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Rule of the Bone by Russell Banks

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Rule of the Bone is one of the most spectacular books I have ever read. When you’re reading it, you really get some great insight into life and you start to really think about yourself.


Readers are introduced to Chappie, a regular rebel and punk who lives under the control of his abusive stepfather and his passive mother. Chappie smokes and sells weed and hangs out with the “wrong crowd,” so of course, his appearance is a bit edgy and dangerous. However, there is some sort of sensitivity and great intelligence that I really loved about him.


When Chappie runs away from home, he meets some interesting characters. There is Buster Brown, who justifies his sexual exploitation of children by saying “those who can not do, teach.” Chappie encounters him once at the local mall, then once again again later, but this time, Buster Brown has a much bigger impact on Chappie. Later on, there is I-Man, a die-hard Rastafarian who spends most of his time gardening and smoking marijuana, a life of which Chappie did not object.


As Chappie has many different adventures, he learns very much about himself and it sort of becomes a quest to find out who he really is and where he belongs. I was very touched by Chappie and I could not help but to become very attached to him. I feel that those who read this book and really appreciate it can get a better look on life and how they have been living so far through Chappie’s own hardships.


For me, this book redefined right and wrong by explaining a “bad” kid’s life and showing that everyone has reasons for how they act. Those who judge do not necessarily consider the hardships one may be going through and I believe Banks does an incredible job of shedding a light on this concept. While reading this book, you must put yourself in Chappie’s place and rethink your own ideas of right and wrong. I can almost guarantee that you will be extremely moved and very upset when the story ends and you realize that that is the last you will hear from Chappie.





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