Tag Archives: Some of Tim’s Stories

Friday Book Memes, 20-February-2015

20 Feb

Welcome to the ‘frigid cold’ edition of Book Beginnings and The Friday 56 hosted by Rose City Reader and Freda on Freda’s Voice. Head on over there and check out the other participating blogs.

This week I’ll be featuring a book I read over a year ago, Some of Tim’s Stories by S.E. Hinton. Hinton is one of my favorite writers of all time and her book, The Outsiders is my #1 recommended book. This is a short story collection she published much later.


Book Beginnings is all about that very important opening sentence (or two) that us writers are always worrying about! Hinton starts her book off with these:

“Not till you’re twelve. That’s the rule,” Uncle TJ said.
“That’s a dumb rule,” Terry said. “That’s two more years.”

This is a great way to introduce characters without too much of an info dump. The boys want to go camping with their father and uncle but the brothers like to have their time away. Terry wants to grow up too fast. Its a great setup for the book.

Friday 56

The way this meme works is pretty simple. If you want to join in, head over to Freda’s blog and add your link.

*Grab a book, any book (I grab the one I’m currently reading)
*Turn to page 56 or 56% in your eReader
*Find any sentence, (or few, just don’t spoil it) that grab you.
*Post it.

The quote on page 56 that I’ve chosen relates to many of the same themes as the opening quote, which I’m geeking out about.

What did grown-ups have to fear? He knew when he was grown up, his own fears would be gone- like not being able to find his room on the first day of school, that maybe driving a car would be beyond him, that he might not be good enough for big-league baseball after all.

Hinton talks about growing up a lot in her books so this is no surprise. I love her characters and they way she writes their thoughts and fears. Now I really want to re-read The Outsiders

Until next time, write on.

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Some of Tim’s Stories by S.E. Hinton (4/5)

2 Jan

My final book of the 2013 Reading Challenge successfully complete! I saw that S.E. Hinton’s short stories had been put together in a collection and added it to my list. I was extatic when I found a copy in a resale shop down the street and grabbed it. What a wonderful find.

Cover Image via Goodreads.com

Cover Image via Goodreads.com

Some of Tim’s Stories by S.E. Hinton

Most people recognize S.E. Hinton’s name from The Outsiders but haven’t read her other books. With my fangirl personality, I read all of her YA novels when I was in high school and am proud to own three of them. I think she does a wonderful job of portraying the disadvantaged and explaining that we’re all following our lot in life and some were dealt a bad hand. There’s only so much we can do with what we have.

These short stories follow cousins Terry and Mike whose fathers pass away when they are young. Both boys grow up without a strong male role model and mothers weakened by loss. They’ve turned to some illegal activities to make ends meat when Terry is arrested, leaving Mike alone to fight his way through the myriad of relationships left behind.

I liked that this story jumped forward and backward in time while revealing how Mike dealt with Terry’s absence. The story of what happened to land Terry in jail comes later in the book and reveals why Mike holds so much guilt in his heart. Terry is a very minor character in the story’s action, but his presence and memory drive all of Mike’s motivations.

Like many of Hinton’s books, this one deals with those who are just getting by, the edge of society and those who don’t have a better future to look forward to. When Terry and Mike decided to get involved in illegal activities, they don’t see another option for themselves. It’s the only way they can see for the world to be just and give them the money they work so hard to earn. Mike’s ideas that the universe will pay him back for what he’s done continue well after Terry’s in jail. He tells himself that he cannot be happy in a relationship and drives away a woman who loves him. When misfortune befalls him and he’s injured at work, he sees it as punishment for how he’s acted before. When Terry returns, Mike finally realizes that he didn’t need to punish himself and that Terry’s not all the way gone. He’s finally able to respect himself a little more and move on with his life.

The copy I read was half interviews with Hinton and I loved reading these. She talked frequently about her relationships with the actors from The Outsiders movie and what it was like to be a part of the film making process. Her answers were always terse, much like her prose which always gets right to the point. It felt to me like it made her prose even more genuine because it felt like she had become her own characters, sharing in their speaking mannerisms.

What I like about Hinton is that she shows that criminals are not always bad people. Her characters frequently steal, sell drugs, and carry guns but that doesn’t define who they are. She shows us that we can sympathize with criminals once we know their motivations. One of the themes in my novel is that there is no black and white, only shades of grey and I think that Hinton likes to show this in her stories as well. Maybe I should count her among my influences.

Writer’s Takeaway: I have addressed before that I’m interested in what makes a work a collection of short stores instead of a novel. Many times it’s the same characters, which is the case in this collection as well. I think the even more prominent connection is the theme of redemption. Terry is redeemed when he emerges from jail much the same person as when he left. Tim is redeemed when he can prove to himself that he can love. He loves Mike and his aunt and when he knows that, he can love others as well. It’s a pity it takes so long for him to figure this out.

Overall, I prefer her novels, but this was a great quick read. Four out of Five stars.

Until next time, Reader, write on.