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That Was Then, This Is Now Paperback – April 1, 1998

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Editorial Reviews Review

Ever since Mark's parents died, he has been living with Bryon. The boys are more like brothers than mere friends. They've been inseparable--until recently. Something seems to be changing between them, and Bryon can't figure it out. Is it Cathy, Bryon's new girlfriend? Is Mark jealous? Bryon is also tired of the street fighting, but Mark seems unable to quit. And where is Mark getting all of that money? In That Was Then, This Is Now, one of her most admired novels, S. E. Hinton paints a richly textured portrait of two boys at a crossroads in their friendship. With careful, intimate strokes, Hinton reveals a boy struggling over whether to protect his best friend or whether to follow his own beliefs about right and wrong. The ending will surprise readers, challenging them to puzzle over Bryon's dilemma in their own hearts. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


?A mature, disciplined novel which excites a response in the reader....Hard to forget.? ?"The New York Times"

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 and up
  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Puffin Books; Reprint edition (April 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140389660
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140389661
  • Product Dimensions: 4.3 x 0.5 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (340 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,893 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Susan Eloise Hinton's career as an author began while she was still a student at Will Rogers High School in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Disturbed by the divisions among her schoolmates into two groups--the Greasers and the Socs--Hinton wrote The Outsiders, an honest, sometimes shocking novel told from the point of view of an orphaned 14-year-old Greaser named Ponyboy Curtis. Since her narrator was male, it was decided that Hinton use only her first initials so as not to put off boys who would not normally read books written by women. The Outsiders was published during Hinton's freshman year at the University of Tulsa, and was an immediate sensation.Today, with more than eight million copies in print, the book is the best-selling young adult novel of all time, and one of the most hauntingly powerful views into the thoughts and feelings of teenagers. The book was also made into a film, directed by Francis Ford Coppola and featuring such future stars as Emilio Estevez, Patrick Swayze, Matt Dillon, and Tom Cruise.Once published, The Outsiders gave her a lot of publicity and fame, and also a lot of pressure. S.E. Hinton was becoming known as "The Voice of the Youth" among other titles. This kind of pressure and publicity resulted in a three year long writer's block.Her boyfriend (and now, her husband), who had gotten sick of her being depressed all the time, eventually broke this block. He made her write two pages a day if she wanted to go anywhere. This eventually led to That Was Then, This Is Now.In the years since, Ms. Hinton has married and now has a teenaged son, Nick. She continues to write, with such smash successes as That Was Then, This Is Now, Rumble Fish and Tex, almost as well known as The Outsiders. She still lives in Tulsa with her husband and son, where she enjoys writing, riding horses, and taking courses at the university.In a wonderful tribute to Hinton's distinguished 30-year writing career, the American Library Association and School Library Journal bestowed upon her their first annual Margaret A. Edwards Award, which honors authors whose "book or books, over a period of time, have been accepted by young people as an authentic voice that continues to illuminate their experiences and emotions, giving insight into their lives."

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

52 of 57 people found the following review helpful By BeatleBangs1964 VINE VOICE on October 31, 2001
Format: Paperback
I have loved this book since I was a child and it remains one of my favorites today.

The protagonist is a bright, articulate boy named Byron. He lives with his almost nonexistent mother and his adopted brother, Mark. An accomplished car thief ("nothing to hot wiring," according to him) and lover of fights, Mark is bad news. Byron describes him in an almost feral way; Mark had leonine coloring and features and his most outstanding feature is his amber colored eyes. Being with Mark is like a roller-coaster ride. Byron enjoys the excitement that living on the edge with Mark can bring.

The characters are sharp and richly drawn as is the Oklahoma town of the mid-1960s where the story takes place. One gets a strong, compelling sense of the characters and the dividing line in their immediate community. The "Greasers," so called because of their love for Elvis and tendency to use hair grease are looked down upon because they live on the "wrong side of the tracks," the east side of town. The Socs, (short for "Socialites") on the other hand are their affluent West Side counterparts. Byron falls hard for a socially mobile girl and takes her little brother, nicknamed M&M under his wing. The girl later ends up dating Byron's friend, the weirdly named Ponyboy who is in Byron's social circle.

The kids in this work, as in all of S. E. Hinton's works are highly independent. Adult characters are peripheral at best. The story is really about the young people in the Oklahoma community and their issues, confrontations and interactions. S. E. Hinton's books during this time period tend to be juvenocracies, that is ruled by youth.

Guns, drugs and violence are all part of the story.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
When I was in tenth grade, my English teacher read "The Outsiders" by S. E. Hinton to the class. I loved the book so much that I reread it one year later and consider it one of the best examples of fiction about teenagers. While this book isn't quite the caliber of "Outsiders" it is another excellent novel about teenagers experiencing troubles.

Bryon and Mark are teenage boys who are juvenile delinquents. They live in the same house and call each other brothers, even though they are not. Mark's parents shot and killed each other in a confrontation over the fact that the man knew that he was not Mark's biological father. After their deaths, Mark moved in with Bryon and his mother.

Although Bryon's mother is put forward as a good woman, she pays little attention to the boys. They stay out as late as they want, occasionally not coming home for days. They are in trouble a great deal although Mark is one of those people who always seems to be able to charm his way out of difficult situations.

As the story unfolds, the boys get in fights, hustle pool, Bryon falls in love, one of their older friends gets killed in a gun battle defending them, Mark starts selling drugs and Bryon sees a young innocent boy ruin his life taking drugs.

Bryon begins correcting his life, he gets a job, gets good grades and reports Mark over to the police. At the end, Bryon goes to visit Mark in the juvenile jail and he realizes that Mark hates him and would kill him if he had the chance. The jail time turns Mark into a hardened criminal, or more precisely causes those tendencies to come to the surface.

There is no happy ending to this story, just an ending that could have been much sadder than it was.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Pedro on February 16, 2000
Format: Paperback
In the book, That was Than This is Now by S.E. Hinton, a young boy goes on his path to maturity while his best friend is still acting like a tough greaser. Like many of S.E. Hinton's books this takes place in a time of gangs and hippies. After the socs and the greasers' war, Bryon and his best friend Mark are enjoying life by being to able to do whatever they want. Mark was brought into Bryon's family after his parents killed each other. Their mother does not care what they do as long as they don't get themselves killed. Him and Bryon have been best friends since they were little kids mixed up in the greasers. They hang out in a bar, hustle complete strangers in pool and go to the drug store with M&M, who is a hippie. Due to a turn in events these three, and M&M's sister, Cathy, get into a dilemma where their decisions can determine the rest of their lives.
This book that S.E. Hinton wrote is a lot like many others he wrote, such as Taming the Star Runner, Tex, and Rumble Fish. It takes place in the mind of a young boy going through tough times by living on the streets. This book's time period is probably two years after The Outsiders, but in this book, unlike The Outsiders, the characters are different. There is still Ponyboy Curtis, but that is the only character from The Outsiders. S.E. Hinton has written many good books for young readers and this book is no exception. I really enjoyed reading this book and recommend this book for all young readers.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 29, 1997
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is a powerful book that is excellently written. It tells of a teenager who is finding himself and must make decisions that ruin friendships and effect his life. Throughout this boy's maturing, many characters are introduced. The characters almost come alive, they are so real.
Toward the end of the book, I found myself in tears as the boy makes a necesary decision that SEEMS right, that appears to be the moral decision, but the outcome doesn't seem fitting and it made me wonder whether he made the right choice, whether that was the right decision.
This book is very life-like, very real. S.E. Hinton is my favorite author and she writes about what she knows; thus, the situations are easy to relate to. Infact, without even meaning to, I found myself relating to the story, comparing it to my life. The knowledge I received from this book will help me make decisions as I get older. If you are a young adult searching for who you are, or someone trying to make the right decisions in life, you need to read this book! It makes you think and ask yourself, "What is the right choice? What did this boy do wrong?" Apply it to your life and learn from the lesson, almost hidden, in this book
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