Runner by Carl Deuker

April 7, 2009
By Will Smythe BRONZE, Youngstown, Ohio
Will Smythe BRONZE, Youngstown, Ohio
3 articles 0 photos 0 comments

Deciding between right and wrong is a choice we all face each day. Have you ever had to decide between making money doing something illegal, or keeping your self respect and turning the offer down? The book Runner, by Carl Dueker, has a very current topic yet the main character, Chance, faces the ages old dilemma of right versus wrong on a much grander scale. With an exciting plot and interesting characters, Runner will not allow you to put it down. The lure of what happens next to Chance will entice you to keep reading.

Runner’s story-line keeps your interest right from the start. The plot involves the character of Chance Taylor, a boy living with his Dad on a boat in Seattle, Washington. His home life is far from perfect; his dad has a drinking problem, his mother is absent from his life, and he lives in poverty. Chance is given the opportunity to make easy money by running packages for men he doesn’t really know. He accepts this offer and soon realizes that he may be involved in an illegal activity. From here the plot takes many twists and turns, involving several unique characters in the story. Chance finally has some money and stability in his life, but it is worth the risk?

By contrasting their upbringing, the author creates two diverse main characters. Chance comes from a life of poverty but his best friend, Melissa, lives a privileged life. Interest is created on how they each view life. This contrast causes each to be faced with different problems but solve them according to his or her lifestyle. Melissa faces the problem of getting into Stanford. Compared to Chances problem of battling poverty and trying to survive, Melissa’s issues seem mild. Substantial differences are found in these two characters, but they come together and rely upon each other in desperate times. Because the setting takes place in Seattle, Washington, in modern day time, it is easy to comprehend the text. The style of the book makes it believable because it is written in first person. The story is told in the voice of Chance, the main character.

The main theme found throughout this book include the contrast between ethical decisions and obtaining immediate results through questionable actions. Thus, the “doing what’s right” versus “doing what’s wrong” theme. Chance chooses to do what is wrong, by running the mysterious packages for quick money. He knows that it is wrong but because he lives in poverty, his decision for quick money is understandable. This theme of good versus evil is a common theme in many books. In this book, it is easy to see why Chance makes the decisions that he does. Often, people make decisions based on what would help them the most in their current situation. It is hard for many people to do what is right in the long run when the immediate result of doing what is wrong has better immediate results. Runner will make you think about the decisions that Chance makes and ask yourself if you would make the same decision.

Runner also makes the reader think about loyalty and patriotism. Is loyalty to your country more important than loyalty to yourself? Chance also faces decisions about his own loyalties.

The book Runner is very topical and has very intriguing characters. It is thought provoking because in the end, Chance makes another life altering decision. He has an opportunity to live a life of luxury, but he chooses to keep proving himself and live on his own. While this book does not have a fairy tale ending, Runner is a great book for anyone that enjoys suspense.

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This article has 18 comments.

on Jan. 12 2017 at 12:01 pm
0 articles 0 photos 1 comment
I think the part when he got beat up

Hello said...
on Jun. 1 2016 at 5:57 pm
Cool book, I'm reading it in class now but we're on chapter 5 part 3. Now I know. Tomorrow IM GONNA SPOIL IT TO EVERYNONE IN MY GRADE!

Alan Lu said...
on Mar. 18 2016 at 11:05 am
That story was tight yo

Caleb Woo said...
on Sep. 17 2015 at 7:29 am
Awesome! Really well constructed satire. It made me laugh.

Scott22 said...
on Aug. 24 2015 at 2:18 pm
What are some examples Of archetypes in the runner? I have to have 20 for a assignment for lit?

Tricia said...
on May. 15 2015 at 8:38 am
Extremely talented young man!!!!!!!

on Jan. 22 2015 at 8:53 pm
Does anyone know some major events that happened in act one? If you do please help me out.

dfgsfadfd said...
on Jan. 15 2015 at 5:54 pm
for my project i need to know ALL the chareters in the book can anyone help

on Oct. 19 2014 at 3:45 pm
To have chance stay at Melissas home (even though chance declines the offer)

Scott said...
on Sep. 3 2014 at 8:51 am
What offer did Melissa and her father make to Chance?

on Jan. 22 2014 at 2:45 pm
I really enjoyed the ending, I hate how he died

yo yo said...
on Sep. 23 2013 at 10:24 pm
omg what does melissa know.  

IIIMonden said...
on Nov. 15 2012 at 7:04 pm
Coastal beach

ChrisDo123 said...
on Oct. 16 2012 at 6:55 am
This book has lots of suspense and drama. The feelings I have for this book is very heartwarming and sad. I loved the building climax and the end. Chance and his father are poor and they can barely pay the mortgage. Chance is in high school and needs to find work to help him and his dad. He’s in high school and he needs to worry about grades, his father, and finding a job to support the family. I have to say that that would be impossible for me. To have that much pressure would be agonizingly mind hurting. This book has made me greatly appreciate what I have and get only what is needed. Every book has a path or some predictable direction that every character goes through. Many books go like this; the beginning, there’s a conflict, and then everyone lives happily ever after. When you read this book and you think at a certain point what’s going to happen, you’ll be very wrong. Not only does it change course more than once, but it has a twisted and sad ending. By Chris Do.

Josh said...
on Feb. 6 2012 at 12:32 pm
What was the name of his high school?

matsuda said...
on Oct. 2 2011 at 4:42 pm
chances's dad's name is Jack Taylor

dcfvg said...
on Apr. 3 2011 at 7:07 pm

thats a good question


on Oct. 24 2010 at 9:13 pm
What is Chance's dad's name

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