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The Chocolate War (Anglais) Poche – 1 août 1986

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As he turned to take the ball, a dam burst against the side of his head and a hand grenade shattered his stomach. Engulfed by nausea, he pitched toward the grass. His mouth encountered gravel, and he spat frantically, afraid that some of his teeth had been knocked out. Rising to his feet, he saw the field through drifting gauze but held on until everything settled into place, like a lens focusing, making the world sharp again, with edges.

The second play called for a pass. Fading back, he picked up a decent block and cocked his arm, searching for a receiver - maybe the tall kid they called The Goober. Suddenly, he was caught from behind and whirled violently, a toy boat caught in a whirlpool. Landing on his knees, hugging the ball, he urged himself to ignore the pain that gripped his groin, knowing that it was important to betray no sign of distress, remembering The Goober's advice, "Coach is testing you, testing, and he's looking for guts."

I've got guts. Jerry murmured, getting up by degrees, careful not to displace any of his bones or sinews. A telephone rang in his ears. Hello, hello, I'm still here. When he moved his lips, he tasted the acid of dirt and grass and gravel. He was aware of the other players around him, helmeted and grotesque, creatures from an unknown world. He had never felt so lonely in his life, abandoned, defenseless.

On the third play, he was hit simultaneously by three of them: one, his knees; another, his stomach; a third, his head - the helmet no protection at all. His body seemed to telescope into itself but all the parts didn't fit, and he was stunned by the knowledge that pain isn't just one thing - it is cunning and various, sharp here and sickening there, burning here and clawing there. He clutched himself as he hit the ground. The ball squirted away. His breath went away, like the ball - a terrible stillness pervaded him - and then, at the onset of panic, his breath came back again. His lips sprayed wetness and he was grateful for the sweet cool air that filled his lungs. But when he tried to get up, his body mutinied against movement. He decided the hell with it. He'd go to sleep right here, right out on the fifty yard line, the hell with trying out for the team, screw everything, he was going to sleep, he didn't care anymore--


Ridiculous, someone calling his name.


The coach's voice scraped like sandpaper against his ears. He opened his eyes flutteringly. "I'm all right," he said to nobody in particular, or to his father maybe. Or the coach. He was unwilling to abandon this lovely lassitude but he had to, of course. He was sorry to leave the earth, and he was vaguely curious about how he was going to get up, with both legs smashed and his skull battered in. He was astonished to find himself on his feet, intact, bobbing like one of those toy novelties dangling from car windows, but erect.

"For Christ's sake," the coach bellowed, his voice juicy with contempt. A spurt of saliva hit Jerry's cheek.

Hey, coach, you spit on me, Jerry protested. Stop the spitting, coach. What he said aloud was, "I'm all right, coach," because he was a coward about stuff like that, thinking one thing and saying another, planning one thing and doing another - he had been Peter a thousand times and a thousand cocks had crowed in his lifetime.

"How tall are you, Renault?"

"Five nine," he gasped, still fighting for breath.


"One forty-five," he said, looking the coach straight in the eye.

"Soaking wet, I'll bet," the coach said sourly. "What the hell you want to play football for? You need more meat on those bones. What the hell you trying to play quarterback for? You'd make a better end. Maybe."

The coach looked like an old gangster: broken nose, a scar on his check like a stitched shoestring. He needed a shave, his stubble like slivers of ice. He growled and swore and was merciless. But a helluva coach, they said. The coach stared at him now, the dark eyes probing, pondering. Jerry hung in there, trying not to sway, trying not to faint.

"All right," the coach said in disgust. "Show up tomorrow. Three o'clock sharp or you're through before you start."

Inhaling the sweet sharp apple air through his nostrils - he was afraid to open his mouth wide, wary of any movement that was not absolutely essential - he walked tentatively toward the sidelines, listening to the coach barking at the other guys. Suddenly, he loved that voice, "Show up tomorrow."

He trudged away from the field, blinking against the afternoon sun, toward the locker room at the gym. His knees were liquid and his body light as air, suddenly.

Know what? He asked himself, a game he played sometimes.


I'm going to make the team.

Dreamer, dreamer.

Not a dream: it's the truth.

As Jerry took another deep breath, a pain appeared, distant, small - a radar signal of distress. Bleep, I'm here. Pain. His feet scuffled through crazy cornflake leaves. A strange happiness invaded him. He knew he'd been massacred by the oncoming players, capsized and dumped humiliatingly on the ground. But he'd survived - he'd gotten to his feet. "You'd make a better end." Was the coach thinking he might try him at end? Any position, as long as he made the team. The bleep grew larger, localized now, between his ribs on the right side. He thought of his mother and how drugged she was at the end, not recognizing anyone, neither Jerry nor his father. The exhilaration of the moment vanished and he sought it in vain, like seeking ecstasy's memory an instant after jacking off and encountering only shame and guilt.

Nausea began to spread through his stomach, warm and oozy and evil.

"Hey," he called weakly. To nobody. Nobody there to listen.

He managed to make it back to the school. By the time he had sprawled himself on the floor of the lavatory, his head hanging over the lip of the toilet bowl and the smell of disinfectant stinging his eyeballs, the nausea had passed and the bleep of pain had faded. Sweat moved like small moist bugs on his forehead.

And then, without warning, he vomited.

Revue de presse

"The Chocolate War is masterfully structured and rich in theme; the action is well crafted, well timed, suspenseful; complex ideas develop and unfold with clarity."-The New York Times Book Review

"The characterizations of all the boys are superb...  This novel [is] unique in its uncompromising portrait of human cruelty and conformity."-School Library Journal, starred review

"The novel is cleverly written with a good sense of the realistic and a good ear for dialouge, qualities which will attract any reader."-Bestsellers

"Robert Cormier has written a brilliant novel."-Children's Book Revie Service

Détails sur le produit

  • Poche: 272 pages
  • Editeur : Laurel Leaf (1 août 1986)
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ISBN-10: 0440944597
  • ISBN-13: 978-0440944591
  • Dimensions du produit: 12,2 x 1,9 x 17,6 cm
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 5.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (1 commentaire client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: 4.307 en Livres anglais et étrangers (Voir les 100 premiers en Livres anglais et étrangers)
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1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile  Par TeensReadToo le 18 août 2011
Format: Poche
This is a horrifying story about a boy's school where there is literally a chocolate war.

A secret society of boys, which the administration has always turned their back on, takes over a school chocolate sale. The boys are all asked to sell fifty boxes at two dollars apiece instead of the normal twenty-five at a dollar. And the leader of the secret society is one of the students who is pushing the sale. And he tells one student to refuse to sell the chocolate for ten days, but on the eleventh he is to take them. And he doesn't.

This book is interesting, and has a lot of twists and turns. I can see why a lot of schools use this book to teach with. There are a lot of moral lessons and many things that can be learned. I enjoyed reading this, and would recommend it to anyone who has ever had bully problems.

Reviewed by: Taylor Rector
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 480 commentaires
135 internautes sur 148 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Bittersweet chocolate 30 mars 2004
Par E. R. Bird - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Poche
It's difficult to review "The Chocolate War" because so much has already been said about it. The painful story of one boy's steadfast refusal to sell chocolates for his high school, and the consequences he faces for such a decision is as brilliant and difficult to read as ever. This isn't to say that the book is difficult to read stylistically. Instead, it's a well written tour de force that slyly invites the reader to know more about the characters, even as the situations described grow worse and worse.
Cormier is to be commended for creating one of the world's first young adult psychological thrillers. Though the end of the book does disintegrate into needless violence, most of this story concerns mental anguishes and locked horns as characters vie for superiority over their fellows without fisticuffs. There's some interest in figuring out who the book's protagonist is too. Our sympathies lie, of course, with poor Jerry Renault. Here's the single man poised to challenge the universe around him. Then there's Archie Costello. Leader of the school's secret society and an interesting portrait of someone both evil and amazingly confident he works his hardest to bring Renault down. Both boys (men?) fight. One for what he believes is right, and the other for his own selfish desires. In the end, it is difficult to accept that the man who has ended up on top is entirely less deserving.
The book's downbeat ending, in which our hero declares that it is never wise to buck the system, has always brought the book under a certain amount of fire. Adults who read this book find themselves trying to shield it from their own kids. Which is, of course, patently ridiculous. Any kid who has ever attended activities with others their own age will instantly recognize the fear and intimidation their peers can inspire. The book's excellent understanding of how large groups of people will stay silent when one of them is being persecuted, because none of them want to be singled out, is drilled home in the story's final climactic boxing match. Better still, Cormier truly explores the nature of violence in every human being. Archie understands it, and sets up a situation where the kids of the school participate in something akin to the gladiator fights of ancient Rome. The final atrocity Archie manages to perpetuate against Jerry is that he makes the kid himself want to taste blood. To give in to the violence around him. It's heartbreaking and amazingly well written.
The fact that there's a sequel to "The Chocolate War" depresses me on some level. This is one book I really felt stood on its own. We can imagine the repercussions that occur later well enough without having to rely on a continuation of some sort. Either the sequel will simply establish the first book's moral (disturbing the status quo may well kill you) or it will trump everything the first book ever proposed (now the good guys win and the bad guys suffer). In any case, "The Chocolate War" is well worth reading. Painful reading, yes. Sometimes difficult and sometimes unsentimental. I myself am going to go curl up with "Charlotte's Web" to get the taste of the book out of my mouth. But every kid in the world should read it. It is perhaps the best young adult novel ever written.
48 internautes sur 53 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
A Vividly Descriptive Novel 5 mai 2000
Par Ed Cheung - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Poche
The Chocolate War, by Robert Cormier, brings you into the life of a young teenager named Jerry Renault. This book not only shows a reader the world of teenage boys; it puts the reader in the shoes of the three main characters. Cormier brings them to life by realistically describing the character's feelings. The unique writing style of Cormier allows readers to truly understand the feelings of each and every character. "I'm getting tired of selling this crap. The kid's probably go the right idea." Trinity, the school where The Chocolate War takes plce, is running its annual ritual of selling chocolates to raise money. Selling the chocolates is supposedly voluntary, but Brother Leon, the assistant head of the school has some other things up his sleeves. When Jerry Renault, a meek freshman of Trinity, and the new kid in school, decides not to sell the chocolates, Brother Leon becomes desperate because he can't get Jerry to sell chocolates. Jerry's defiance is trickling down to other students as well, and when things get out of hand, Leon askes the Vigils, the school gang, for help. For an unknown reason, the number of chocolate boxes and the price of each box are doubled this year. Leon knows that the students will not be particularly excited to sell these chocolates, so he askes the Vigils to step in and urge students to sell more and more chocolates. There are certain 'assignments' that the Vigils give to the students of the school, and if these assignments are not carried out, there are severe consequences. When Jerry decides not to sell the chocolates, the Vigils start assigning things, and everything begins to go wrong. I thoroughly enjoyed this book when I read it and I particularly enjoyed the writing style of Cormier. The way he organized the book, and the way he used descriptive words in every sentence, allowed me to think and feel everything the characters did.
12 internautes sur 13 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
The Chocolate War, A Truly Great Teenage Style Novel 6 mars 2001
Par Rupert - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Poche
It was almost time for the biggest event of the year at Trinity High School, the chocolate sale. There is one problem, they had to sell twice as many boxes as the past year, and for twice the amount of money. The head of the school, Brother Leon, asks of Archie Costello and the Vigils' help to sell that much chocolate. Archie assures Brother Leon of his support, and agrees to help sell all of the chocolate. The Vigils are a group of students that don't officially exist, although everybody knows they do. They have all of the power in the school, whatever they want to happen, happens. For a strange reason, it is like they have a power over the teachers also. What they mainly do is pick children, usually lower-classmen, to complete one of their assignments. Although Carter, a popular athlete, is the President of the Vigils, the true leader is the Assignor, Archie Costello. Archie is very slick, he is always two steps ahead of everybody he is talking to, and nobody can ever deceive him. The first assignment within the book is assigned to a freshman called Goober. He is assigned to sneak into room nineteen, Brother Eugene's room, when everybody is gone. In his room Goober is to loosen every screw in his room to where it will fall out if anything touches it. Likewise, the assignment is completed. The next morning everybody comes into room nineteen and the disaster occurs. All of the desks collapse, even when a book is placed on one. When Brother Eugene enters the room, he hurries to his desk, and that collapses also. He is a wreck and is never seen again. Of course, Goober feels bad about what he has done. When it is finally time for the chocolate sale, Jerry Renault, another freshman, gets a note in his locker to attend the next Vigil meeting. Jerry is assigned to not sell any chocolates for ten days. Each day, when Brother Leon calls the roll call to see how many boxes of chocolates have been sold, Jerry replies "No." He refuses to sell the chocolates. Once his ten days are over, he continues to refuse to sell the chocolates. This is not a problem at first because the whole school is selling chocolate, except for Jerry. After a while, people begin to think about what Jerry is doing, and decide that they will not sell the chocolates either. At first, Archie does not care, but then he remembers that he promised Brother Leon that the chocolates would be sold. Archie now has to go to work, and indeed he does. First he has to make selling chocolates the thing to do; he has to make it cool to sell chocolates, which he does. Now jerry must sell the chocolates, which won't be as easy as making it cool to sell chocolates. Read the rest of the book to find out if Jerry ends up selling the chocolates, and what Archie does in his endeavor to make Jerry sell them. Also, you will find out what happens after the chocolate sale, which is very surprising.
20 internautes sur 24 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
cruelty and conformity share this bleak novel 13 janvier 2000
Par twilliam - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Poche
I feel I need to defend this novel, especially after the plethora of negative reviews.
Often in childrens/YA novels good v. evil is played out in fantasy terms, (witches, demons, etc.) but this novel disturbs the universe and places real people in real situations. A freshman at a private high school decides to "disturb the universe", and soon realizes that he may have overstepped his bounds. The shifting narrative is very distinct and unique, yet sometimes confusing. This is a great novel for classroom discussion with some strong themes: to include, courage & cowardice, peer pressure, victimization, individualism, good v. evil and god and religion. The ending is unconventional and truely climatic, can you remember when you first realized that life is not fair, and sometimes doesn't come close to being fair?
This book opened up the new genre of YA literature, and Cormier certainly "disturbed the universe" with its publication. This book is constantly under the eye of parent groups who would like to see it "banned" or placed on a restricted list(recently under pressure from a parent's group here in VA)...because that is the case, it should be required reading for all teenagers. If you are younger, you may want to read Spinelli's WRINGER: a story so foul, so horrifying with peer pressure that it should be shelved next to Cormier's The Chocolate War.
As a children's librarian, I will continue to offer Cormier's books because he refuses to compromise the truth as he sees it.
For an indepth look at Cormier's writing try: PRESENTING ROBERT CORMIER Twayne Publishers
12 internautes sur 14 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
Not for the weak of heart 4 mars 2000
Par Jerry G. Buffalo - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Poche
Robert Cormier's The Chocolate War, is a book of intense magnification into the dark side of human nautre. The book is a constant barrage of sexual references, perversion, pain, violence, mind games, greed, power, and corruption. Jerry Renault finds himself pitted against this dark side of man's nautre and must struggle just to survive. Archie, (archenemy) the personification of eveil, preys on the weakness of the faculty and students of Trinity. Archie never seems to be wrong in his ability to take advantage of people's weaknesses. He undermines the moral fiber of the school for his own self gratification. Although he loves what he does, he hates it at the same time. With the help of his flunky Obie (obey), who hates and admires Archie, and Father Leon (Lion), a hateful, power hungry, sadistic man, he makes his evil plans. In Archie's quest for absolute control and power, he must break the will of Jerry Renault, who has dared to defy him with his new-found belief that, "Do I dare to disturb the universe?" Maybe I do dare. Robert Cormier's ability to create psychological scenarios takes a great amount of skill and talent to keep the story interesting, believable and flowing. The author lets us peek into the minds of the many charaters, helping us to discover what makes them tick. Despite the violence and sexual remarks adults will find in it, this book transcends those things adults may find objectionable. It illuminates some very important issures about life that we often are too inhibited to talk about such as masturbation, peer pressure, violence and death. This book will relate to young adult readers. One of the most importan issures focuses on the fact that people should stand up for themselves when they know they are right. People acting like sheep allowed the Nazis and Hitler to take control of Germany and kill millions of Jews. It is also true that street gangs which are prevalent in today's society can be just as vicious, using the same tactics as the Nazis. This book can also be looked at on a religious level. At the end of the book the reader can see where Jerry can be viewed as Christ being sacrificed on the cross. There also have been other passages that made reference to religion, such as parting of the student as if Moses was parting the Red Sea. Also I felt that Goober could have been Paul when he shut himself off from Jerry when things started to get tuff. But he was there in the end of the book for Jerry after he had been severely beaten. Janza could be viewed as the Roman soldier or the SS for Hitler. Either way he enjoyed inflicting pain, in a perverse way. Robert Cormier does not end his book on a happy note. By making the ending so graphic and violent, it forces the reader to doubt Jerry's decision to refuse to sell the candy at all cost. The reader is forced to take a hard look at the wisdom of Jerry's decision. Did he do the right thing or not? I think he did do the right thing.
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