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Original Essays | August 21, 2014

Richard Bausch: IMG Why Literature Can Save Us

Our title is, of course, a problem. "Why Literature Can Save Us." And of course the problem is one of definition: what those words mean. What is... Continue »
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Rule of the Bone: A Novel

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Rule of the Bone: A Novel Cover

ISBN13: 9780060927240
ISBN10: 0060927240
Condition: Standard
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clackamaslee, September 19, 2013 (view all comments by clackamaslee)
I'm not sure whether I liked this book or hated it. Banks did a great job making Bone's narration sound authentic. But I got tired of hearing it. Bone's reactions to his upbringing was realistic. But since we don't find out about it until halfway in, the first half felt contrived and the situations Bone put himself in felt forced. That Bone was able to get on an international flight without a passport was ridiculous, though since it was 1995, it was slightly (VERY slightly) more plausible than it would be today.

Working in adolescent addictions I'm torn as to whether this book would be good for the population I work with. On the one hand it would be good to see a book in which pot is actually treated like an addictive drug. In fact, Bone uses many of the same arguments and rationalizations that the work kids use. It's also good that this is a younger teen, since so many books that deal with these issues have older main characters that younger teens with the same issues get left out. Bone's inability to talk honestly with his mom (or anyone, for that matter) about abuses or her neglect is spot on. The dream of finding the absent parent is also. So there is a lot that the kids at work could relate to in this.... and maybe through Bone they could address some of their own thinking errors.

But man oh man the TRIGGERS. The drug use, the abuse, the neglect, the running away, the ganja Rasta culture... and the fact that while Bone does start to make better choices, he is still led by the advice of a drug dealer and never starts looking for answers within himself. At the end of the book he is still looking for a magical wand (change of scenery) to make his life better. His character doesn't grow much.
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Mariposakg, March 14, 2011 (view all comments by Mariposakg)
Rule Of The Bone is a good-time book with a deeper meaning into the mind and life of this "lost" boy. Couldn't put the book down! Russell Banks is not an author to ignore.
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Product Details

Russell Banks and Arturo Patten
Harper Perennial
Patten, Arturo
Banks, Russell
by Russell Banks
New York, NY :
New york (state)
Teenage boys
Americans -- Travel -- Jamaica -- Fiction.
Teenage boys -- New York (State) -- Fiction.
General Fiction
Homeless persons
Literature-A to Z
Edition Description:
Trade PB
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
7.59x5.03x1.00 in. .58 lbs.

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Rule of the Bone: A Novel Used Trade Paper
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Product details 400 pages Harper Perennial - English 9780060927240 Reviews:
"Review" by , "Bone...redefines the young modern anti-hero...Banks' ear is perfectly attuned to teenage vernacular....Rule of the Bone has its own culture and language, and Bone is sure to become a beloved character for generations. As with Holden Caulfield, we wish we could save Bone, but we come to hope that his purity of vision may somehow save us."
"Review" by , "Rule of the Bone is a work of can-do genius. It has the good heavy-metal drive of basement rock bands. It's great, self-conscious pop."
"Synopsis" by , In the tradition Huckleberry Finn and The Catcherin the Rye, Russell Bankss quintessential novel of adisaffected homeless youth living on the edge of society “redefines theyoung modern anti-hero. . . . Rule of the Bone has its own culture andlanguage, and Bone is sure to become a beloved character for generations” (SanFrancisco Chronicle). Witha compelling, off-beat protagonist evocative of Holden Caulfield and QuentinColdwater, and a narrative voice that masterfully and naturally captures thenuances of a modern vernacular, Bankss haunting and powerful novel is anindisputable—and unforgettable—modern classic.
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