The Outsiders Book (Summary - Review - Order Book - About S. E. Hinton)

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Author S. E. Hinton
Cover artist Robert Hunt
Country United States
Language English
Genre Young adult fiction
Publisher Viking PressDell Publishing
Publication date
April 24, 1967
Media type Print (hardcoverpaperback), Audiobook
Pages 192
ISBN 0-670-53257-6
OCLC 64396432
Followed by That Was Then, This Is Now 

The Outsiders is an adult novel of S. E. Hinton, first published in 1967 by Viking Press. Hinton was 15 years old when he started writing the novel, but he did most of the work when he was 16 and was a high school student in high school. Hinton was 18 when the book was published. The book details the conflict between two rival gangs divided by their socioeconomic status: the "greasers" of the working class and the "Socs" of the upper class (pronounced / soʊʃɪz / -short for Socials). The story is told in perspective in the first person by the teenage protagonist Ponyboy Curtis.

The history of the book takes place in Tulsa, Oklahoma, in 1965, but this is never explicitly stated in the book.

In 1983 there was a film adaptation, and in 1990 appeared a short-lived television series, little known, which resumed where the film stopped. A theatrical adaptation was written by Christopher Sergel and published in 1990.

Summary
Ponyboy Curtis, a teenage member of a loose "greaser" gang, is leaving a movie theater when he is jumped by "Socs", the rival gang of greasers. Several oilers, including the two older brothers of Ponyboy, father Darry and the popular Sodapop, come to his rescue. The next night, Ponyboy and two oiled friends, the hardened Dally and the quiet Johnny, meet Cherry and Marcia, a pair of girls from Soc, at a movie theater in which he drives. Cherry rejects Dally's rude advances, but Ponyboy ends up talking civilly with Cherry, connecting emotionally with a Soc for the first time in her life.

Afterward, Ponyboy, Johnny and their friend Two-Bit begin to take Cherry and Marcia to their house, when they are stopped by Cherry's boyfriend, Bob, who hit Johnny a few months ago. Bob and the greasers exchange insults, but Cherry avoids a fight if she leaves voluntarily with Bob. Ponyboy arrives home at two in the morning, infuriating Darry until he suddenly hits Ponyboy. Pony runs out the door and meets Johnny, expressing his anger at Darry's growing coldness in the wake of his parents' recent deaths in a car accident.

Running away from home, Ponyboy and Johnny wander through a park, where Bob and four other Socs surround them. After a heated conversation, Ponyboy spits the Socs and encourages them to try to drown him in a nearby fountain, but Johnny stabs Bob, kills him and scatters the rest. Terrified by what they must do next, Ponyboy and Johnny rush to find Dally, who gives them money and a loaded gun and orders them to hide in an abandoned church in Windrixville. During his stay there, Pony cuts and dyes his hair like a disguise, reads Gone with the Wind to Johnny, and when he sees a beautiful sunrise, recites the poem "Nothing Gold Can Stay" by Robert Frost.

Days later, Dally comes to check them, revealing that the violence between the Oilers and Socs has intensified since Bob's death in a city-wide war, with Cherry acting as the spy's culprit for the Oilers. Johnny decides to surrender and Dally agrees to take the children home. When they try to leave, they realize that the church has burned down and several children from local schools have been trapped inside. Greasers run inside the burning church to save the children, but Ponyboy is unconscious by the fumes. At the hospital, he discovers that he and Dally are not seriously injured, but a piece of the church roof fell on Johnny and he broke his back. Sodapop and Darry come to the hospital; Darry breaks and cries. Ponyboy then realizes that Darry cares about him, and he's just tough on him because he loves him and cares about his future.

The next morning, the newspapers declare heroes of Pony and Johnny, but Johnny will be accused of homicide for the death of Bob. Two-Bit tells them that the rivalry between Greaser and Soc will be resolved in a final rumble. Ponyboy and Two-Bit are approached by a Soc named Randy, Bob's best friend, who expresses remorse for his involvement in the gang war, does not trust the rumor that ends the fight and says he will not participate.

Later, Ponyboy visits Johnny at the hospital, where he is in critical condition. On her way home, Pony sees Cherry and they talk. Cherry says she is not willing to visit Johnny in the hospital because he killed her boyfriend. Pony calls her a traitor, but after she explains herself, they end up on good terms. After escaping from the hospital, Dally appears just in time for the rumor. Greasers win the brutal fight. Afterward, Pony and Dally rush back to the hospital to see Johnny, but he dies moments later and a maniacal Dally runs out of the room. Pony returns home that night feeling confused and disoriented. Dally calls the house to say he has stolen a store and is running from the police. Greasers find Dally deliberately aiming an unloaded weapon at the police, causing them to shoot and kill him. Overwhelmed, Ponyboy faints and is sick in bed for many days due to the concussion resulting from the noise. When the hearing finally arrives, the judge releases Ponyboy from responsibility for Bob's death and allows Pony to stay home with Darry and Soda.

Ponyboy returns to school, but his grades go down. Although he is failing in English, his teacher, Mr. Syme, says he will approve it if he writes a decent topic. In the copy of Gone with the Wind that Johnny gave him before he died, Ponyboy finds a letter from Johnny that describes how he will die with pride after saving children from the fire. Johnny also urges Ponyboy to "stay gold." Ponyboy decides to write his work in English about recent events and begins his essay with the opening line of the novel: "When I went out into the sunlight from the darkness of the movie theater, I only had two things in mind: Paul Newman and a trip home ... "

Review
The Forasteros transformed the fiction of young adults of one gender mainly about graduation queens, soccer players, and high school sweethearts to one that portrayed a darker and more real world.

About the Author
S. E. Hinton is the author of a series of bestselling and beloved books for young adults, including WHAT THEN THIS IS NOW; RUMBLE FISH, TEX, and of course, THE OUTSIDERS, which was written when she was only 16 years old. He has also written several illustrated books, a collection of stories and a novel for adults. She lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the stage of THE EXTERNAL, with her husband. When he is not writing, he likes to ride a horse.

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