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Angry Management

3.89  ·  Rating details ·  1,286 Ratings  ·  214 Reviews
Every kid in this group wants to fly. Every kid in this group has too much ballast.

Mr. Nak's Angry Management group is a place for misfits. A place for stories. And, man, does this crew have stories.

There's Angus Bethune and Sarah Byrnes, who can hide from everyone but each other. Together, they will embark on a road trip full of haunting endings and glimmering beginnings.
Hardcover, 246 pages
Published June 30th 2009 by Greenwillow Books
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Jul 21, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Chris Crutcher does it again. Seriously, this guy could write phone book entries for a living, and I'd still read and enjoy them. This title is a collection of 3 novellas, which incorporate some major and minor characters seen before in Crutcher's works - Mr. Nak, Angus Bethune and Sarah Byrnes and Coach Simet, among others, all reappear. There are also references to other characters/events from those books (such as TJ Jones from Whale Talk), so close readers of Crutcher will enjoy the new inter ...more
Oct 21, 2009 rated it really liked it
Using the plot device of an anger management group for troubled teens, Crutcher presents three novellas that explore the reasons why each member has been referred to the group.

There are a couple of familiar characters from Crutcher's other novels or stories: Angus Bethune, the fat teen with two sets of gay parents from "Athletic Shorts: Six Short Stories," finds friendship and the possibility of love with Sarah Byrnes, the burned girl from the novel "Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes," as they take a
Aug 10, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: young-adult
This book is the perfect example of the love/hate relationship I have with Chris Crutcher, particularly his work over the last few years. Stotan, Running Loose, and The Crazy Horse Electric Game (I know that isn't the order they were published in, but it is the order I read them) excited me, moved me, made me laugh, made me cry and truly elevated me. Because of those books, for years I eagerly awaited each new book of his.

Unfortunately, he's gone from a talented writer who could move me and mak
Nov 15, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2011, ya
What I really liked about this book was that it revisited some of the secondary characters we have read about in this author's previous books, but I was blown away with the third story.

The first story dealt with Sarah Byrnes, someone I really admired from Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes. After reading that book I didn't think we could learn anything else about her that would be worse, but I should know better than to ever think that as she learns something about her mother that has the ability to d
Jun 28, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Cathy Nelson
Jul 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
The book was terrific. Not only will it appeal to struggling readers, it will also appeal to those high school readers who have stopped reading for their own pleasure. The three short stories feature characters from previous Crutcher books, and have the potential to lure those readers back to the longer novels. Chocked full of teachable moments or discussion topics on bigotry, child abuse, abandonment, censorship, prejudice, and more--this book can be a way to open conversations around topics th ...more
Louis Knecht
May 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Personal Response:
I read the book, Angry Management, by Chris Crutcher. I thought it was a very good book and well-written. I enjoyed reading it because it was very relatable and interesting to learn about problems most people look away from.

There were a lot of different events that happened in the plot. Everyone in this story was in Mr. Nak’s anger management class. The beginning of the book covered a story of Sarah Byrnes and Angus Bethune. They were both 18 years old and had a variety o
Jun 10, 2010 rated it really liked it
Familiar faces and settings return in Chris Crutcher's most recent work, which is a collection of three short stories. This time, he has brought back some favorite secondary characters to give them a chance to resolve some of the issues they were confronted with in earlier novels.

The first piece focuses on Sarah Byrnes from Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes. She was the teen who had bad burns on her face from an incident with her father when she was younger. She is now getting a chance to try and rec
Jocelyn Stocker
Personal Response:
This book was really good. Chris Crutcher managed to weave three completely different stories, while also hitting on the larger points and subjects of adolescence. The writing was emotionally charged, raw, and realistic, and the characters were incredibly believable.

The first story is about Sarah Byrnes, a strong girl whose abusive father burned her face, and whose mother abandoned her when she was young. Her and Angus Bethune, whose parents are both gay, embark on a roa
Sep 13, 2012 rated it liked it
I love Chris Crutcher's books, I love his characters, and I love that he views life as being worth the fight. His books have given me comfort and strength for many years. Unfortunately, I didn't love this book like I have many of his others (my favorite is Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes).

The thread that holds these three novellas together, a therapy group run by Mr. Nak, doesn't add anything to the work. It stretches believability in a way that doesn't serve a purpose and shortchanges the characte
Jun 11, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: realistic
Since this was a collection of 3 loosely connected novellas, it seems fitting to consider each story separately.

Story #1, "Kyle Maynard and the Craggy Face of the Moon": this was my second favorite of the three. Sarah and Angus were both quite easy to empathize with, and the anger, redemption, and healing contained in the story was powerful and touching. What happened to Sarah was truly terrible, and her strength made an impact on me.

Story #2, "Montana Wild": Least favorite. Montana and Trey may
May 21, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Jenny
Shelves: young-adult-lit
I once had a children's lit professor that saw me reading Whale Talk in the hallway. She said that she loved Crutcher's books, but Whale Talk seemed to go a bit overboard and every "issue" was in the story. At the time I couldn't agree because I was completely wrapped up in TJ's story. However, once I picked up Angry Management I kept hearing my professor's words in my head. This book is packed with issues that teenagers deal with from the difficult (abusive family, racism, abandonment, etc) to ...more
Apr 13, 2011 rated it really liked it
Chris Crutcher is, in my opinion, one of the best young adult authors out there. His books appeal to every type of kid. I loved this book. It was different than I expected. I thought it was going to be about an anger management class. Instead, it links the stories from Crutcher's previous novels. The reader does not need to have read these novels to understand the characters, as this novel can stand alone. The novel is separated into three stories, each pairing two characters. The only reason I ...more
Libby Ames
Another profound Chris Crutcher book that I can't really recommend because of language and some painful issues. I love Crutcher's characters and his way of showing their victory in the face of some of the harshest tragedies. In Angry Management he combines some of his favorite characters in other books for three novellas. Sarah Byrnes is back, struggling with life and finding more pain, but also more success. Crutcher also gives some minor characters larger rolls.

As a child and family psychologi
Oct 21, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: glbtq, young-adult
I've been reading Chris Crutcher's books for over 10 years now. I've always loved his writing. This book is like three stories in one, incorporating some of his characters from past books. I wish I remembered them enough to make their stories a little more interesting.

The first two were okay reads, but could have benefited from being a story in themselves with a bit more plot. They seemed to short to really take off.

But the last! It was riveting, and I really never expected to run
Jul 06, 2009 rated it did not like it
Shelves: young-adult
Lame. Chris Crutcher's newest work, a collection of short stories based on characters from his previous works, is just that. An uninspired, hurried book, Angry Management, I predict, will find few teenage fans. These stories are predictable and riddled with stereotypical characters--either they are extremely conservative (and also ignorant), or they are extremely liberal (and being victimized by the conservatives, usually in positions of power). I feel like Crutcher didn't try very hard in writi ...more
Aug 29, 2009 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: high school, adults
Recommended to Claire by: Patti Tjomsland
Definitely high school. Mr. Nak is back- hired by moderating angry management groups. Three novellas, all addressing (justifiable) anger and the fallout that results. Sarah Byrnes and Angus take a road trip to talk to Sarah's mom. Trey and Montana West make an unlikely team to address free speech, control issues, foster care, anger, oh and medical marijuana. The finale is a tales of bigotry, football royalty, corrupt law enforcement, Christianity and forgiveness.
Mr. Nak wraps it up at the end,
Dec 29, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Chris Crutcher does is again. I've just begun reading his work, so was not familiar with these characters. Have to say that the last story hit me the hardest. I had to put it down and cry and mutter and blog a bit about it. I knew exactly where it was headed - and I was not happy. Don't get me wrong, I knew in my heart that it was the only way for the story to go... I was just so unhappy that we're still at that point as a society, nation, people. Half an hour later, I picked back up and finishe ...more
Mar 09, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I don't even know where to begin with this book. There is so much that is packed into each of Chris Crutcher's characters. His use of language engulfs the reader and it is impossible not to feel empathy towards the ridiculous lives that each realistic character brings to the novel.

I just finished....
I am sitting out a coffee shop and just finished Angry Management. The guy that is a complete stranger to me, asked, "You juts finished the book?" I replied, "yes." He comments, "You look completely
Lauren Miraglia.
Nov 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I thought each story within this was amazing, beautiful and touching. The final story really touched me. Leaving you with these...

"Forgiveness is the scent the violet leaves on the heel that crushes it." - Mark Twain

"I don't think humans are wired to forgive right away. In fact, for some things I don't know if they ever can. And I don't know that they should. That never made much sense to me. Twain may have had it right. It's the scent of the violet, the good that the wronged leave on their way
Clara Dearmore Strom
Aug 14, 2009 rated it it was ok
Shelves: young-adult
I am sad to say that I was disappointed by this book. Chris Crutcher has been my favorite teen author up until now. I do not know why authors (and actors) feel the need to preach their politics in their books. I have always liked that he dealt with controversial subjects, but 2 of the stories in this book read more like a political propaganda. I am also tired of being stereotyped by intolerant liberals. I guess he is always good at stirring up emotions, I'll give him that.
Oct 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Angry Management by Chris Crutcher is a cheater novel in that it’s not one big novel but one novel that contains three shorter stories loosely interconnected, very loosely connected through the notes of an anger management counselor.

This is a short review because I don’t want to spoil anything. The stories have people in them from his previous works but if you haven’t read them then that won’t matter. I’ve only encountered a couple of these before but am familiar with the others from synopsis, r
Feb 11, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018
This was a blind date with a book from my library. I never would have picked this one up on my own...The cover wouldn't catch my eye and the themes wouldn't have appealed to me. BUT...In a way, I'm glad I read it. It's set up as three novellas that all deal with the issues of anger and tragedy and figuring out how to live through difficult circumstances from a teenage perspective. There's a lot of language and plenty of dumb drama and Crutcher is a therapist so he weaves that element into each s ...more
Sep 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
IT was great to catch up with a few old friends and to meet some new teens.

Chris Crutcher writes a unique style of fiction. The characters are all facing problems but they have the resilience of youth and deal with their problems in mostly positive ways. I held off on this for a while because I prefer book length stories to shorter works but this is really several novella length stories that could easily have been "padded" into books. The fact that it wasn't just shows the author is not short o
Massanutten Regional Library
Heather, Central patron, July 2017, 5 stars:

This is a book of three short stories, all loosely tied together by common theme. All of them are beautiful and heartbreaking in different ways. I'd love to read more of each story, but they were all wrapped up nicely. The third story is especially haunting and I feel pretty well wrecked from it. Love.
Heidi Rikard
Jul 19, 2018 rated it really liked it
I wasn't sure I felt a lot of love for this one after reading the first two "stories". But when I got to the last one, it hit me like a ton of bricks. I LOVED the characters and enjoyed the references to Whale Talk (my favorite Crutcher book) as well as the compelling social commentary the author is known for. Such a great read.
Bick McSwiney
May 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
Crutcher takes supporting characters from his other books and mashes them up into three short stories, all told with his trademark panache. This book doesn't hit as hard as some of his others, but it's still darn good.
Oct 31, 2017 rated it liked it
Anger Management, a young adult fiction story, by Chris Crutcher, demonstrates the effects of anger. 3 stories where anger influences the lives of people's actions and beliefs. Anyone who likes to know how someone's anger shows a part of their characteristic.
Cindy Bigler
Jan 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I love Chris Crutcher's books. I have read everything he has written and find myself gaining a different understanding for trials that are experienced by other. Great book.
Oct 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
I think it showed all of the emotions that average teenagers go through and telled lots of unique characteristics for all of the characters it talked about
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
Reading This Book Before "Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes" and "Whale Talk"? 2 4 Aug 03, 2012 08:10AM  
Three Novellas...all of them great. 3 17 Sep 10, 2009 11:55AM  
  • Talk
  • On the Fringe
  • Outfield Menace
  • The Drowning of Stephan Jones
  • King of the Screwups
  • Hero-Type
  • This High School Has Closets
  • Eight Seconds
  • The Mariposa Club
  • The Sissy Duckling
  • Andy Squared
  • The Monster Variations
  • Gringa: A Contradictory Girlhood
  • I'm Your Man
  • Inside Out
  • Shadow Walkers
  • Ragged Dick & Mark, the Match Boy
  • Flesh and Blood (Loka Legends #0.5)
Chris Crutcher's writing is controversial, and has been frequently challenged and even banned by individuals who want to censor his books by removing them from libraries and classrooms. Running Loose and Athletic Shorts were on the ALA's top 100 list of most frequently challenged books for 1990-2000. His books generally feature teens coping with serious problems, including abusive parents, racial ...more

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“If you think your life sucks, it probably does. Do something about it.” 12 likes
“You have to be mad in the language you're mad in.” 11 likes
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