Chinese Handcuffs-Chris Crutcher

  • Title: Chinese Handcuffs
  • Author: Chris Crutcher
  • Released: 2004-10-05
  • Language:
  • Pages: 304
  • ISBN: 0060598395
  • ISBN13: 978-0060598396
  • ASIN: 0060598395

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From School Library Journal Grade 9-12-- There are enough plots here to fuel a soap opera for a year. Dillon Hemingway is a brilliant student and athlete whose older brother, Preston, gets involved with a motorcycle gang, loses his legs in a bike accident, and later blows his head away in full view of his younger brother. Dillon writes long letters to his dead brother to tell him about Stacy, who was Preston's girl and the mother of their child but who may secretly love Dillon, and Jennifer, star basketball player, whose father sexually abused her and whose stepfather, a madman, also abuses her. Dillon's mother walked out on his family some years before. So much for the beginning. Beyond the first chapters there are scenes in which Dillon sprinkles his brother's ashes into the gas tanks of the cyclists who corrupted Preston and in which Stacy uses the school public address system to announce that she is indeed the mother of Preston's child. Dogs are crushed by cars, the Vietnam War is rehashed. Characters keep asking "can we talk" and then prattle on with enormous presence and wisdom about the evils of society, their parents, all adults, their own sorry lot in life, and love ("There are so many crazy things, dangerous things sometimes, that we're taught to call love"). Jesus Christ is at one point called "a heroic dude." Dillon is too much in control of himself and the other characters to be believable. The ending, in which Dillon single-handedly drives Jennifer's crazed step-father out of town, is contrived. There's a place in fiction for teenage problems, but surely not all in one novel. --Robert E. Unsworth, Scarsdale Junior High School, N.Y.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Chris Crutcher has written nine critically acclaimed novels, an autobiography, and two collections of short stories. Drawing on his experience as a family therapist and child protec-tion specialist, Crutcher writes honestly about real issues facing teenagers today: making it through school, competing in sports, handling rejection and failure, and dealing with parents. He has won three lifetime achievement awards for the body of his work: the Margaret A. Edwards Award, the ALAN Award, and the NCTE National Intellectual Freedom Award. Chris Crutcher lives in Spokane, Washington.

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