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Fade [Mass Market Paperback]

Robert Cormier
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Sept. 1 1991 Laurel Leaf Books
IT IS THE summer of 1938 when young Paul Moreaux discovers he can “fade.” First bewildered, then thrilled with the power of invisibility, Paul experiments. But his “gift” soon shows him shocking secrets and drives him toward a chilling act.

“Imagine what might happen if Holden Caufield stepped into H. G. Wells’ The Invisible Man, and you’ll have an idea how good Fade is. . . . I was absolutely riveted.”—Stephen King

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Much of Cormier's fiction poses a paradox: you are most alive just as outside forces obliterate your identity. Cormier's protagonists want to be anonymous, and their wishes are fulfilled in nightmarish ways. In Fade , which encompasses three stories in three decades, 13-year-old Paul discovers an incredible secret gift: he can become invisible. His long-lost uncle appears, to tell Paul that each generation of the family has one fader, and to warn him of the fade's dangers. Paul, however, abuses his power and quickly learns its terrible price. Twenty-five years later, Paul, a successful writer, confronts the next fader, his abused nephew Ozzie, whose power is pure vengeance. And 25 years after that, in 1988, Paul's distant cousin Susan, also a writer, reads his amazing story, and must decide if Paul's memoir is fact or fiction. Fade is an allegory of the writer's life. Paul's actions stem from his compulsion to understand the behavior of the people around him; Susan's questions and her awful dilemma, which concludes the book, result from her near-pathological writer's focus on other persons, a purpose her unreachable late cousin serves well. Omniscient powerPaul's invisibility and Susan's access to his unpublished workleads to identity-consuming responsibility. At its best, Fade is an examination of the writer's urge to lose identity and become purely an observer. As in all Cormier's novels, the protagonists are ciphers whose only affirming action seems to be to assert, however briefly, that they exist. The story is gripping, even when it approaches melodrama, and Cormier concentrates on each action's inner meaning. Fade works better as allegory than as fantasy; this is Cormier's most complex, artful work. He seems to challenge himself as a writer, and in doing so, offers a respectful challenge to his readers. Through him, they will discover the extremes of behavior in the quietest human soul. Ages 13-up.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From School Library Journal

Grade 10-12 Those who find Cormier's novels bleak, dark, disturbing, and violent will not be disappointed with his latest. And true to his past, he has given readers a story with more twists and turns than a mile of concertina wire. The first half is set in Frenchtown, a working-class section of a Massachusetts town. The time is the 1930s, and the evocation of life among the French-Canadians (with marvelous names like Omer LaBatt and Rudolphe Toubert), who toiled in sweatshops where celluloid combs were made, is the best thing about the novel. Not that the story line doesn't work. Cormier uses an old device that guarantees attentiona lead character who can make himself invisible. The rules for fading are as complicated as a missile defense treaty. Paul Moreaux is the teenage fader who narrates the first section, an autobiographical account written after he has become a famous novelist. Readers learn early on that there is a grim side to this gift of fading and that Cormier intends it to represent a potentially evil force within us all. Subsequent sections include a narration by a present-day female cousin, which throws into question the truth of the entire first section, and a concluding section that features another cousin who can fade but who is certainly mad and possibly possessed. So the novel has a bit of many things: magic, murder, mystery, history, romance, diabolical possession, sex (not a lot, but what there is is explicit), and even a touch of incest. The character of Paul is developed especially well. The story is too long, and the plot is too contrived to be taken seriously, but Fade is riveting enough to be appreciated by Cormier fans. Robert E. Unsworth, Scarsdale Junior High School, N.Y.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An excellent book not to be forgotten March 20 1998
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
To classify this book as young adult is a mistake. This is the kind of novel which can appeal to people of all ages. The young character deals with so many issues and feelings that everyone confronts sooner or later in one's life. Perhaps we would all like the gift to fade away-- to see the world without being seen. To view the true colors of others is a talent we all try to develop; to realize one's self is something we never truly fulfill. By far, this is Cormier's most creative novel. His language portrays the dreary and dark surroundings of the charatcer. You will never want to put this book down.
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4.0 out of 5 stars "Every family has its mysteries." May 7 2004
By Crystal
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Fade by Robert Cormier is a great book.
Fade is a book with many different settings and point of views. It begins with Paul who is around the age of 13 when he finds out he has a gift. He is able to become invisible. Then there is Ozzie, Paul's nephew. Who is angry at the world because of his terrible life. After him there is Susan, Paul's distant cousin who finds a manuscript written by Paul about his life and the ways he dealt with "the fade."
Reading the synopsis of this book I thought it would be a good book to read because I've always thought it would be cool if I could become invisible. I know, silly, but I thought about it before. Of course when I thought about things like that I didn't think about the negative aspects and ways that I would most likely abuse the power, but this book reveals all the possibilities if "the fade" were real. I am not surprised that this was such a good book, since Robert Cormier writes amazing books. This book also dealt with a lot of other issues and it was just an all around great book to read.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Fade in our hearts Feb. 8 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This book is great! It totally reveals the different aspects people view on certain subjects. How this book was written also enhances the addictive plot in this book.
The book was bisected into two different time periods, flashing back and forth, starting off with Paul the main character's autobiographical letter. In this writing, Paul described the ability of fade and how his long-gone uncle came and explained to him about when this ability originated and offered some past experience of his. Acquiring this ability, Paul eventually found himself dismal and lost later. After thirty years later, his far cousin Susan and her grandfather - Paul's cousin - gave their opinion on the ability of fading.
We, in our daily lives, would sometimes wonder if we acquired such and such supernatural powers, and what we would do with such and such powers. The truth is, when we actually get these powers, the vicious minds of ours would emerge and the world would fall into chaos. The book Fade pointed this out clearly. Susan and her grandfather's views on the power of fading are also reflected in this world. To believe or not believe, I think the characters in us would interfere this issue. Just like Susan's grandfather, being a detective had surely shaped him into a more logical person. This book Fade stated many situations and thoughts encountered either spiritually physically in our lives and personally I think it's a must for every reader.
The author Robert Cormier has also written some well received books such as the Chocolate War, which both my friends and I found pretty interesting, and if some of you have read it, you would not be disappointed with this fascinating book of his - Fade.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing May 17 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Robert Cormier's unique knack for capturing the turmoil of adolescence (and to a lesser extent adulthood) with a haunting sense of melancholy is displayed perfectly in this beautiful novel.
The book focuses on Paul, a boy who discovers he can "fade," or become invisible; a gift inherited from his uncle and passed on to Paul's future nephew. Paul sees it as a useful feature, but the things he sees while in the Fade shock and disturb him, alienating his from his friends, causing him to view the world in a different way. The bits narrated by Sally, the interlude by Paul's cousin, and the Olly section at the end are all well done and spice up the plot, but it's Paul's narration that I find most fascinating.
The author hasn't written a fantasy novel, he uses the fade to expand the idea of coming to terms with change and the pain suffered because of this supernatural ability. Just as Cormier exaggerated the search for identity in I Am The Cheese, he seems to use the fade as a metaphor for growing up. The initial delight, the confusion and disgust towards the things that corrupt innocent eyes, the weary character that emerges... all seem to link to the author's recurring theme of adolescence.
As usual, the characters conjured up are memorable and unique, and I love the way Paul's cousin casts them in different lights and adds a new dimension, challenging us to choose who we believe.
Aside from Paul, Olly is probably the boy that I remember most vividly; Paul's nephew who inherited the fade. Unwanted, he goes through life lonely and rejected, loved only by the nun that takes pity on him. When he discovers his ability to Fade, he sees it as a great tool and a secret only he knows, but soon becomes paranoid that people know about "his secret" and plan to conspire against him.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars A disturbing and enthralling read
Fade is an incredible story that follows the life of three "faders" and an aspiring writer. Through each character's POV, Cormier shows how three people with the same ability... Read more
Published on April 26 2009 by Rhea
4.0 out of 5 stars Fade in our hearts
This book is great! It totally reveals the different aspects people view on certain subjects. We, in our daily lives, would sometimes wonder if we acquired such and such... Read more
Published on Feb. 8 2004 by Albert hsueh
1.0 out of 5 stars If you have the book, toss it NOW!
This book is awful. Twice in it he describes sneaking into other peoples bedrooms to fulfill his own desires and finds something worse. Read more
Published on Aug. 18 2003
4.0 out of 5 stars Fade
If you like other books by Cormier, you're sure to like this one too. It is has several different settings and characters, and they take a lot of unexpected turns. Read more
Published on June 20 2003 by Stacey W.
5.0 out of 5 stars Yes!
I am a sophomore in college. I read this book almost 5 years ago, and it still sticks out in my opinion as one of the greatest pieces of "young adult" literature. Read more
Published on Oct. 2 2002 by Greg Potter
5.0 out of 5 stars A Gift can be both good and bad
Cormier's Fade is an exciting book to read. There are three stories and three main characters. The author shows how Paul and Ozzie use and misuse this gift. Read more
Published on Sept. 18 2002 by Geraldine
5.0 out of 5 stars this book is awesome
this book is awesome. it had me spellbound the entire time i was reading it. i gave out about a dozen copies of this book for christmas because it was so amazing.
Published on Jan. 7 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars Not every gift should be accepted
When the average person thinks about 'super-powers', what likely comes to mind is the usual conglomeration of superhero comic books, cartoons, movies, and television shows; a... Read more
Published on Oct. 17 2001 by Stone Junction
2.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as the last Cormier book I read
I've already read The Chocolate War, and it's sequel and I loved them both. So I automaticallly had high expectations for this book (which was assigned for school). Read more
Published on Oct. 26 2000 by Nancy E.
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow!
I'd like to start by saying i'm over 13! I'm 15! But this book was great - I loved it and so did the large number of friends inc. my mum that I recommended it too. Read more
Published on Aug. 12 2000 by Alice
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