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Tenderness Paperback – September 14, 2004


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The path of a serial killer intertwines with that of a teenage runaway who cannot resist his charm. "Readers will stay on the edge of their seats," said PW. Ages 14-up.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Grade 6 Up. Cormier is in top form in this chilling portrait of a serial murderer. Eric Poole has progressed from killing kittens, cats, and a canary to parents and unsuspecting young women. Now 18, he has paid for his mother and stepfather's murders with three years of juvenile detention and is ready to continue his "plan." Unfortunately, his looks and shallow charm are as pleasing on the outside as his character is ugly on the inside. The story unfolds through the eyes of two characters: Eric, and the luckless 15-year-old Lori, a runaway who met Eric once when she was 12 and is drawn to him like a moth to the flame. Even when she realizes his guilt, after he attempts to kill her, she can not desert him. The ugliness of the story contrasts with the beauty of the language. Perfectly titled with characteristic irony, a sense of "tenderness" pervades this gripping tale. Where other, lesser writers would have screamed the story in full-blown tabloid prose, Cormier is the model of decorum. No overt blood and gore are needed for this author to terrify his readers. Eric is not an antihero. Sympathy is not so much for the undeserving villain, but for the society that spawned and neutered him. A meaty horror study that's a fine substitute for the anemic, but popular "Fear Street" books.?Marilyn Payne Phillips, University City Public Library, MO
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Ember; Reprint edition (September 14, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385731337
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385731331
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.5 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (105 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #292,530 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

This is a book with a totally unespected ended.
"wishawitch"
He's due to be released very soon and the officer who knows he's guilty of much more than killing his parents is determined to make sure he doesn't hurt another girl.
BarkLessWagMore (Horror After Dark Crew Member)
I really liked this book i didn't want to put it down after I started reading it.
blair brennan

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Karen on December 22, 1999
Format: Hardcover
In this psychological thriller, Cormier takes us on a journey with two young adults seeking "Tenderness" in their own ways. For Lori Cranston, it is the search for unconditional love, security, & respect--concepts she only dreams of as her dysfunctional mother drags her from town to town and from abusive boyfriend to abusive boyfriend. For Eric Poole, the eighteen year old who serial killer who has murdered his mother and step-father under the guise that he has been abused, as well as killing 3 teenage girls for pleasure, " tenderness" becomes the obsession of control that he has over a human life just before he kills. When these two characters come together, Cormier weaves a tale of suspense with an ironic ending neither expected or even hoped for. Although neither character is very likable in the beginning, by the end of the novel, both Lori and Eric are somewhat sympathetic as Cormier subtlely reveals more and more exposition of the character's backgrounds. What is so disturbing about this book is the knowledge that in the real world, there are probably real people who are just as chilling as these two characters. In Tenderness, it's the realism that is so repugnant.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By "alibaby143" on November 28, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Lori Cranston is fifteen years old and has run away from home again. Lori is looking for Tenderness in her life. She finds this tenderness in an eighteen year old boy named Eric Poole. Eric has just been released from Juvenile detention after three years of time due to the murder of his mother and father. Eric is also looking for tenderness, only he finds this tenderness in loving and killing beautiful girls. Lori meets Eric and becomes fixated on him while getting more involved in his life. I highly recomend this book to readers of an appropriate age. Robert Cormier is an author who writes novels for young adults but I think that this one in particular could pass for adult material. Lori is as emotional as most teenagers would be at her age. Unfortunately she has encountered some really horrible experiences that no teenager should have to. Lori feels that she needs someone to hold on to, someone to be her tenderness and give her tenderness. This is where Eric Poole comes into play. She meets him and recognizes him strangely from her past. There is an ironic trust between the two of them and they seem to form a bond. This novel should definitely serve as a warning to young teenagers who are into hitch-hiking and who are undoubtly naive. Many young girls are looking for a little tenderness in their lives and would welcome the invitation. Lori welcomes Eric's invitation without knowing the truth about his dark secrets and this hidden truth serves as a thrilling end to the tenderness relationship...or does it? Will Eric and Lori meet tenderness together or will this thriller end in a twist of fate that will not easily be forgotten?
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jamie Schaffer on January 11, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Tenderness is a strange novel intended for younger people. The plot, although unusual, kept my interest throughout the whole story. Always wondering what would happen next, I continually read on until I finished. It began with Lori, the main character, talking about her latest fixation. Whenever she got obsessed with someone, she had to kiss that person to end the fascination. This was only one of her minor quirks; Lori also felt the need for tenderness in her life. She sought it with her English teacher, her mother's boyfriend, and even people that she did not know. The person she wanted tenderness with in the early part of the book was Throb. He was a musician that she saw on television and became enchanted with him. She ran away from home when she heard he was going to be playing in a near by town. Once she got her chance to kiss him, Lori became fixated on someone new. While sitting in a restaurant, she saw a news report. Eric Poole, a convicted killer, was being released from jail. Eric had killed his mother, step father, and was accused of killing many young girls. Like Lori, he wanted someone to be tender with. Eric would choose a girl, go out with her, and then killer her. He was always expected to have committed these crimes, but it could not be proven in court. Lori would sit outside Eric's house for many weeks, until one rainy night she hid in his van. He noticed her there the next morning when he was driving on the freeway, attempting to leave town. During their travels, they developed a relationship that would best be described as peculiar. They ended up learning more about themselves, each other, and tenderness as their connection grew stronger. This book was hard to put down once I started it.Read more ›
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on March 30, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I thought this book was great. You got both Eric and Lori's viewpoint. I thought it was well written and I read it in an hour and a half. I couldn't put it down. The ending was quite a surprise but I still loved it. I'm looking forward to reading more books by Robert Cormier.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By W. Kliem on December 22, 2005
Format: Paperback
The psychological thriller "Tenderness", written by Robert Cormier and published in 1995, deals - as you can read in the title - with tenderness.

Eric Poole is an 18-year-old mass murderer who killed his mother, his stepfather Harvey and three other girls. He was used to tenderness from his mother. She loved him very much and they had a good relationship until she fell in love with her husband-to-be, Harvey. Since then, her whole tenderness belonged to Harvey, for which Eric dislikes his mother and also sneers at Harvey. Eric is sure to find tenderness in caressing and killing girls that look like his mother. Maybe he would have committed suicide in the facility where he was imprisoned, if he didn't believe in love or tenderness.

Lorelei Cranston has never experienced tenderness in her life.

Her mother is an alcoholic with see-sawing boyfriends and has other things in her mind than loving her child like a normal mother does. Lori looks for foreign men who look gentle who can maybe give her tenderness. It's a big advance, that she searches for men who look gentle and not for men who are pretty. It's not the outward appearance that defines if somebody can be tender with you or not. Perhaps, Lori doesn't even know what tenderness means exactly.

In the end, Lori's and Eric's ways cross. Will they find tenderness or have in the end even less than before?

The whole exciting book deals with this topic and by the way, you can read Eric's and Lori's mind. This is very interesting, because you normally can't look into a murderer's and a runaway's (Lori has run away from home) mind.

Sometimes it's a bit confusing, because in the end Eric's and Lori's points of view change very fast and you sometimes don't know who's telling the story now.

All in all, you can say, that the book is very recommendable to everyone who is interested in psychological aspects of other persons and to everyone who loves exciting books!
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