I'LL ADMIT IT: I'm jealous of SE Hinton. To write such an iconic book when she was in her teens is an achievement of monumental proportions. The Outsiders is the age old story of disaffected youth and clashes between two cultures. The writing is refreshing and bright and the names and the characters are fascinating in themselves.
At times I did find it hard to get a handle on all Ponyboy's Greasers... maybe fewer characters would have made it an even better book. Still, I will be reading more of SE Hinton. I read this book after writing Crossing The Whitewash, and though the two stories take place in different eras I can draw parallels with some of the characters.
This was groundbreaking work at the time it was published I'm sure, and a great first line: "When I stepped out into the bright sunlight from the darkness of the movie house, I had only two things on my mind: Paul Newman and a ride home."
There is probably no better book with which to launch my new blog, Say Hello To My Little Friends, which will feature reviews of gangster novels past and present. If you like the genre, watch this space!