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Outcast

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3.91  ·  Rating details ·  555 Ratings  ·  53 Reviews
From author Rosemary Sutcliff, author of the classic tale The Eagle of the Ninth, comes Outcast, the tale of an orphan boy in the ancient world.

When a Roman ship is wrecked off the coast of Britain, an infant, Beric, is the only survivor, saved by members of a British tribe. They name him Beric and bring him up among them, until the time comes when they can ignore his anc
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Paperback, 229 pages
Published October 30th 1995 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux (BYR) (first published 1955)
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(showing 1-30)
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Jennifer Freitag
Beric was not born to be drowned. In the wake of a severe storm, he is found by a tribesman washed up on the shore, clasped between his two dead parents. His own child having just recently died, the tribesman takes young Roman Beric back to his wife and he becomes their son. But just as he was not born to be drowned, young Beric was not born to be a tribesman. Though loving and obedient to his foster-parents’ ways, the tribesmen are uneasy with a Roman in their midst, and the day comes when they ...more
Joy C.
I am so glad my first read of 2017 has been a beloved Rosemary Sutcliff novel. I do love this writer so much - she rarely blows me away with a brilliant plot or heart-stopping sequence of events. Instead she captures my heart in a quiet, throat-catching way, with her beautiful writing and descriptive language and the way she can capture the little emotions of hearth and home and belonging and finding new hope after much pain, betrayal and sorrow. I just love what Sutcliff does with those themes ...more
Nikki
This didn't pull together the way I expected at all. I expected Lucilla to have a bigger part to play, and for Beric to find out about his real parents somehow, and... just for him to find a neat space just made for him where he would belong. But it's better the way Sutcliff wrote it, of course, with Beric struggling so much and eventually, and with difficulty, finding a place to belong. Not a place that's been waiting for him, but a place he's made for himself.

I found it a difficult read, at fi
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Joseph Leskey
Oct 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: ANYBODY!!
Recommended to Joseph by: Abigail H. Leskey
The quality of this author's writing is astounding. The story is excellently told and the trauma of the main character is perfectly displayed. So, aye, I really enjoyed it and that's that, seeing as I feel myself not to be in the proper review-writing mood at the moment.
Sarah
Mar 24, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
After a fantastic start this was strangely anticlimactic, verging on quite boring by the end. I couldn't understand it. I think the fact that there was a total of 2 female characters in the entire book might've had something to do with it - so boring.
I was a bit confused that Beric didn't seem to care much when he found out he was Titus's son, even though he spent most of the book obsessing about feeling like an 'outcast' in every society because he knew nothing about his real parents. And why
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Schuyler
Jul 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
You run out of words for Rosemary Sutcliff after a while.

She is the king's feast of the reading world. Her prose is stunning every single time--and I really wish her books were in every literature program and book list around the world. Not only does she combine moving plots and sympathetic characters, she also has a suburb knack of capturing the smallest details without bogging down in them.

Beric's childhood is a really vivid part. From the time he comes to them as an infant, lashed to his pare
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Colin
Sep 13, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love historical fiction, but I struggle to find books that feel authentic and are written well enough to satisfy me. I read and adored Patrick O'Brian's brilliant Aubrey and Maturin series over a period of about four years and for me they set the gold standard for historical novels. I've tried a few other popular and well-respected authors recently and have been disappointed by their inability to pull off the hard trick of making modern English dialogue sound historically authentic, or by clun ...more
Isis
Jun 08, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A Series of Unfortunate Events, basically: infant Beric washes up on the Cornish shore, and after that anything that is good that happens to him is only so that he can be hurt more when it's torn away from him. But if you're into beautifully written, lovingly detailed whumpage, this is the book for you. The storms are magnificent, the characters are interesting, and poor Beric really gets whumped.

I tend to prefer the BFF-type of Sutcliff book, and obviously (duh theme) there is no BFF here for
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Rachel Brown
Solid historical about a baby washed ashore from a shipwreck and raised by a British tribe; they eventually exile him, whereupon he goes to Roman-ruled Britain, gets enslaved, and eventually ends up on a slave galley. The depiction of the galley ship is horrific and vivid, and the section after that, which I won't spoil, is quite moving. But I didn't like this as much as I did some of Sutcliff's others. The protagonist was a bit too everyman for my taste.
Ariana
This author. I can't do her justice.

The meaning of a relationship. That's where she excels. In Outcast there isn't even a romantic relationship. But Beric, the main character, has a binding friendship (friendship isn't enough of a word!) with Jason, his oarmate. And she weaves the relationship that they have in about a chapter!

Rosemary Sutcliff is my favorite author, and this is one of the more touching books of hers that I have read. I completely recommend it.
Emma Belle
I couldn't even finish this. This book is SO boring that after 1/2 a chapter I would fall asleep...like seriously. WIsh me luck on the assignment I have to do on it lol
KarenLana
Sep 20, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
I don't have the words to do this book justice. It is a truly incredible story and I am now a fan for life of Rosemary Sutcliff.
Rachel
Not the best Sutcliff, in my opinion. The storyline wasn't as strong as some of the others, though the commentary on Roman slavery was quite strong.
Lisa
Jul 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children-s-books
Historical fiction at its best and some of the best I have read for young readers. It incorporates some great social history to compliment any understanding they may have of Roman times. The story covers aspects such as slavery, the class system, the military, and Roman engineering. And it also briefly touches on Celtic tribal life during Roman times, though this is briefer than I expected. It is not for the faint of heart, though. It is particularly grueling in some places, and I found myself c ...more
Elizabeth
A boy's coming of age story set in Britain (mostly) during the Roman occupation. Good book.
Fazackerly Toast
terrific. I'm going to read everything else she's ever written now.
Fionnula Enright
Three and half stars I really liked it but I really liked it but it was pretty depressing and I thought it kinda dragged out at the end but it was good
Gale
SHACKLED BY HIS TRAGIC PAST--SHUNNED BY ANCIENT SOCIETY

Culture-clash in Roman Britain is presented in an unbiased manner for both Celts (or Picts, judging from the facial tattoes) and Romans in this interesting YA novel. Sutcliff's predilection for ancient times and primitive civilizations results in a gripping plot of teenage identity crisis, while presenting precise historical detail about Roman culturesuperimposed upon the Celts in a way that does not impede enjoyment. Instruction and Enligh
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Brian
Dec 05, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Matilda Rose
Beric is the only survivor of a Roman shipwreck. He is brought up amongst a Celtic tribe, but is driven out when he grows up because he does not share the same blood. When sleeping on what seems an accommodating ship, he is kidnapped and sold to slave-traders. Then a man who wants him to fight as a charioteer buys him. One day, he loses his temper and pours wine on his master's head. His master threatens to send him to work in the salt mines - a horrible place where you can go mad and die. Beric ...more
Sineala
This one definitely isn't going to be my favorite Sutcliff book, but it's an interesting read nonetheless. (And, hey, the ebook even has illustrations!)

It's the story of Beric, a shipwrecked Roman infant raised in a British tribe, later cast out, sold into slavery, sentenced into even worse slavery, and the list goes on from there. Approximately three-quarters of the book is an unending stream of Beric's miserable life, occasionally broken by the usual Sutcliff nature descriptions and brief glim
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Alison C
Mar 04, 2015 rated it it was ok
In Outcast, by Rosemary Sutcliff, Beric is adopted by a Celtic tribe in Britain after he is found alive following the wreck of the Roman ship in which his parents were traveling with the infant boy. He is raised by the tribe until the age of 16, when bad harvests and other calamities befall the tribe; they blame the "foreigner" in their midst and he is cast out of the group and thereafter must find his way in the world alone. Having been captured by slavers, he next finds himself in Rome, and hi ...more
Lori
Read this one with my 10-yr-old son. Sutcliff is an excellent author who is a talented wordsmith and does an amazing job with imagery. Even though her books are classified as for children or "young adult" I know of very few well-educated adults who would not find at least a few challenging vocabulary words in her writing. That is not to say at that her writing is at all inaccessible to younger readers, but the literary quality of her work is of a very high standard - one not often seen in most o ...more
Simon
Jul 19, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Beric is a survivor. As a baby he survived a shipwreck and was adopted by a local family. When he is outcast from his clan, he is kidnapped and sold into slavery. He survives hardship and more calamity. At the close of the novel, Beric finds freedom and a sense of belonging. Yet for this reader, the closure seemed somewhat forced. The hero of the story is more a survivor than a champion. I expected something more. Nonetheless, the story is well-written and kept my attention to the end.
Carolyn
Dec 27, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: adventure
To be fair, I did not finish this book. I am leaving it on my shelves, in the hope I can get it on audio at some point. I have tried to read RS before and I really struggle with her style. When I picked this up, I thought he was a Viking. I should have remembered that RS was really likes the Romans.
Karen
Sep 07, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: 5th grade and older
Recommended to Karen by: Well Trained Mind by Jessie Wise and Susan Wise Bauer
Shelves: classics, education
I love historical fiction and Rosemary Sutcliff does a superb job! In one fictional story she was able to bring many facets of the Roman daily life and Brittish Tribal life to view - neither of which I was familiar with. Rosemary Sutcliff is brilliant! If you like historical fiction you will like these.
Flabnbone
This book made me teary. For some reason, when he got kicked out of his village, I almost felt his emotion and sadness. Then later on, when he has to work on the boat and watch his friend die right in front of his eyes, I felt so sorry for him. This book explores: self identity and what it means to belong. It was a good read.
Nigel
Sep 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens-ya
Can't do a proper review because I've a thing on my finger, but this at times harrowing bildungsroman about a young Roman, rescued from a shipwreck by a Celtic tribe, eventually cast out and forced to endure years of slavery and suffering before finding a place for himself, is one of Sutcliffe's best books. Brilliant scenes of life in the ancient world. Magnificent climax.
Maureen E
Nov 11, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical
One more down in my ongoing quest to read all the Sutcliff books ever! (If you think I’m kidding.) This is a nice one–Bran is part of a Celtic tribe in Romano-Britain. But he was found in the wreck of a Roman ship and so he is never more than tolerated. In the end, it’s a story about finding your home.
Darren
Dec 14, 2011 rated it liked it
It was a little confusing to follow because in the beginning Beric was having a good time and then he got on a ship and fell unconscious. After that it jumps way ahead with him as a slave. It was still good.
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Rosemary Sutcliff...: "Outcast" Discussion 18 11 Dec 01, 2012 10:25PM  
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  • The Ramsay Scallop
  • The Red Keep: A Story of Burgundy in 1165
  • Hittite Warrior
  • The Lion Hunter (The Lion Hunters, #4)
  • Otto of the Silver Hand
  • Twice Freed
  • Beric the Briton
  • Galen and the Gateway to Medicine
  • The Maude Reed Tale
  • The Golden Goblet (Newbery Library, Puffin)
  • Canterbury Tales
  • The Last Crusader
  • Serpent Never Sleeps
  • The Ravenmaster's Secret: Escape From The Tower Of London
  • Bloodline Rising (Bloodline, #2)
  • In Search of a Homeland: The Story of The Aeneid
  • The Great Plague: The Diary of Alice Paynton, London, 1665-1666
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Rosemary Sutcliff was a British novelist, best known as a writer of highly acclaimed historical fiction. Although primarily a children's author, the quality and depth of her writing also appeals to adults, she herself once commenting that she wrote "for children of all ages from nine to ninety."

Born in West Clandon, Surrey, Sutcliff spent her early youth in Malta and other naval bases where her fa
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