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Publisher's Summary

Jerry Renault ponders the question on the poster in his locker: Do I dare disturb the universe? Refusing to sell chocolates in the annual Trinity school fund-raiser may not seem like a radical thing to do. But when Jerry challenges a secret school society called The Vigils, his defiant act turns into an all-out war. Now the only question is: Who will survive? First published in 1974, Robert Cormier's groundbreaking novel, an unflinching portrait of corruption and cruelty, has become a modern classic.
©1974 Robert Cormier (P)2004 Random House, Inc. Listening Library, an imprint of the Random House Audio Publishing Group
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Critic Reviews

"The Chocolate War is masterfully structured and rich in theme; the action is well crafted, well timed, suspenseful; complex ideas develop and unfold with clarity." (The New York Times Book Review)
"The characterizations of all the boys are superb....This novel [is] unique in its uncompromising portrait of human cruelty and conformity." (School Library Journal)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By RMorgan on 08-19-08

Superb in every way

I have friends who swoon at the late Frank Muller's voice; I've usually found him to be overeager. But I can't imagine anyone else reading this one.

"Chocolate War" is an elegantly written book. I especially like the moments when a bit of exposition suddenly makes you hit rewind while saying, "What was that?" because a significant plot point has suddenly, unexpectedly been laid in your lap.

This tale of a Roman Catholic boy's school is a sort of American "Lord of the Flies." It's about courage, cruelty, control and the chaos that occurs when the people who are supposed to be in charge just don't care. By turns amusing and appalling, I found it absolutely riveting.

A highlight is the introduction by the author. The worst part was the replacement of the usual "This is Audible" with four-year-old voices chanting "Audible Kids."

This is NOT a "kid's book." This is extraordinarily well-crafted fiction written for, and about, young people. Many parents need to hear it to understand that the occasional anachronisms in the story do not mean these issues have been left in the past.

Thanks, Robert. Thanks, Frank. Outstanding job.

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6 of 6 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By shanda on 12-12-17

Middle School 8th Grade

What made the experience of listening to The Chocolate War the most enjoyable?

My Pre-Ap 8th grade students were amazed by this book because we went over why it is often challenged . The voice actor is phenomenal. He captures the personality of each character remarkably.

What did you like best about this story?

The complex nature of Archie and The Vigils, Jerry, The Goober, and Brother Leon make this an awesome read. All characters displayed very humanistic qualities...hedonistic, frightening personalities, manipulative, humorous, etc.

Which scene was your favorite?

Too many to name. I would say all scenes involving Archie were page turners. He is such a dark character. Almost surreal how manipulative he is for such a young person.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

If possible, yes! However, we studied over a course of a month and a half.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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