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This story was about 2 boys (Bryon and Mark). Bryon was the oldest. He was sixteen and Mark was 15. They both got into alot of trouble. They enjoyed fighting, and they were pool hustlers. Mark had moved in with Bryon and his mother when he was little. His parents had gotten into a fight and shot each other.
I believe this story was a man versus himself, because all through the book Bryon was constantly changing. He and Mark started to grow apart. He started to fall in love with a girl. He also had to deal with turning his best friend/brother into the police. He had to learn to forgive himself.
Towards the end Bryon turned Mark into the police. He had found drugs under Mark's mattress. Mark had been bringing home money and Bryon finally found out where it was coming from. Mark had been selling drugs. Bryon did not know what to do thus, he called the police. When Mark came home and Bryon told him, Mark was shocked. In court Mark would not even look at Bryon and when Bryon went to see him Mark said that he hated him.
Bryon and Mark were friends/brothers. Mark moved in with them when he was 9. His parents had gotten into a fight and ended up shooting each other. Mark and Bryon did everything together. They were big pool hustlers. They would go into Charlie's bar and find someone to play pool with. Then they would end up with all his money. Bryon was friends with Charlie. That's how they were able to go into the bar. Bryon was 16 and Mark was 15. They both loved getting into fights.
One day they were walking with M&M,a thirteen year old who loved M&M's. When three guys tried to jump M&M. M&M did not like to fight thus, Mark and Bryon stopped it.
Bryon and Mark went to visit Bryon's mother in the hospital. She told them about a boy, Mike, across the hall who never had any visitors. Thus she asked them to go see him. bryon did not want to thus, he went to the snack bar and he saw a girl he knew.
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Bryon went back upstairs to where Mark was and he met the boy who his mother told them about. He looked pretty bad. He had been beaten up by a colored man. Mike had brought a colored girl home because she had missed her bus and because his friends had been harassing her. When they got to her house she told one of the guys to beat him up. Mike told Bryon that he did not hate them for doing that and Bryon thought about it.
At the dance that Saturday Mark ended up getting into a fight. Some guy tried to pick a fight with one of his friends and he tried to stop it. The guy smashed a bottle over Mark's head. Mark became unconscience and the police arrested the guy. Bryon rode with him to the hospital. He was fine and only had to get stiches.
One day Mark and Bryon went into Charlies bar to play some pool. They ended up hustling some guys. When they left the guys pulled them into an alley and held a gun to their head. Bryon was scared. Charlie came out with a gun and told them to drop it. Then Bryon and Mark walked over to Charlie. As they did that the guys fired and Charlie pushed Bryon out of the way. Mark picked up Charlies gun and started shooting back. When they had finally left Bryon tried to get up but Charlie was on top of him. Then they noticed that Charlie was dead.
Bryon had a hard time dealing with Charlie's death and he started to see more and more of Cathy. While he and Mark started to drift apart. Bryon wished that Mark and Cathy would get along better but he had to deal with it anyway.
One night Bryon was lying in bed when he got a craving for a cigaret. Thus he decided to look in Mark and his secret hiding place. When he looked he found some pills. He then realized that Mark had been selling drugs. He calmly called the police and sat down. When Mark got home Bryon asked him what he was doing with drugs. When Mark told him, Bryon told him it was wrong. Mark told him that if it bothered him that much then he would stop. Bryon then told him that he had called the police. Mark was shocked. Bryon did not know why he had called them. He knew that if he had just asked Mark to stop then he would have. The police came and took Mark away.
In court Mark would not even look at Bryon. When Bryon went to see Mark, Mark told him that he hated him. Bryon never went to see him again. His relationship with Cathy ended and he started going into a daze. He did not care about anyone including himself.
Description of a favorite episode
My favorite part occured when Mark and Bryon visited a boy in the hospital. Their mother, who was in the hospital, had told them that the boy across the hall never had any visitors, thus they went over. The boy never told the nurses anything but he opened right up to Bryon and Mark. He told them what had happened to him and how none of his family would come by to see him. Bryon felt sorry for him and Mark bought him a magazine.
Bryon was sixteen years old. He looked like a baby-faced kid. He had dark hair and eyes. He was a big guy. Bryon was very good at pool. He and Mark were pool hustlers. Bryon went out with alot of girls. He told them he loved them when he really did not and they believed him. Then he would dump them and move on to the next. Bryon did finally fall in love with a girl named Cathy.
I believe that the author was trying to show how life changes and we have to learn how to deal with it. As much as you want them to, things will not stay the same. That is the way God made it. We have to grow up and change. We may even grow apart from our good friends. The person who is someone's best friend this year may not be that persons best friend next year. That is just a part of life thus we should put God first. He should be our best friend because He will never change. That was then, and this is now but with God it stays the same.
I enjoyed this book. It kept me in suspense and I could not put it down. I enjoyed trying to figure it out and then finding out that I was wrong or that I was right. I also enjoyed the changing moods. I would definately recommend this book to anyone.
Hinton, S.E. That was Then, This is Now. New York, N.Y.: Dell Publishing Company, 1971