "I swear, you three are the bravest kids I've seen in a long time. First you and the black-haired kid climbing in that window, and then the tough-looking kid going back to save him. Mrs. O'Briant and I think you were sent straight from heaven. Or are you just professional heroes or something?"
Sent from heaven? Had he gotten a good look at Dallas? "No, we're greasers," I said. I was too worried and scared to appreciate the fact that he was trying to be funny.

Johnny isn't doing so well in the hospital and Dallas and Ponyboy are really afraid for him.

Dallas breaks out of the hospital on the night of the rumble to fight for Johnny. He was so happy after the fight that he grabbed Ponyboy and rushed back to the hospital to tell Johnny they had won. Even though, they didn't know it at the time, they got to spend the last few minutes with Johnny before he died. It was so sad, I cried a river. I knew what was going to happen but it doesn't matter, I cried the river.

Dallas goes nuts of course and runs off. Ponyboy is in a daze when he gets home and tells everyone that Johnny is dead and that Dallas ran off. They are all sad of course and worried what Dallas is going to do. And then they get the call that Dallas robbed a store and the police are after him so they go to meet up with him. But when they get to him the stupid cops killed him. And I think he wanted that really because he pulled an unloaded gun on them. Maybe it's just my thoughts but I feel like he called the guys because he did want to live in a way but he was so messed up with Johnny dying after all that poor kid had been through, that he wanted to die himself. Of course I cried and cried at that as well.

So, Ponyboy is trying to cope with two of his friends dying in one night. He doesn't do very well and is sick for quite some time.

This book really made me have some feels. Like I said before I have watched the movie a million times but as an adult, reading the book put more things into perspective. This is the second book that I have read lately that has made me want to change some things in my life. At least some of the things that I can and that is one of the many things I love about reading. ♥

MY BLOG: Melissa Martin's Reading List

Read 2016 * 2018
Profile Image for Joel.
556 reviews1,668 followers
June 13, 2011
Stay gold, Ponyboy. Stay gold.


The Outsiders is a book about sensitive teenage boys who alternately get into gang fights, hug one another, and burst into tears. They also spend more time than you might expect ruminating on how the tightness of a t-shirt might enhance the rippling musculature of a steely-eyed fellow gang member (this is where Stephanie Meyer got the idea for how to characterize Edward). Even though they're always complimenting each other's hair and doing gymnastics, it's not gay at all because it takes place in 1965, shortly after James Dean had made crying and homoerotic tension cool.

This is the kind of book that teachers like to assign to 7th graders (or dumb high schoolers) because it offers up a lot of THEMES about how EVERYONE IS DIFFERENT BUT STILL THE SAME, and teachers feel pretty safe giving a quiz on that because even the stupidest kid can figure it out, as every few paragraphs the narrator will just go ahead and state it outright, like this: "Even though we're Greasers and they're Socs, I guess in the end, we all look at the same sunset." (Sample essay question: What did Ponyboy mean when he said that everyone looked at the same sunset? And all you have to do to get it right is repeat the first half of the sentence.)

As a narrator, Ponyboy kept reminding me of Holden Caulfied, if Holden was poor and actually managed to do anything interesting with his evenings. But maybe that just has to do with the time period and the fact that they both say stuff like "I was just about bawling my eyes out, to tell you the truth" every few pages, except Ponyboy is doing it because his best friend knifed someone and then died of a broken back and being on fire, and Holden is just sad because his roommate smells bad (oh and I guess his brother got cancer and died pffffft). I do think they would get along if they ever met, and maybe make out a little bit.

I love the last few sentences of every chapter, where SE Hinton trots out her corniest stuff. Chapter 7: "Socs were just guys after all. Things were rough all over, but it was better that way. That way you could tell the other guy was human too." Chapter 8: "'Thanks, Ponyboy.' She smiled through her tears. 'You dig okay.' She had green eyes. I went on, walking home slowly." Oh and it doesn't come at the end of a chapter but: "Not even the rattling of the train could keep me awake, and I went to sleep in a hoodlum's jacket, with a gun lying next to my hand." There's also the best deathbed speech in all of teen literature (probably), which goes like this: "INTERPRETS THEMATICALLY RELEVANT POEM" (DIES).

So somehow I never read this in middle school, and when I read it now, I just end up giggling at half of the overwrought emotion (which happened with Catcher in the Rye too, but there I'm going to assume Salinger was writing on multiple levels, because he was a competent adult, whereas The Outsiders was written by someone Holden's age). But it's still a pretty awesome book.

EDITED to add that this Penguin edition makes the book seem really classy, which is nice, but Jodi Picoult's introduction is kind of a joke. She basically asked her 14-year-old son to write a book report and quoted excerpts.

Facebook 30 Day Book Challenge Day 6: Favorite young adult book.
Profile Image for Zain.
1,463 reviews155 followers
September 12, 2023
Ponyboy? Who?

One thing that you can believe is, when your elders say that you don’t stay the same, they are correct.

They mean that you change the way you think, the way you do things, the way that you look upon the world. I’ve heard this said so many times that I can dream about it.

In other words, I used to adore this book. And I thought Ponyboy was adorable. Of course, I was twelve-years old and had different standards for adoration (maybe).

I have to confess, though, I wasn’t confused like him. I thought that he should snitch.

Still, I give this book four stars. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Profile Image for Lisa of Troy.
435 reviews4,266 followers
May 5, 2023
What book did you just not “get”?

When I was in tenth grade, I read The Outsiders for the first time. The story was boring, and I didn’t connect with the characters.

Then, we had the class discussion. Apparently, there was some “obvious” symbolism that I had missed. At the time, I thought that this book was like The Da Vinci Code, a mystery where I had missed a key clue. How brilliant this author must be! My regard for this book became almost reverential.

Fast forward some years until Lisa becomes “Lisa of Troy.” The Outsiders appears on the list of GoodReads books with 1 million or more ratings. Of course, I am going to read it again!

What did I think of it this time? It is still boring, and I didn’t connect with any of the characters.
The Outsiders has a few key events, and the book should have been shorter. The repetition was ad nauseam. There were many versions of, “Golly…gee! I act like a thug but I’m just a cuddly teddy bear inside. I wouldn’t hurt nobody!”

“Golly” is mentioned eight times in The Outsiders, and it isn’t even that long of a book.

There are also too many different characters. Why would the author name two characters Dally and Darry? For the longest time, I thought that they were the same character.

There is no way to know if I would now pick up on the “obvious” symbolism, but if I was a betting person, I would assume not. If you want to know what I missed, you can scroll to the bottom of this. It might be a spoiler. Even knowing the symbolism this time around, it wasn’t even to redeem this book.

*Possible Spoiler*
Johnnycakes, who signed his note about supplies JC, symbolizes Jesus Christ.

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Profile Image for Matthew.
1,219 reviews9,000 followers
February 23, 2017
Finally read this classic. Glad to be in the know!

I can see why this has stood the test of time. The story is easy to get into and keeps your attention throughout. It seems like any person, young or old, rich or poor, popular or outcast could empathize or sympathize the themes. Finally, the key climax points are done very well and hit you right in the feels!

Another thought I had while reading is this is another one of the young adult fore fathers. We now take for granted that every week there will be 10 new YA titles to pique our interest. Back when this came out, the YA gems were few and far between. Reading this should be a right of passage for YA fans everywhere.
Profile Image for Allie.
11 reviews
February 17, 2008
This was a great book but I was incredibly disappointed after I found out it wasn't about aliens.
Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,564 reviews45 followers
October 6, 2021
The Outsiders, S.E. Hinton

The Outsiders is a coming-of-age novel by S. E. Hinton, first published in 1967 by Viking Press.

Ponyboy Curtis, a teenager member of a loose gang of "greasers", is leaving a movie theater when he is jumped by "Socs", the greasers' rival gang.

Several greasers, including Ponyboy's two older brothers—the paternal Darry and the popular Sodapop—come to his rescue.

The next night, Ponyboy and two greaser friends, the hardened Dally and the quiet Johnny, meet Cherry and Marcia, a pair of Soc girls, at a drive-in movie theater.

Cherry spurns Dally's rude advances, but Ponyboy ends up speaking civilly with Cherry, emotionally connecting with a Soc for the first time in his life. ...

عنوانهای چاپ شده در ایران: «حاشیه نشینان»؛ «غیر خودیها»؛ نویسنده اس.ای هینتون؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش روز بیست و پنجم ماه آگوست سال2002میلادی

عنوان: حاشیه نشینان؛ نویسنده: اس.ای. هینتون؛ مترجم نجمه فخرایی؛ ت‍ه‍ران‌: ه‍وای‌ ت‍ازه‌، 1380؛ در 175ص؛ شابک 9647222289؛ موضوع داستانهای نویسندگان ایالات متحده آمریکا - سده 20م

عنوان: غیر خودیها؛ نویسنده: اس.ای هینتون؛ مترجم میترا دانشور؛ تهران، انتشارات میلکان، در 184ص؛ شابک 9786008812012؛

حاشیه‌ نشینان، در مورد مشکلات زندگی، سه برادر، به نامهای: «دری»، «سودا» و «پونی‌بوی کورتیس»، در برخورد با تضادهای طبقاتی، بین خرپول‌ها، و روغنی‌هاست؛ به باور «پونی‌بوی»، دو جور آدم، در این دنیا وجود دارند: «روغنی‌ها»، و «خرپول‌ها»؛ «خرپول‌ها» پول و پله دارند، هرچه بخواهند بدست می‌آورند، و تکبرشان سر به آسمان می‌ساید؛ از آنسوی دیگر، «روغنی‌ها»، همیشه در حاشیه‌ هستند، و باید هوای پشت‌ سرشان خویش را، داشته باشند؛ «پونی‌بوی» از روغنی‌هاست، و همیشه هم، به این قضیه میبالیده، حتی به خاطر رفقای روغنی‌ خویش، علیه دار و دسته‌ ی خرپول‌ها، شاخ‌ و شانه می‌کشیده ...؛ تا اینکه در شبی وحشتناک، دوستش «جانی»، خرپولی را می‌کشد؛ این آدمکشی، بدجوری حال «پونی‌بوی» را، بد می‌کند، و دنیای دودسته‌ ای ایشان را، زیر و رو می‌نماید، و به او می‌آموزد، چه خرپول باشی، و چه روغنی، رنج، دردی مشترکی است؛ «اس.ای هینتن» این داستان را، در دهه‌ ی شصت سده بیستم میلادی، و در سن پانزده‌ سالگی خویش بنوشته است؛

نقل از یادداشت مترجم سرکار خانم «نجمه فخرایی»: (حاشيه‌ نشينان كتاب منتخب معلم انگليسی كلاس هفتم مدرسه‌ ی ما در «تورنتو» بود، اين كتاب پيشنهاد معلمی بود كه من هيچ‌وقت با او كلاسی نداشتم ....)؛ پایان نقل؛

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 12/12/1399هجری خورشیدی؛ 13/07/1400هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for Briynne.
615 reviews56 followers
October 31, 2022
I'm a little horrified at myself for not having this book up before now. We had a discussion about it in class today, and I had to write this as soon it was over. I wish there were more stars to give The Outsiders, but five will have to do. I love this book, and have loved it faithfully since I read it in sixth grade - I must have read it a dozen times, and possibly more. I can quote long sections of the book. I was obsessed, and to some degree still am.

It's not a good book by any literary standard, really. Hinton uses one of those usually awful formulaic introductions that devotes a paragraph to each main character, explicitly describing their characteristics, history, and appearance. When I think of it objectively, it's almost as bad as that awful, awful introductory second chapter of the Babysitters Club books that repeats in every installment.

I think the point is, though, that I just don't care. In fact, I adore the writing even though it is obvious. Maybe because I first read it when I was eleven and that sort of writing just seemed clear and to-the-point. At any rate, I don't think it suffers too badly from the style, and if anything it benefits from the authenticity of a teenage author.

I can't even begin to say what it was about this book that caught my interest and imagination so completely. I liked the otherness of it - I had never experienced anything like these boys dealt with. Not the pervasive fear and violence, not the absentee, non-existent, or abusive parents, and definitely not the fascinating siege-mentality camaraderie that existed in their group.

The best part of the book, without any doubt, is the characters she has created. I love them all, with the exception of Steve. They are wonderful and so sympathetic, with their odd names and ill-fated lives. I hope for the ending to change every time I read it. Ponyboy's voice, which narrates the story, has a beautiful vulnerability and honesty that makes the story believable. He's often confused, hurt, scared, sorry, and just feels like things are wrong; but, he's also brave and kind and takes chances on people. I think that Hinton's allowing her main character to be a real person, who is more often than not unsure of everything he does, gives the book its credibility with teenagers.

Fantastic, must-read, childhood-defining book. Reading Hinton's "That Was Then, This is Now" is worth it just for the few brief cameos a slightly older Ponyboy makes throughout the story.
Profile Image for Nancy.
557 reviews786 followers
August 29, 2008
I loved The Outsiders when I read it as a teen and again when I read it just a few months ago. S. E. Hinton created a believable and engaging cast of characters who struggle with conflict in and out of their gang and learn the meaning of friendship and family. A very moving and enjoyable story!
Profile Image for Maureen.
574 reviews4,185 followers
August 25, 2015
I'm just feeling a lot of emotions right now don't toUCH ME.
I barely remembered anything about this book from reading it in high school but oh man it was definitely better than I remember. Even though I've never been in any of the situations referenced in the outsiders, the overall themes are meaningful and easy to grasp. REAL GOOD REAL GOOD.
Profile Image for Tim.
477 reviews662 followers
February 14, 2022
In my review of Rumble Fish I said that I had no intention of reading The Outsiders… and here we are not having had a full year pass and I've read The Outsiders. How did this happen? Well, for one thing I saw the film The Outsiders for the first time and was shocked by how much I enjoyed it. Second I stumbled upon this in a buy two get one free book deal and decided that for free I'd give it a shot.

Fine then, I'll read it but I probably won't like it!


Okay, I liked it.

Had I not known Rumble Fish was the later work, I would have assumed this was. It's a much more confident and skillfully crafted work. The other was more experimental at times (which I for one applaud) but it felt like occasionally the author didn't know where things were going to go. This is far from the case here. This one feels carefully put together, with a clear intention of start, finish and everything in between. There's a couple of really clever bits of foreshadowing in some of the early lines and a lot of beautifully described scenes. The voice here is confident and appealing.

This is even more shocking to me because apparently Hinton started writing this book when she was only 15. The book was published when she was 18. While it is not the greatest written piece of literature in the world, I can imagine very few authors pulling off such a work at such a young age. Especially capturing this much depth in her characters.

I won't say I have no intention of reading any more of Hinton's books in the future, at this point it would just be tempting fate to prove me wrong, but for now I am satisfied. 4/5 stars.

"Stay gold, Ponyboy. Stay gold...”
Profile Image for Kelly (and the Book Boar).
2,486 reviews7,782 followers
October 8, 2014
Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/

“Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.”

Last week my son came home from school and informed me he had a homework assignment about the book his class is reading as a group. Said child was forlorn that he would be unable to complete the assignment as the editions of the book were for “class use only” and were not permitted to be taken home. “Never you fear,” I said to the young boy, “for I have a LIBRARY CARD!!!!!!” (while actually freaking out that I might have to: (i) change out of my “comfy” clothes, (ii) move my slothlike self off of the sofa after a hard day at work, or (iii) embarrass the child by refusing to change out of P.J. pants whilst chauffeuring him to pick up a hard copy of the book). I asked the small boy (with much trepidation) “what book do you need?” and he answered “The Outsiders.” I was filled with glee and assured my son I could easily help him with any questions about that book as I read it a bunch of times myself 800 years ago when I was a young girl. The boy was dubious, so in order to ease his mind I searched the interwebs and was thrilled to find out The Outsiders was available in Kindle format from the library. Whilst waiting for the book to load on to the Kindle, I turned to my son and said the following words:

“When I stepped out into the bright sunlight, from the darkness of the movie house, I had only two things on my mind: Paul Newman and a ride home . . .”

Followed by:


The boy was able to pick my geriatric brain for assistance with his homework and it turned out the book wasn’t really a requirement in order to get the assignment done in the first place. (Note to all of you youngsters who do not yet have children of you own – THEY ARE WILEY MOFOS AND EVEN THE MOST HONOR-ROLL-A-RIFIC KID WILL AT SOME POINT GO TO ANY AND ALL LENGTHS TO AVOID HOMEWORK.) Thus, I found myself left with The Outsiders on the Kindle and it was seriously begging me to put down the crappy book I was currently reading and take a trip down memory lane. So that’s just what I did . . .

It was just as good as I remembered it. The Outsiders is the quintessential teenage story about love and loss and family and right and wrong and good and bad. I read it in an evening, sitting outside during a sunset, as one should do if given the opportunity. It proved to be timeless, it still made me teary-eyed after all these years, and I still thought it had one of the best ensemble cast of characters ever put to paper.

And then I remembered it was written by a teenager - one of those awful things that lives in my house and makes my hair turn gray. So let me wrap up this non-review kind of review with a personal note: To my son, I ask you to recognize everything I do for you is with love, just like Darry Curtis and Ponyboy, and I promise I will do everything in my power to make you “stay gold” as long as possible.

Profile Image for Kylie&#x1f43e;.
72 reviews47 followers
January 8, 2020
What did I think ?
I think I’m falling in love all over again. This will always be my favorite book and I am see myself reading this another 4 times during this year.
I believe this is a book that all ages need to read, it’s such a life changer and it shows you have rough people have it. Rich or poor everybody goes through some sort of hell. It teaches you to respect and appreciate where you are brought up and who you are brought up with. Always choose kindness.

This book is some what violent, funny yet witty, sad but joyful and most of us important!

i love it way more and Ponyboy speaks to me on a personal level.

adding Jan 8th 2020
This book is still powerful and I still love it, it’s obsessive... the only difference is that I cried until I couldn’t breathe. Johnny’s letter, Johnny and Dally dying and the whole “we’re all we’ve got left” it just made me think about being away from home and all I want to do is quit college, get a simply job and stay at home.
Profile Image for Mayra.
236 reviews71 followers
March 8, 2016
Expectations scare me. I had heard so many wonderful things about this book. And it’s never a good idea to expect too much, because that’s such a big opportunity for disappointment. So I always prefer to know the least amount possible about any book I’m interested in. However, the insurmountable praise for The Outsiders has always been tough to evade. It’s everywhere.

I found that the quality of this book was perfectly evidenced by the fact that the immense expectation and build-up accumulated throughout the years were so well met by the actual classic worthiness of the story and the way it was told.

Loved the simple, original narrative. Great, real, well-developed, relatable characters.

This book is heartwarming and heartbreaking... so prepare your heart for the exercise.
Profile Image for Debbie W..
763 reviews571 followers
February 19, 2023
Why I chose to read this book:
1. I have heard about this book over the years and wanted to see why it was required reading in some schools; and,
2. February 2023 is my "Books For Young and Old Alike" Month.

The characterization is quite complex in this story. Even though the Greasers come from "the wrong side of the tracks", they each have their strengths and their weaknesses. Some question their choices in life. Even some of the rich "Socs" are shown in a humane light.

The plot really fell short for me. Events happened quickly and either ended too conveniently or too abruptly. Some scenarios were head-scratching unbelievable and, at times, emotionless.

Overall Thoughts:
I was pleasantly surprised to learn that author S. E. Hinton wrote the majority of this story when she was only 16-years-old! She obviously followed the "golden rule of writing" - write what you know and care about.
Research shows that children crave structure - they need the adults in their lives to "parent" them, not to be their buddies. So as a parent and a teacher myself, I loved the quote when Randy was talking to Ponyboy about his dead friend, Bob's, very lax upbringing:
"That is what he wanted. For somebody to tell him 'No'. To have somebody lay down the law, set the limits, give him something solid to stand on. That's what we all want, really."

A quick, thoughtful read. Give it a try, if you haven't already.
Profile Image for Susan's Reviews.
1,107 reviews532 followers
May 19, 2021
S.E. Hinton started writing this book when she was 15. It started out as an essay/short story after she witnessed a friend getting jumped. In the end, she decided to write the kind of young adult novel she wanted to read: about real issues, written truthfully and with painful realism.

This was a very controversial book in its day: I know my high school did not have it on the curriculum. What an excellent, inspiring novel. I remember how moved I had been when I read Catcher in the Rye (which, oddly enough, despite all the curse words and "sexy" situations, was permitted reading in my high school). The characters in The Outsiders seemed like real boys to me.

My heart broke for the Curtis brothers, and especially for Darrie, who had to give up his college scholarship so he could keep his brothers together. What a tragic but equally uplifting story.

And, by the way, here are the full names of the Curtis brothers: I found this on page 172 of the Penguin Platinum Edition:
Darrel Shaynne Curtis, Jr.; Soda Patrick Curtis; Ponyboy Michael Curtis

I highly, highly recommend this excellent book: it has everything you could want in a story: likeable characters, great action and rumble sequences, personal growth and realization and a decent realistic ending. It has also stood the test of time. Good job, S.E. Hinton!
July 25, 2021

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DNF @ p.18

So I'm probably going to book hell for not liking this book but I didn't really like PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER or TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD, either, and those are sacred from what I'm told.

I read this as a teen and I remember thinking it was kind of boring then, although all the fights and relationship drama sort of interested me. The names were weird and kind of dumb, though. Now, as an adult, it all just feels so very Rebel Without a Cause-y.


1 star
Profile Image for Fabian {Councillor}.
232 reviews488 followers
June 26, 2016
Sometimes there are peculiar stories, stories which will not leave you for a long time and which are going to accompany you long after having turned the last page.

Sometimes there are touching stories, stories which feel so realistic that you believe every word the author puts into the novel.

Sometimes a book simply doesn't need perfect writing, beautiful language or consistent, flawless plotlines. The Outsiders is one of those books. It has flaws, not everything is believable. But there is something else it has: heartwarming emotions.

And sometimes a book needs nothing but to be full of emotions, and that's what moved me so much in this engaging tale which is, in its very essence, a love letter to humanity and friendship.
Profile Image for Mango.
238 reviews316 followers
December 31, 2022
“Stay gold, Ponyboy, stay gold.”


Ok, before I get to the review, I would like to say a couple things. This book was read for school! So in school, we were given 5 books, and had to choose one book to read for a literature study.

The choices were:
The Hobbit, or There and Back Again
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas
Copper Sun
The Outsiders
The Giver

Now, you might be asking why I chose this book, and that's because I found this book in my recommendations a while back! So, I would like to thank Izzy for recommending this book to me, I really loved it! <3

Now...onto the review:

I really loved this book! I did not expect to like it, because, well my school usually doesn't pick good books for us to read. But, I did have higher hopes than usual since this was recommended by Izzy. :) I was not disappointed!

Let's start with the plot!
PonyBoy, the main character, is a Greaser. They are more like outsiders of their town, having to watch their back against Socs. Socs, or Socials, are the people with the money, and the richer folk who can get away with anything. The Socs and Greasers are at constant battle, always fighting with each other.

But, PonyBoy it proud to be a Greaser. Even though his life is rough, he has his family to keep him company. His family consists of his two brothers, Soda and Darry, and some friends considered family, like Steve, Two-Bit, Dally, and Johnny.

So life is good, PonyBoy goes to school, and hangs out with the gang. However, everything changes when his friend Johnny, kills a Soc (not a spoiler, it's in the synopsis). Some Socs jump PonyBoy and Johnny, and one of them tries to drown PonyBoy. Johnny then has no choice but to kill him. He never intended to kill, but what's done is done.

PonyBoy and Johnny then have to adjust to the criminal life. They run away to a different town, and hide. This is basically half the plot, but Hinton really makes the plot interesting!

In the next half of the book, there is a fire in a building, and children are in the building. Johnny, PonyBoy, and Dally (who met them in the church later), go in to save the children. Then, they go from criminals to heroes. So this half of the book is very different, as they are adjusting to their new selves.

But, there's a problem. Johnny and Dally? They got injured in the fire, and are now in the hospital. There's no guarantee whether they will survive or not.

This worries the crap out of the gang. And many shocking events follow.

The plot twists were quite interesting with this one! I was quite shocked when It also totally broke my heart when I was literally in tears when

The plot was really good, made me quite emotional. But what made me more emotional was the fact that I could connect to these characters.

Let's move onto the characters:

I really enjoyed the characters! I found that I could connect with some of them, and I love characters whom I can emotionally relate to.

PonyBoy: Our main character! PonyBoy is the youngest of his 2 brothers, Soda and Darry. He is a kind guy, not your typical greaser. He enjoys reading and watching sunsets. So you can see why I could connect with him lol. But anyways, PonyBoy grows up with the gang, and is the youngest of the group. I honestly thought being in his head was quite interesting.

He thought some pretty deep things. Throughout the book, he talked about books he read, and how they applied to real life. And the way he thought them, it wasn't like reading a textbook. It was actually interesting. Who knew analyzing poetry could be interesting? XD

I definitely saw a lot of growth in him throughout the book. In the beginning of the book, he was an uncertain boy who loved to read. Now, our PonyBoy has grown up so much! Look at him, giving wise saying and thinking smart things. He is so much more confident of himself and I'm proud of him!

Soda: Soda holds a special place in my heart. He is the middle child of the three brothers. He quit school, because he claims he was too dumb, and works at a gas station.

Soda is so supportive, it's very sweet. When PonyBoy was sent to the hospital, he was the first one there. When PonyBoy was in the dark, Soda turned on the light for him. He really helped PonyBoy in a way I found really sweet. This is the definition of the best sibling relationship.

Soda definitely grew too! In my opinion he was perfect at the beginning, but at the end, he definitely became more mature and more responsible. Rooting for him!

Darry: Darry was...interesting. I didn't like him at first to be honest. He was bossy, and seemed to have something against PonyBoy. Darry is the oldest of the brothers. He could have gone to college, but he left school to get money to support the gang.

That sounds great, but he was so harsh to PonyBoy, and clearly favored Soda over him. But, as the story progressed on, he grew on me. I found out that he really did care for PonyBoy, he just did not know how to express it.

When PonyBoy was in the hospital, after Soda, Darry was the second one to show up. It was such an emotion scene when I could really sense that they finally understood each other.

So did Darry grow? Heck yeah! He grew from an emotionless, tough rock to a caring big brother. He definitely changed a lot through the book, and I'm proud of his transformation!

Dally: I hated Dally with pure hatred at first as well. He harassed girls, committed crimes, and had a crazy criminal record. He was tough, and nothing got to him. I saw him as kind of evil.

But, only at the end, when I caught a glimpse of him. He wasn't unbreakable. He wasn't evil. This was just his way of life. The reason he was because he was in grief. finally broke him and that's how he dealt with it.

He is now one of my favorite characters, even though he broke my heart. :(

Johnny: He also has a special place in my heart! Who am I kidding? All these characters are special! Johnny is considered the "pet" of the gang, second youngest to PonyBoy.

He had very low self-esteem, because the Socs gave him a really bad beating one day. His parents didn't want him, so his gang was his family. I wouldn't say he was happy like PonyBoy, he really wanted his family to love him.

When Johnny killed the Soc, he changed completely. He was scared of himself. But, when PonyBoy and Johnny run away together, he definitely grew.

When he was caught in the fire and ended up in the hospital, he became more sure of himself, and learned to love himself. Unfortunately,

Overall, Johnny was an amazing character, whom I will never forget.

To conclude, I really loved the characters! Too bad this isn't a sequel to this book, I would have loved to see more of them! <3

Moving on to the writing!

The writing was quite simplistic, but it still holds a special place in my heart. There was a lot of slang, and I honestly appreciated it. A lot of authors make the characters talk so formally, it gets unrealistic. Hinton has the characters talk in a very casual tone, and it had its own charm.

I have nothing more to say about the writing, but I really loved it!

Overall, I really loved this book. It covered some very deep topics such as empathy, honor, identity, and divided communities. I honestly learned a lot from this book. Really? Who would have ever thought a fiction book could teach you something? Believe or not, it did.

Thank you S.E. Hinton, this was a masterpiece.
This was absolutely amazing and heart-breaking. Review to come.
Profile Image for ♛ may.
806 reviews3,840 followers
August 22, 2018

i was actually spoiled for the ending of this book by Fangirl (SO BE AWARE) but DESPITE THAT i still really really liked this book 😭😭

i am weak for a group of tragic boys with tragic pasts who are outwardly dangerous and feared but are actually deep down soft marshmallows and love each other more than life and would die for each other

man, i love that trope
Profile Image for Katie Colson.
676 reviews6,924 followers
September 23, 2021
I felt like I could set the book down, reach for my phone and call Ponyboy up to chat. That’s how real he felt to me.
Profile Image for Duane.
828 reviews433 followers
March 14, 2016
Occasionally a book is written at the perfect time, with the perfect story, with the perfect group of characters; and it is written with a passion and an insight that make it unique, that distinguishes it from any other book and any other story. And sometimes it defines a generation, or a culture or sub-culture of that generation. That, my friends, is what this book does. Is that what 15 year old Susan Eloise Hinton had in mind when she started to write this book? Probably not, but she was affected by what she saw in her 1965 Oklahoma high school; the presence of two rival gangs, the Greasers and the Socs. It inspired her to write a story, their story, and by doing so it resonated across a nation, across a generation, and it became what it is today, a symbol of that generation, and a classic in American literature.
Profile Image for Brigid ✩.
581 reviews1,818 followers
February 13, 2008
I LOVE this book. I don't know why I find it so good. The whole thing just seems so real. It's really exciting, and the characters are all really believable. I like how the story was written by a young author who really knew what she was writing about--she based it partly on the experiences of her friends. It's like people say--"Write what you know." And S.E. Hinton did just that, and did an excellent job. The book does have some corny parts, and is one of very few books that actually made me cry. But it's really fantastic, and I think everyone in the whole world should read it! (But don't watch the movie. It's awful.)
Profile Image for Brett C.
806 reviews181 followers
May 2, 2021
This book has stood the test of time. The author has the ability to speak to everyone and anyone because of the emotional connectedness it exudes. The story is about youths, you could even say troubled youths. There is a coming-of-age presence in the book with all the characters, not just Ponyboy Curtis. There was a redeeming quality I found in the story because underlying we all have within ourselves something good. I also found that life is and can be difficult, but family can keep anyone grounded. I felt the author also hints at fate and one's perceptions of fate, such as Dally's and Johnny's sad background stories. You could say "oh, they did it to themselves" but there are outweighing external factors that left these two characters in pretty crappy situations.

I found myself completely engaged during the church fire part and the consequent ambulance ride. The dialogue between Ponyboy and Mr. Jerry seemed so real and natural: "Mrs. O'Briant and I think you were sent straight from heaven. Or are you just professional heroes or something?", pg. 95

I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone. The story, the dialogue, and the emotions are very real.

Stay Gold, everybody! Thanks!
Profile Image for Unknown Reviews.
45 reviews119 followers
August 29, 2020
I had to study two books in school for my exams. One was "To Kill a Mockingbird" (great choice). The second one should've been this.

The Outsiders is told by Ponyboy Curtis, a greaser from the East Side of town. Their rivals are the Socs -middle class, rich snobs. The Greasers are the ones who always get into fights, are low-life criminals, Greasers are the kind of guys no self-respecting girl would date. Yet, Ponyboy's closest friends and families are wonderfully tight-knit, a band of brothers where no bond can be broken. That's until an incident throws Ponyboy's world upside down and he has to run unless he wants to be neck-deep in trouble.

I think one of the most common known facts regarding this book is S.E Hinton is female, and wrote this book at the age of seventeen. Seventeen. In the 60's, none the less. And as I read this book, I was so amazed how this girl, at such a young age, managed to paint a world I lived in and understood. This book isn't a historical exploration of Oklahoma or anything, but if I didn't relate to the characters, I was at least shown the teenagers were just like me, despite 60's America being a very different place.

First I want to compliment the characters. After a month of waxing lyrical praise regarding "The Raven Cycle", I've been given another gang of boys who I love. And I really want to compliment the variety in them. It isn't a case of "greasers have bad homes, bad grades, everyone dislikes them etc." Some are popular in school, some have a criminal record. Some have excellent grades, some dropped out of school. Some are supremely gifted at sport, while others like drawing and painting. Hinton doesn't fall into stereotypes, which I think made this book so much more realer. Even her female characters have stronger backbone than leads in YA today. And their conversations aren't too far from what I've had with friends in real life.

Nothing is for real with us. You know, sometimes I'll catch myself talking to a girl-friend, and realize I don't mean half of what I'm saying. I don't really think a beer blast on the river bottom is supercool, but I'll rave about one to a girl-friend just to be saying something.

Secondly, I want to talk about the bond between characters. They mess around with each other, but never belittle one another. They all have each other's backs, so much so, Ponyboy and his brothers leaves their door unlocked so their friends can stay over if they've had trouble at home. Dally (think Billy Hargrove from Stranger Things), a criminal who has moved from New York has no regard for law - but he'll always look out for Johnny, a nervous boy who barely talks to strangers. He tells the boys to defend themselves through violence. Soda-Pop, Ponyboy's other brother tells the boys to do it only when it's necessary. Both have different views, but both equally care - and that's where we have the variety again. Every character has a different motivation towards school, girls, life. Each one has been shaped by their home circumstances to act like this. It just feel so rich to read about.

Soda fought for fun, Steve for hatred, Darry for pride, and Two-Bit for conformity. Why do I fight? I thought, and couldn't think of any real good reason. There isn't any real good reason for fighting except self-defence.

I also want to mention Darry, Ponyboy's eldest brother. He was academically and athletically gifted, but couldn't afford college. After his parents died, he was the one who made Ponyboy get good grades, play sport, not stay out to late. And for most of the book, Ponyboy resents this. But isn't this similar to parents who work so hard, so their children can have a better life than what they've been given? He just stuck with me, the sheer realism of a character looking out for a family member.

The dialogue is neat and the interactions realistic. There's one line where Ponyboy mentions arguing about who's better (the Beatles or Elvis Pressley) that made me smile for how typical it was. And Hinton doesn't stereotype the Socs either. They, along with everyone else, are affected and honed by their own issues.

The weakness may be the plot. It jumps from what I'd deem A-B-C a little too easily. I still enjoyed it though and revelled in the characters relationships, as well as Ponyboy's honest reflections. The writing is basic enough, but come on, the girl was seventeen fifteen when she wrote it. The book was easier to get through than some prose-laden books I've read today.

I don't know how to explain it - we try to be nice to the girls we see once in a while, like cousins or the girls in class; but we still watch a nice girl go by on a street corner and say all kinds of lousy stuff about her. Don't ask me why. I don't know.

I just really would peg this as great reading, mainly for the realism of the writing (not the plot), the stereotypes lower classes are moulded into, and the characters. I think it rivals The Catcher in the Rye for ground-breaking, coming-of-age books (I read The Catcher in the Rye two years ago? I barely remember any of it, but I liked it which seems to be an unpopular opinion strangely enough).

Damn my school for that sad second book they had us study - this was so much better.

I could picture hundreds of boys and hundreds of boys living in the wrong sides of cities, boys with black eyes who jumped at their own shadows. Hundreds of boys who maybe watched sunsets and looked at stars and ached for something better. I could see boys going down under street lights because they were mean and tough and hated the world, and it was too late to tell them there was still good in it, and they wouldn't believe you if you did. It was too vast a problem to be just a personal thing.
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