The first thing that grabbed my attention was the male point of view. The author is always direct while creating a concrete depiction of the world surrounding the protagonist. The protagonist develops a sense of purpose and a necessity to impact the world he lives in, in exchange, he is ostracized. From the beginning to the end, I kept hoping for the hero to grab a moment of victory, or at least, savor a little justice. That moment of redemption never came and with no doubt it makes Cormier's novel a more unique and certainly, unpredictable YA story.
A more developed group of characters would have been a plus. Brother Leon,Archie and of course Jerry(protagonist) represent different dimensions of the human condition. Jerry is the idealist, Archie is the egocentric coward and Leon the manipulative abusive. They represent the best and the worst and therefore are interesting and capture the readers attention. On the other hand, Obie, Carter and Goober could do more. After reading the book, these three left some unresolved conflicts: Obie's emotional dichotomy of admiration/hate against Archie, Carter false sense of control and authority- Archie marionette and Goober motivations for abandoning everything he enjoys.
I was left with questions and I'm still hoping Jerry wins his war. He acted guided by his values and he truly changed his universe.I read this book on a leap of faith, no doubt an excellent decision.