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The Outsiders
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141 of 152 people found the following review helpful
I first read _The Outsiders_ 19 years ago (the year that the film version was released). Hinton was all the rage to read in my high school and I was seriously attached to Ponyboy and Sodapop and the rest. Like many another teenage girl smitten by Ralph Macchio, I memorized the Robert Frost poem and cried buckets at the end of the book.
It's funny to me to hear recent reviewers discussing the book in terms of its relationship to gangs, because I don't see it as being about rival factions. Instead, I see it more as a meditation on the price of having an inside and an outside to any given social context. At the time the book was written, it was the socs and the greasers. At my high school it was the Jocks and the Beegs. It's about people being judged by their clothes and their family rather than their abilities and their desires.
Hinton's book stands up well to time-- I'm a lot more cynical than I was as a child and I couldn't summon tears anymore for the characters, but reading it I could still revisit the concerns that I had at the time and the world that this book represented.
A good gift for young teenagers.
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66 of 74 people found the following review helpful
on March 18, 2000
This was a book I had to read in High School. Though I wan't an avid reader, I loved it! Probably because it reminded me of the rivalry between the "jocks" and the "freaks" in my own High School.
The narrator is Ponyboy, sensitive with a tough exterior. Since his parents are deceased, he and his laid-back older brother Soda are taken care of Darrel the eldest, who's a bossy perfectionist (really only worried that he might lose his baby brothers). There's Johnny Cade, whose family life is insufferable. There's Dallas Winston, mean and gruff (but has a soft spot for Johnny). And then there are the Soc's, the spoiled kids who like to pick on the greasers for fun (the "fun" runs out when their buddy is killed). And let's not forget Cherry Valence, who though dating a Soc has a heart and a mind all her own.
While Pony and Johnny hide out after the murder, with Dallas coming to their aid and rescue, the 3 "greasers" temporarily clean the slate of all stereotypes and somehow wind up as heroes! If you're wondering how these events occur, go read the story! You won't be disappointed!
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
I read THE OUTSIDERS for the first time when I was a teen myself, just a little bit younger than Ponyboy and Johnny. This book had a huge impact on me at that age. I fell so deeply in love with Hinton's simple, vivid writing style. Never had teenagers like me felt so real and present on the page. I couldn't stop telling my mom about it and how good it was and why. I'm sure she still remembers those nights. It is an oft-challenged book, unfortunately, and thinking about it now, I would have been devastated if someone had told me I couldn't read it or had come and taken it out of my library. I can't imagine not having read it then and I have read it so many times since. It's truly a classic and deserves the praise it's gotten over the years.

Ponyboy Curtis is a Greaser. He lives on the wrong side of town. He acts tough, dresses tough, and lets his hair grow long to look tough. He lives with his two older brothers, Darry and Sodapop, and they barely make ends meet. Darry and Soda work hard to support themselves and let Ponyboy stay in school so that at least one person in the family can graduate high school. Pony's best friend is a sad boy named Johnny Cade who's been beaten around one too many times and spends a lot of time looking over his shoulder, anticipating the next blow. The only family these boys have are each other. Pony, his brothers, and their motley group of Greaser friends watch each other's backs and defend each other when necessary. Particularly when the Socs (rich kids from the other side of town) come looking for trouble. Dangerous Dally, funny Two-bit, somber Steve. Through Ponyboy's eyes we catch a brief, eloquent glimpse into the life of a group of teenagers the world seems to have forgotten, who take life's knocks on the chin and somehow keep going.

I picked a small, worn copy of THE OUTSIDERS up off the shelf of a tiny used bookstore in Texas and took it home with me because I felt like the kids on the cover might be worth knowing. How right I was. This story of small-town prejudice and class warfare set in the 1960s has never really aged. The first time I cracked it open I was immediately enchanted by the magical language these kids seemed to speak, a language full of "greasers" and "Socs," "savvys" and "tuffs." I couldn't tear my eyes away. It is a coming of age story and a commentary on the dangers of going through life with blinders on, of judging people who are different from you before you know them. Of not wanting or caring to know them. Every character in this story is backed up against the wall, struggling to survive, and I cried more than once at the injustice of it all. And yet, when you come to the end, you feel the indomitableness of hope, the possibility of change, and the beauty of the human spirit. THE OUTSIDERS has been challenged several times on the grounds that it includes rough language, violence, references to cigarettes, alcohol, and for depicting broken families. And we would never want young adults to know that such things exist or, heaven forbid, that they may encounter them in their own lives. *eye roll* I get so angry when I hear hogwash like that. Never mind that it's beautiful, and real, and good. That it will teach its readers about how to treat their fellow human beings, how hatred and fear do nothing but destroy, and how the sunset looks the same no matter which side of the tracks you're from. That's the kind of book I want to read. That's the kind of book I want my children to read. And no one is allowed to tell me no.
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57 of 69 people found the following review helpful
on November 11, 2000
This book, which was written in the 1960's, may have well been written today. It describes the many conflicts between gangs, social groups, family violence, and friends. I was made to read this book twice when I was in middle-school, but even so I enjoyed it. Many emotions and thoughts surround the patrogonist, Ponyboy, who describes ganglife in the city. The book goes into many depths to develop the personality and emotions of every single character, and even from the view of the main character, you know the intellects of every little character. Every emotion is very sicere and well portrayed and not a detail is left out. You get a good view of human nature, feelings, and life. The story has a very moving plot that deals with family conflicts, murder, robbery, gang fights, friendship, social status, and loss. It does well at alerting the reader of the seriousness of gang warfare. Even though it expresses the many sad parts of life in the city, it gives a message that there can be hope and there is hope for those who have not lost the fight yet. This is an incredible book and definately worth getting. A must read!
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35 of 42 people found the following review helpful
When I had to read THE OUTSIDERS in seventh grade, at first I was just like whatever because I thought it was going to be another boring book we had to read and why can't we ever get good books to read? But from the first chapter, that was it. I fell so hard I still haven't gotten up.

This book was my inspiration for writing my own teen novels. It's one of those books that has characters you're so into you wish they were your friends. Well, first you wish they were real. And then you wish they were your friends and you could call them any time you wanted and be like, "Hey, Ponyboy, what's good? Can you meet up at Chat 'n Chew for some grilled cheese and backgammon?" That's what hooks you in from the beginning...the way this story feels so real. The intense energy of the dialogue and the fast pacing of the plot make it impossible to put this book down. And when you do put it down because you have to go to school or sleep or whatnot, you can't stop thinking about it, you can't stop wondering what's going to happen next. It's like you don't even know how you can get through the day without finding out.

So I want you to be as hooked as I was and read this so many times that page 73 is falling out. Because this book makes you feel alive. And that's an amazing feeling.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on September 11, 2002
The Outsiders was a fascinating novel depicting the life of a boy struggling to survive in poverty without parents. Having only two brothers to look up to, Ponyboy had to often fend for himself. While trying to stay out of trouble with the Socs, boys from the wealthier side of town, Ponyboy learned to depend on himself and keep his eyes close on his goals even with the many distractions he faced. Many times during this story, Ponyboy got into situations that ended up in fights. While being either strangled, threatened with a knife, or plainly just beaten up, Ponyboy learned to live a hard life. He was rescued in the nick of time, by his brothers, many times. Being the smartest and most focused Greaser of the gang, he set his sights beyond what the average Greaser could imagine. His goal was not to be the best street fighter in the gang but to get an education. He imagined a life free of the hatred between the Greasers and Socs, a life without fear and violence. Many Greasers could not live like that, but Ponyboy could. Ponyboy was different. This story takes us though the winding journey of conflict and heartache in not only Ponyboy's life, but in the lives of those closest to him.
I recommend this book to people who would like to know what life in an inner city environment is like. This book will be exciting for all young adults for it addresses topics interesting for this age group. The action and fast paced tempo in the fights, hideaways, and rescues will bring excitement to any reader. This novel will teach any of its readers to be grateful for what they have and due to the many suspenseful moments throughout this novel, it will captivate the reader. I give this book an A+.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on February 5, 2003
When a glance is given to the book The Outsiders, the cover might not catch the eye. But when the words are read, you'll come to realize that this story is full of action relating to teen life. Adventure, love, mystery, and violence are all experienced in this tale of friendship.
A boy of 14 years old named Ponyboy walks out of a movie theater only to find Socs, rich kids from high school, jumping him. He's not the only one that has this problem though. His brothers Darry and Sodapop and his friends Steve, Two-Bit, Dally and Johnny deal with the same people over and over again. Living on the eastside of Oklahoma, these boys are considered greasers, J.D.'s and hoods. This title keeps them empowered and tough in their world.
Later on in the story, a conflict is made and Johnny and Ponyboy are forced to run away. They survive on little supplies but when trouble is found, Ponyboy and Johnny are off to the rescue. After risking their lives, they are put in the hospital. The tale goes on with more action packed parts and adventure.
Through all the troubles Ponyboy faces, he learns the importance of helping another out. The story ends with a beautiful finish of love and lesson. You will find yourself so involved with this book of many wonders. It truly is a fine journey to go on.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on November 24, 1999
at first, when my english teacher assigned this book for us to read i thought it was going to be boring. woah! was i wrong! i totally love to read books, and of all the ones i have read this one by far is one of the best! it was just interesting, and i really could relate to it. and i must admit that johnny was by far my favorite character. maybe this was because i could just picture him so well. but i almost cried myself when i finished it. im already starting to read it again, and i just finished it on the 19! i really recommend this book to everyone.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on February 5, 2003
This is MAX REVIEW with Griffen
I am writing a book review on The Outsiders. This book is exciting, fast-paced, and a very enjoyable read. If you like action and suspense, then this is the book for you.
The book begins in an Oklahoma neighborhood. Ponyboy, a parentless child, is going fine. Him and his gang are staying out of trouble, but still getting the usual gang fight between two groups; the Socs and the Greasers. The Socs are the rich, snobby people who drive around in their expensive cars. Then the Greasers, well, are pretty much the opposite. So anyway, Ponyboy is getting good grades in school, and everything is going great. Well, so he thought.
The trouble begins when Ponyboy and the gang sneak into a drive-in theater. They meet Cherry, and her drunken boyfriends who don�t take kindly to strangers picking up their girls, and to make things sound worse, they are part of the Soc gang. Ponyboy and his gang get the drunken boyfriends to buzz off, and they walk the girls� home. The socs were gone for now, but their minds were set on revenge.
After all that, Ponyboy and his friend Johnny are getting sick of things, so they decide to run away. But running away doesn�t turn out to be as pleasant as they expected. Leaving the house means vulnerable in fights, and they are the Socs main course. With saying this, you can expect that Ponyboy and Johnny are in a tight situation. So for that, they go to the one man who can help them escape, Dally. Of course, Dally isn�t pleased with lending them 50 dollars and a loaded gun, but he agrees. He sends them on their way on a train to a town called windrixville, which is almost the exact opposite of what their town is like. They stay at an old church at the top of a hill where nobody usually goes.
After a few days of hideout and a few days of eating bologna they decide that hideout is not only hurting them, but other people too. An incident with them accidentally setting the church on fire puts not only them, but a group of kids on a picnic�s life in danger.
So, what exactly is the fate of the kids in the burning church? Who will dominate the city, Socs or Greasers? Will Ponyboys life go back to normal? All this and more is in the book, The Outsiders, a book about understanding, decisions, and looking out for each other.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on April 7, 2008
Reading a novel is one thing but listening whilst reading adds a new dimension to it. The Outsiders is written by an American author and it's set in the 1960s. I am Australian and the language in the novel is not. It makes sense to listen to a trained actor deliver the novel with the correct intonation, dramatic intensity and charaterisation that simply reading cannot provide. The themes in The Outsiders are relevant to today's teenagers who deal with peer pressure, dysfunctional families and the all too human need to belong somewhere....anywhere. Conflict is sustained throughout and there is the final resolution. This is good to play on a car trip to keep teenagers engaged instead of hearing "are we there yet?"or to improve reading skills by listening whilst reading. This is one way to help improve word recognition. Especially suitable for people with vision difficulties who may find it easier to listen to, rather than read a book. Very enjoyable.
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