Rainer Maria Rilke

"Live a while in these books, learn from them what seems to you worth learning, but above all love them. This love will be repaid you a thousand and a thousand times, and however your life may turn,-it will, I am certain of it, run through the fabric of your growth as one of the most important threads among all the threads of your experiences, disappointments, and joys."--Rainer Maia Rilke

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Sunday, September 8, 2013

Real-Life Scary

Rage by Stephen King (written as Richard Bachman)

This book was pulled from publication after the school shootings, with King's approval.  It is a very short book, for King, at a little over 200 pages.  I don't know if one can say they 'enjoy' a book like this.  King's works can be thrilling or breath-taking, even satisfying, but enjoying just doesn't cut it.  This one was very uncomfortable and frightening, especially if light of the recent school shootings that have happened.  Yet, a glimpse into the mind of this character was enlightening to me as a teacher. 

It is told from the point of view of Charlie Decker, a junior in high school who is tired of being a doormat for his peers and reacts by bringing a gun to school to 'get even'.  Charlie is quite convinced he is the victim.  I can't agree, certainly not to the degree he takes it.  His thinking makes him a very unreliable narrator, which always make the reader uneasy.  The unease is heightened by the setting in a school.  This is not a book for everyone and I had moments of just wanting to walk away from it. 

I also found the actions of Charlie's classmates to be disturbing and unbelievable.  Only two students of an entire class disagrees with Charlies?!?  Everyone else seems to think his actions are completely sane and reasonable--except for one boy who fights back and one terrified girl.  I was also very disturbed by the students' reaction of the shooting of their teacher. There was almost no reaction, which I found to be unbelievable.

I do not think this glorifies teen violence.  I think it might help to explain the mindset of those being bullied.  As a King story, it is outside what I am used to.  It certainly had horror, but not the paranormal escape I was looking for.

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