View Full Version : I Learn Something New Every Read

04-24-2009, 11:55 PM
I just recently finished another good book I read in school. "The Crazy Horse Electric Game" by Chris Crutcher is the story of a teenage athlete who is the town hero after winning the title baseball game. But when a freak waterskiing accident involving a ski to his forehead (ouch!) robs him of his abilities, his life will never be the same again. His father is ashamed of him, his girlfriend eventually leaves him, and he runs away to another city far away, only to be beaten and robbed of his money. Taken in by a black bus driver and pimp, he attends school at OMLC high school where he must rebuild his body and his life. After two years, he returns to his old hometown, his family and friends have moved on without him, so he leaves once more to return to his new home.

I really enjoyed this book, and like "The Contender", I learned much about character development. Like that other book, only a few characters only truly grew and evolved enough for me to see them as real. Willie Weaver, the protagonist becomes angry at how his life and relationships with others have changed because of his accident, pushing away his friends, unable to speak properly, walking with a cane, and extremely self-concious. Lacey, the black man is a kindred spirit as we learn he beat his own son and is now forbidden to see the boy who is now a vegetable. In one scene, he beats a female client of his, but when Willie hits him hard enough to send him to the hospital, he is forced to stop his abuse. For me, Willie and Lacey were the only two characters who actually evolved during the story.

The teachers at the school, we don't learn much about them. Angel, the girl Lacey took in and and beat actually puts up with the abuse and even though Willie cares for her, she doesn't return his feelings. She doesn't even show gratitude for when Willie saves her from Lacey's fists. Kam, the leader of the gang who almost beats Willie to death just for his money in one scene and later sets the school on fire has no redeeming qualities and comes off as another "all black character". Even Willie's friends Johnny, Petey, girlfriend Jenny, mother Sandy, and father "Big Will" don't change during the story although they did come alive for me, and the ending does show how they changed during Willie's absence.

In short, this was another good book I liked and I highly recommend it!