Upon completion of The Chocolate War by Robert Cromer and while reading, I found out that the book I was reading did not appeal to me. I disliked this book very much. I found it to be very unrealistic, exaggerated, and almost absurd. The idea of basing a book on a school fund-raiser baffled me. Even with the fact that itís a short book, with short chapters, it still drags because of the odd topic that is the basis of the story.
The story is of a class in a prep school with a teacher that is hold in a chocolate-selling fund raiser. He plans to sell 19,950 boxes. The story is all about the way that the boxes of chocolate are sold, and the conflicts that went along with getting some students to actually sell them. The Vigils, the equivalent to the Newtown High School Vampires, and called in to torment any student that refuses. People are beaten up, and real anguish is felt by some. The author even makes some cry, just because of the things that are going on! This in no way relates to any school fund raiser that I have ever experienced, and shows just how exaggerated the story was.
I donít think that the writer was able to keep such a strange topic of ďdiscussionĒ so interesting for the length of an average novel. Maybe something shorter, like a short story or even a poem could do it, but in my eyes, not a book. In a way it is the story of a young boy, a freshman, trying to prove himself to older, more respected guys. He struggles from the ridicule and the persecution from his classmates. Thereís a sense of maturation in the sense that the boys realize that they can refuse to do something that the school tries to force them to do. They donít have to comply with everything that they are told to do. But the story, the framework, and the events that take place donít seem serious at all. It puzzles me why the author decided to write a book about something that seemed to trivial. If the author kept the theme, and tried to think of a new way to convey that idea, I think the effect would have been much better