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Bless the Beasts and Children Hardcover – Oct 1971


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Hardcover, Oct 1971
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Product Details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Doubleday (October 1971)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385033621
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385033626
  • Product Dimensions: 17.5 x 10.2 x 2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 227 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #3,152,514 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Glendon Swarthout wrote sixteen novels, many of which were bestsellers and were made into films, among them Seventh Cavalry, They Came to Cordura, Where the Boys Are, Bless the Beasts & Children, and A Christmas to Remember. He was twice nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in fiction and won a number of other awards, including the Western Writers Award for Lifetime Achievement. --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

Format: Hardcover
The 1960s and 1970s produced numerous "socially relevant" novels. One of the most popular of these was Glendon Swarthout's BLESS THE BEASTS AND THE CHILDREN, a novel that raised a number of issues re social status quos, its impact on children, and its impact on the enviroment. Few novels of this type have survived the passing years unscathed, and this one is no exception--but sadly, and particularly in light of such recent events as the Columbine shootings, the novel still has a surprising degree of relevance even today.
The story concerns a group of misfit boys who have been dumped into a summer camp by largely unconcerned parents and who find themselves ostracized and reviled by both camp instructors and the other boys. Constantly berrated and harrassed, they are designated "The Bedwetters" and are relegated to the fringe of camp activities. During a field trip, the boys are taken to see a corralled herd of buffalo--and are horrified when the buffalo are slaughtered before them. They resolve to escape the camp overnight, return to the corral, and free the remaining buffalo before they too can be killed. As the story of their trip unfolds, the novel flashes back to revel the background of each of boy and describes how they evolved into the personalities they have become--and in a real sense, the adventure they undertake ultimately validates the worth of each, as the differences that the status quo perceives as weakness actually becomes the strengths that motivate and aid them on their journey. But their determination to free the buffalo will come at a terrific price, a higher price than any of them can imagine.
As literature per se, the novel has several weaknesses.
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By A Customer on April 30 2002
Format: Hardcover
Like a Separate Peace and Lord of the Flies, Bless the Beasts and Children is a story of growing up and human nature. The complexities of each character: John Cotton, Teft, Goodenow, Shrecker, Lally I and Lally II, are shown in flashbacks of their lives. Cotton, a scowling, tough fifteen-year-old boy who leads the "Bedwetters" through the taunts of the other tribes in the camp, adopts the other boys into his cabin and tries to teach them how to survive. Teft, the supercool car thief, fourteen, hotwires cars to solve the transportation problem that the boys face when running away. Goodenow is the mama's boy, the crybaby, the wimp. Shrecker is desperate to impress his father and recieves only his father's abuse and contempt. Lally I is a psychotic fourteen year old boy who is obsessively jealous of his younger and more innocent brother, Lally II, who makes friends with special people called Ooms who live in his parents sauna. These boys ARE the Bedwetters, the losers, the freaks at the boy's camp they are staying at. After seeing the slaughter of buffalos one day, Lally II runs away from camp and leads the boys on the adventure of their lives, which ultimately ends with the boys' rediscovery of themselves and the heroic death of Cotton, driving over the canyon edge in a blaze of glory and defiance towards the people who tried to subdue him in like the buffalo. This book is funny, touching, and very, very sad. It is not nearly as frightening as Lord of the Flies, nor as truly character descriptive as A Separate Peace-- the book makes it clear you are to form your own opinions of the boys-- but like Ralph and Phineas, Bless the Beasts & Children offers a bit of the golden boy in the tough as hell John Cotton and the metaphorical Lally II.Read more ›
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By Marcea on Dec 2 2001
Format: Hardcover
I chose to read Bless the Beasts and Children as a novel in my English II class. I chose this book not knowing what I was going to be reading. After I began to read the introduction I knew I would enjoy this story.
The way Glendon Swarthout chose his words for each individual character made it seem like they were appropriate for the characters age. He didn't seem to put himself in the characters, it seemed realistic. I enjoyed the way Swarthout put flashbacks, a little more detail and thoughts in italics. I thought that was new.
The book didn't seem boring to me at all. I know how some books the tempo of the book goes up and down, up and down, but this book seemed to keep its rhythm. The way the kids worked together in the worst of times and how Cotton took the lead when the "bedwetters" were uneasy, was a great thing to see throughout the entire book. There were many lessons that you could learn from the "bedwetters". I really enjoyed this book and I would definately read it again.
This book is good for teenagers. I felt a connection to the characters becuase they were around my age and the things they did would seem like some of the things I would do if I was in that situation in that enviorment.
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Format: Hardcover
I chose to read Bless the Beasts and Children as a novel in my English II class. I chose this book not knowing what I was going to be reading. After I began to read the introduction I knew I would enjoy this story.
The way Glendon Swarthout chose his words for each individual character made it seem like they were appropriate for the characters age. He didn't seem to put himself in the characters, it seemed realistic. I enjoyed the way Swarthout put flashbacks, a little more detail and thoughts in italics. I thought that was new.
The book didn't seem boring to me at all. I know how some books the tempo of the book goes up and down, up and down, but this book seemed to keep its rhythm. The way the kids worked together in the worst of times and how Cotton took the lead when the "bedwetters" were uneasy, was a great thing to see throughout the entire book. There were many lessons that you could learn from the "bedwetters". I really enjoyed this book and I would definately read it again.
This book is good for teenagers. I felt a connection to the characters becuase they were around my age and the things they did would seem like some of the things I would do if I was in that situation in that enviorment.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
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