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80 pages, Paperback
First published January 1, 1982
The Body is a timeless coming-of-age story. Set in late summer of 1960's Maine, four twelve-year-old buddies, all with strangely abusive and dysfunctional families, take a longer than anticipated walking trip in hopes of seeing a dead body rumored to be hit by a train. As their many harrowing adventures and touching personal stories unfold, they run into big trouble with some older dudes, but rein victorious......or so they think.
In the end, the boys discover many tough, but important lessons about life, and the narrator (unlike in the movie) reveals how three of the lads sadly meet their untimely demise. The only downside for me is wishing I would have skipped the five plus hours of audio and opted for a good old ordinary book. 4.5 Stars.
Love isn’t soft, like those poets say. Love has teeth which bite and the wounds never close.I listened to the audiobook of The Body last week. I remember first reading this book in my late teens. Obviously, there’s a dark element to it (four boys are going off to find a dead body, after all), but my memories of that long-ago reading were of the plot lines, the stories the boys tell each other, and being drawn into the adventure in the story.
The most important things are the hardest things to say. They are things you get ashamed of, because words make them smaller. When they were in your head they were limitless; but when they come out they seem to be no bigger than normal things. But that’s not all. The most important things lie too close to wherever your secret heart is buried; they are clues that could guide your enemies to a prize they would love to steal. It’s hard and painful for you to talk about these things ... and then people just look at you strangely. They haven’t understood what you’ve said at all, or why you almost cried while you were saying it.
Wonderful people are carefully created by God
Wonderful moments are carefully planned by God,
Wonderful friends like you are carefully gifted by God
Hundred words does not give pain.
But a true friend silence makes more tears in heart.
Make your life a house your heart can live in.
With a door that is open to receive friends.
And a garden full of memories.... of many good things
But friendship is precious,
not only in the shade,
but in the sunshine of life;
and thanks to a benevolent
arrangement of things,
the greater part of life is sunshine
”I wish to fuck I was your father!” he said angrily. “You wouldn’t go around talking about taking those stupid shop courses if I was! It’s like God gave you something, all those stories you can make up, and He said: This is what we got for you, kid. Try not to lose it. But kids lose everything unless somebody looks out for them and if your folks are too fucked up to do it then maybe I ought to.” …
“Those stories you tell, they’re no good to anybody but you, Gordie. If you go along with us just because you don’t want the gang to break up, you’ll wind up just another grunt, makin C’s to get on the teams. You’ll get to High and take the same fuckin shop courses and throw erasers and pull your meat along with the rest of the grunts. Get detentions. Fuckin suspensions. And after awhile all you’ll care about is gettin a car so you can take some skag to the hops or down to the fuckin Twin Bridges Tavern. Then you’ll knock her up and spend the rest of your life in the mill or some fuckin shoeshop in Auburn or maybe even up to Hillcrest plucking chickens. And that pie story will never get written down. Nothin’ll get written down. Cause you’ll just be another wisely with shit for brains.”
Chris Chambers was twelve when he said all that to me. But while he was saying it his face crumpled and folded into something older, oldest, ageless. He spoke tonelessly, colorlessly, but nevertheless, what he said struck terror into my bowels. It was as if he had lived that whole life already…