The Chocolate War

  • by Robert Cormier
  • Narrated by Frank Muller
  • 5 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

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.

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What the Critics Say

"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

Been a long time since I saw this book...

This is a very good book. I read it when I was about 13 or so (I don't believe it is a young adults book...my father had me reading adult stuff at a pretty young age), there is also a movie. I have not listened to in on audible but the book is great. It really brings you into his world and you can feel the torment he goes through. I really enjoyed it. If you liked the movie "The Power of One", with Morgan Freeman, this has the same feel; a boy, alone, struggling and some boxing. All in all I would have to say that I loved the book...I might just order it on audible some day.
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- Graham

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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- Rod Morgan "Unclejack"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 07-15-2004
  • Publisher: Listening Library