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2.0 out of 5 stars
An overrated book unworthy of "Classic" label, Aug 18 2000
Ponyboy is a youth fourteen years of age split into two personalities, one a good natured boy confused and afraid, the other the classic steriotype of an inner city youth. Set in a dank, inner city neighborhood, two rival social groups have escalated their hatred for eachother to a new level. The "Socs", one of the groups, are a seemingly endless mob of vicious, violence-frenzied, rich and malevolent problem children dwelling in "the West Side". The other, named the Greasers, are the home of Ponyboy (the protagonist) and poverty-stricken children fighting for survival. Following his heart, Ponyboy meets a "soc" girl which leads to a chain of events which will forever more, change the greaser's life.
This text does not deserve the "20th century classic" rating which has been given to it. While a better 5th Grade reading alternitive to Judy Blume, this book is surprisingly plot-oriented for a supposed "classic". The book has no reedeeming symbolism, nothing to give to the world, nothing to teach us about ourselves like most classics do. This book is great for young readers though, who can never read a story unless the plot starts in the first few chapters. But for more experienced readers, the book may come off as childish and callow. The plot is hollow, and S.E. Hinton's writing style is quite simple. In conclusion, as a book, "The Outsiders" is decent, not horrible, not great. However, as a Classic, it pales in comparison.