That was then, this is now

That was then, this is now
(S. E. Hinton)


Hinton, S. E.
Susan Eloise Hinton, born in Tulsa, Oklahoma on July 22, 1948. Hinton is an author of juvenile fiction. She is a 1970 graduate of the University of Tulsa. Her first and most acclaimed novel, The Outsiders (1967; film, 1983), details conflict between rival youth gangs. Hinton's other works are That Was Then, This Is Now (1971), Rumble Fish (1975; film, 1983), and Tex (1979; film 1982).


Mark and Bryon are best friends. Mark lives at Bryon’s house since his parents died. Bryon is his only family. So they are like brothers. They are used to go to Charlie’s for playing pool and earning money.
When they go there once, Charlie says, that a friend searched for them. It is M&M. Everybody calls him so, because he always has some M&M’s with him. They find him, and as M&M wants to go home, he is jumped by the Shepards, some Socs. Mark and Bryon like fights, so they jump on them and rescued M&M. When they want some more action M&M gets mad about rescuing someone of getting jumped because he is different from the others and then jumping another one because he is different from them. M&M starts crying and runs away.

The next day after school they visit Bryon’s mother at the hospital. She had a big operation for which they sold everything they could. His mom tells them about a kid at their age having no visitors a few rooms away. Mark visits him. Bryon goes down for eating a hamburger. There he meets an old girlfriend, Cathy. Later he goes up for searching Mark. The boy, of which his mother told him, looks awful. He says that he was jumped for taking a black girl home. Mark and Bryon go home. Bryon gets the chance to borrow Charlie’s car for Saturday night. So he goes out with Cathy. They go to a clubbing. There they meet Mark. Later out there was a fight, but Bryon and Cathy don’t want to go out at first, but then Ponyboy Curtis tells Bryon that Mark was hurt. They go out and see Mark lying on the floor, unconscious. They drive him to hospital, but some time later they are able to drive home. At home they are talking about their friendship, their brotherhood.

As soon as he was healthy he is caught by the police, because he "borrowed" the principal’s car. But there is no danger for him. They visit his mother again, and they visit Mike, the kid, a few rooms away, who looked worse, because his father chewed him out, too.

Another day they go to Charlie for playing pool. He tells them to be careful with the guys there. Later on, as they want to go home, they are jumped by the guys, with whom they played pool. Charlie comes out ad helps them out. Then the guys shoot at them. Charlie slams Mark and Bryon down. But then they recognize, that Charlie was dead.

Bryon can’t help worrying about that. Mark couldn’t understand him, so Bryon spends more time with Cathy.
Bryon’s and Mark’s friendship more and more divides and Bryon’s and Cathy’s grows. Cathy tells Bryon that her brother M&M hasn’t come home for days now. Mark and Bryon search for him at a hippie’s house. He actually isn’t there at this time.

They drive around with Angela, an old friend of them. When she was asleep in case of drinking too much Mark cuts off her hair. The next day the Shepards come around and beat up Bryon because he took the fault of Mark.
He gets into hospital. Mark has to promise him not to fight the Shepards for him. Again at home Mark is more often out with another company, and Bryon spends more time with Cathy now. Now they search for M&M. Finally they find him at the hippie’s house. He was on a bad LSD - trip. They carried him to hospital. The doctor says there is the possibility, that M&M could loose his mind.

When Bryon gets home and searches for a cigarette in his room, he finds pills under Mark’s bed, which Mark had sold. Bryon is so mixed up of all the things happened and in conclusion he calls the police and when Mark comes home, Bryon tells him everything and Mark got finally arrested.
On probation Mark is causing trouble. When Bryon visits him, he notices, that Mark hates him, and that there is no tiny bit of friendship anymore. Bryon knows: "if he could have, Mark would have killed me.".

Bryon took no longer care for him, he just heard that he was sent to state prison.


It is a really well written book. It’s a nice story. There are also people which were in "The Outsiders". It is written realistic and interesting, but the end is very depressing. Grade A.

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