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3.95  ·  Rating details ·  2,471 Ratings  ·  238 Reviews
Bo Brewster has been at war with his father for as long as he can remember. Following angry outbursts at his football coach and English teacher that have cost him his spot on the football team and moved him dangerously close to expulsion from school, he turns to the only adult he believes will listen: Larry King.

In his letters to Larry, Bo describes his quest for excellenc
ebook, 288 pages
Published September 22nd 2009 by Greenwillow Books (first published April 14th 1995)
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Oct 13, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone with a dysfunctional family
Thanks to a professor in an adolescent lit class, I first picked up this marvelous book. Being a consummate couch potato, the sports that permeate Crutcher's novels was initially a turn-off. However, once I read this book, I was hooked. Chris Crutcher has a background in psychology and his depiction of kids in crisis is always insightful and often heartbreaking. He is a master of the problem novel.

Beau Brewster is a 17 year old boy who gets into a power struggle with a teacher who is very much l
Louis Knecht
Mar 09, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Personal Response:
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. It had a great story line and it had a lot of real life problems that I think many people can relate to. Overall, it was a fun exciting book to read.

In this book there were a lot of interesting things that happened in the plot. The main character's name was Bo. He had a rough childhood in the fact that his dad was very mean to him but not in the way you would think. When he was seven Bo’s dad was sleeping on his chair and Bo ran insi
Jun 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The narrator is an angry kid with an angry father. His nemesis is his English teacher and football coach, Mr. Redmond. He calls him an a-hole and is forced to attend anger management classes where he meets a girl he really respects. The others in the group become his crew, the leader his mentor, along with his swim coach. It's an inspiring story about family, loyalty, hard work, and integrity. There aren't any easy answers, and I think those are the best kinds of books. I cried at the end, and I ...more
Dec 01, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ironman was a great book!

This book was quirky and humorous, especially Bo's letters to Larry King. I had been confused at first by the switching of first person to third person, but after I had gotten used to it, it had been very enjoyable! Though I am particularly not that much into sports, I found it quite interesting about Bo Brewster entering to be in a triathlon. His training sounds brutal, and I know that I'd never be in a thing quite like that! Bo's determination and motivation is pure an
Noah Rausch
Aug 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It is a quality book, but the plot is a bit cliche. It is another story about how a kid with family issues deals with his problems by throwing himself into a sport. It was published in 1995, by Chris Crutcher. Chris Crutcher's books are often repetitive in how they seem to have the same theme of a teenager struggling with problems and solving or dealing with them through sports and the help of a coach. The characters are well developed and believable. He is writing to a teenage audience so they ...more
In yet another sports centered novel of young men training toward a goal, Crutcher explores the often dysfunctional relationships between fathers and sons.

This novel is a good read on several levels. It's the story of an outstanding young man coming to terms with his anger. It's about gaining some perspective about what causes some bullies to behave as they do and it suggests some means of coping with the thousand little shocks that flesh is heir to.

I enjoyed seeing characters from other Crutc
Jared Lindley
May 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I pretty much thought this was a great book, I could really relate to it. I could relate to this novel because it has to do with anger in school, and anger towards adults that dont respect you... Now I know the saying "Respect your elders" but it would be hard when you are getting picked on by this older person Mr. Redmond, who is Bo Brewsters teacher (Bo is the main character in this story too), and football coach. Redmond was picking on Bo because Bo decided he did not want to play football an ...more
May 05, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
WOW. I don't know which I like better: Ironman or “Staying Fat.” I do know that I want to get my hands on every Chris Crutcher book ever written. Crutcher has a talent for writing honestly and often alarmingly accurately about the nature of human behavior. This book easily was one of my favorites, right up there with Speak, Ender's Game, and The Giver. I could relate to Bo as he was training; I used to swim and run, and I have two Siberians that take me and my husband for a walk daily. The one p ...more
Jacob Lehman
I rated the book three stars because I really thought it was a little slow. There were some boring parts where not much happend and I do not like that in a book because it is not fun for me to read. I also didn't like the ending of the book as I thought it was kind of left unclear. I did think that the book had some good themes about life. Like to never give up and keep trying and things like that. I'm not sure if I would read a book by the same author. I think it would depend on the general plo ...more
Kate Letterman
Read for Teaching Middle School English.

Look, I'm not saying this is a literary masterpiece, but I do think it's a good story and has a lot of good messages. It's super angst-y, but in w more masculine fashion.

I like the way this book handles some rough subjects, even if the dialogue is, at times, reaching and a little bit terrible.

This would be a wonderful book to recommend to a boy (or girl) who "doesn't like to read."

I'm about to put this on my Teachable Reads shelf, but yeah, probably wou
Jul 17, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya, fav-authors
Chris Crutcher never disappoints. While I'm not a fan of books about sports, I am a fan of Crutcher. Sports become the backdrop for his novels, which are character driven more than anything else. Ironman focuses on the Bo Brewster, a high school senior, training for the Yukon Jack triathlon. The novel begins when Bo is sentenced to an anger management class. The novel explores Bo's explosive relationship with the his father, which is set against the triathlon. While some references are now dated ...more
Austin Hill
i thought it was alright, i would recommend it to book worms. maybe even for runners because it is very interesting for long distance runners. bo at first sounded boring but the book later progressed to be a decent book. the only reason i didnt like it was because i hate reading and it was long.

I think I'm in love with Chris Crutcher! He writes YA books, that explain to me about those kids who grow up with a disfunctional family. I hope his work will give me the empathy I need when working with middle school kids this school year.
It's a pretty quick read, kind of interesting. I think it's a good teaching book. it covers a lot of issues that many kids may be dealing with and ought to be discussed.
Sep 06, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I waffled between three and four stars. The first half or so I was not really into the story. But after that it picked up. I like the message Crutcher conveys and I like Bo, the main character. I wasn't wild about the switching between first-person letters from Bo to Larry King and then third-person narrative for other parts of the book. To me it kind of disrupted the flow of the story. I'd rather be in one perspective or another. I liked Mr. Nak but I think his Texas drawl was a little overdone ...more
Haleigh Eustis
If I'm going to be quite honest, I think he whole book would be much better without Bo. I wasn't interested in reading about his prep for a triathlon, but what kept me reading was the Anger Management Group. They were so interesting, and if the book had only focused on the people in the group and not Bo, I junk the story would be better.

I would have loved to know so much more about, Elvis and Shelly. I believe that it's amazing though, that he took real life events! Mr Nak by far was my favorit
Jul 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I highly recommend, but let me start by saying I hated this book at first. The main character is a teenage boy who is training for a triathlon and writing memos to Larry King. Boring and too boyish for me. But I had to read it for class, so I kept going (albeit complaining loudly to my roommate along the way). However, this story unfolds into a very meaningful narrative. I imagine the author's professional background is what allows him to add such depth and insight about life, adolescence, relat ...more
Nov 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
This was my favorite Crutcher book back when I tore through his stuff in middle school, and after the re-read, I'd say it still is. I'm particularly fond of the advice that the mentor characters dispense; it's usually concise, helpful, and worth thinking about.
An interesting book about a boy and his father, and how his relationship with father isn't very strong. I would recommend this book to people that enjoy reading about people's lives in a different perspective.
Barbara Rogers
Aug 31, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wonderful book. Lots of good lessons to be learned.
Daniel Untch
Oct 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book a lot. A for sure recommendation. It teaches you to be thankful and to not give up. It also teaches you to stand up for what you want.
Neil K.
Sep 08, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I abandoned this book because I wasn't getting i
Oct 01, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
This book has so many similarities with Staying Fat For Sarah Byrnes: a male athlete main character (Bo) who is bright but gets in trouble with various authority figures (in this case, an English teacher and his father); an asshole teacher (aforementioned); a wise and understanding coach and/or teacher (the Lion; Mr. Nak); an understanding mother; a father who is absent or an asshole (and in this case, in cahoots with the awful English teacher); a strong female peer character (Shelly); and other ...more
Mar 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I picked this up on a whim and LOVED it. I was hesitant when I opened it and saw it written in letter style, but it was very well done. If I could clap for this book, I would. One of my favourites now for sure.
May 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
jaspreet   Kaur
Mar 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
it was a good book. i struggled at first to build up interest but the theme of book turned out on totally different. its theme about anger a very common and dangerous problem. i totally loved the characters of story which were very simple . i liked that the book had a common day to day life.
May 04, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I, historically, LOVE Christ Crutcher. I highly recommend his novels Whale Talk and Deadline.

I didn't love this one, though.

Crutcher is and/or was a teacher and a child and family therapist, so he has LOADS of experience. His books typically deal with "issues" without becoming an "issue book." Whale Talk, for example, includes storylines about racism and domestic violence. But it isn't about either of those things.

Ironman focuses on Bo's relationship with his father, among other subjects. One of
Jun 15, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hollins
I don't even know where to start with this book. It's mediocre storytelling, in an "after school special" sort of way. Highly didactic, and unsubtly so. Since I've always heard Crutcher referred to as a "problem novel" author, this did not surprise me. What did surprise me were the "messages" of this particular after school special. About halfway through the book, I went and found a pencil and began marking all of the lines that I thought were complete and utter crap. Most of these came out of t ...more
Jimmy Blundell
I recently finished reading the book "Ironman", and I enjoyed it quite a bit. The book started off pretty slow and I almost wanted to put it down within the first few chapters, but about a third of the way through, it picked up the pace, and I ended up feeling glad that I stuck with it.
This book took place in a Spokane, Washington, and is about a boy named Bo Brewster. Bo Brewster is a troubled youth, often having problems with his father at home, and then his English teacher at school. Both l
Mallory Wiskur
I really like the book Ironman, because it had a good plot and theme. The characters were very relateable as well. This book had a slow start, but once the plot started to pick up i couldn't put it down.

I liked the plot, because it had situations that every teenager can relate to. For example, Bo has problems with his dad. I think that every teenager has problems with their parents when they are teenagers, even if Bo's problems were probably more difficult, because teenagers think that they kn
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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
More about Chris Crutcher...
“Then hearing Elvis today made me think I didn't have a lot to bitch about, but when I said that to Mr. Nak after group, he said, "Don't get to thinkin' just because some other guy's sinkin' in horse manure, the stuff up around your neck is chocolate puddin'. A wound is a wound, young Brewster. Remember that. Don't diminish the pain of your own just because you see some other gut-shot cowboy bleedin' to death.” 8 likes
“See, Mr. Nak'll be talking about how anger comes creeping up, hoping you're not paying attention so it can trick you into something really embarrassing or degrading, and before you know it he's got you thinking about your life, or worse, talking about it. He keeps asking what seem like harmless questions, and it almost seems safe to answer them. Next thing you know you're ready to say something you thought you'd never tell anybody.” 4 likes
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