If somebody asks me whether I read classics or not, I would say sure I love Harry potter and twilight. See that’s my definition of classics. Every time I open a Shakespeare, I end up sleeping and drooling on it. Somebody argues with me that Romeo and Juliet is the best romance, I tell them have you met Edward Cullen and the Cullen Family. He would eat Romeo for dinner. If somebody says paradise lost is the best rendition of Satan, I say move over Mr. Have you met Cole from Evereath or for that matter Damon Salvatore from Vampire diaries. (Go team Damon). They say Anne frank’s memoir is one heartbreaking story of survival and I would only roll my eyes and say Katniss suffered through worse in hunger games. Well you get the picture. My definition of classics is totally different. You got Shakespeare, John Milton , Mary Shelley ? I got Dan Brown, J.K. Rowling and Stephanie Meyer. So you get the idea that I m not much for classics but if that kind of a person say that they dig “ The outsiders” then it should count for something right. Of course it should.
I had never heard about S.E. Hinton and her works before(yeah! Fine! roll your eyes as much you like but people like me also do exist in a parallel universe to yours where they are not aware of very many classics) and now that I have read it, the book has become an all time favorite of mine.
The thing that makes this book so precious to me is how well it resonates even in this age and there is a beautiful line at the end of the book that describes this.
“The best books grow old gracefully. They retain their importance and affect each new generation as powerfully as the one before”
That is true for this book. The characters are strong and never overlaps each other and I cannot stop admiring the ability of the author to weave such strong boys into her story without losing their basic characteristics while many of the modern authors fail to do so. What is even more exciting is the fact that the author wrote this powerful piece when she was barely 17 years old and that too with such depth and understanding in the work that I lack even after steeping into adulthood and probably in the making of popping out my own version of 17yr olds (if you know what I mean ;)) The language is addictive and the pace just keeps it rolling without losing impact. It is more for the characters than the plot or the incidents. It’s the growth and personal development of each character that involve us in the book. This book is one of those rare ones that made me shed tears, laugh and scared along with the characters.
I finished up the experience of the book by watching the 1983 movie of the same and it nearly made me hate the book.
The movie is page by page rendition but somehow is really slow in pace and plus seems too artificial and made up for my taste. I think the best performance and character in the movie for me was Matt Dillon as Dallas Winston. He looked really sharp, cute, true to character and gave an amazing performance. Following him close was Ralph Macchio as Johnny. But my biggest surprise was Tom Cruise as Steve Randle and his stupid teeth. If you thought Tom cruise looked stupid jumping like a chimpanzee on Oprah shouting I’m in love and terrorizing both Oprah and poor little Katie holmes then you should watch this movie. I was rolling on the floors watching him in the only two to three scenes he had in it.
Anyways to cut the long story short
The outsiders is a true classic and being such a fabulous read, I don’t think anybody can resist the charm of this book. The story has a strong impact even though set way back even before my parents thought of joining forces to create me. The language is simple, sharp and touching. Its quick and full of elements to keep you glued.