Sy surrounding Mel Gibson playing the title role I had still never read the book I saw this copy on a clearance table at Haslam s Bookstore and the 75 cent price appealed to me It was also somehow fitting that this copy had a scarred front coverThe story deals with a teen aged guy in an otherwise all female household who s looking to escape to a boarding school but he s tanked the entrance exams and when the family goes to a coastal town in New England for the summer he ends up enlisting the aid of a mysterious local nicknamed The Grouch to aid him in preparing for a retest The Grouch has horrible facial burns from some nebulous accident in the past and is a bit of a hermit and a misanthrope who prefers the isolation of his cliffside house his horse and his ferocious dogThe boy is a loner himself and a bit of a misogynist but he and his reluctant tutor begin to form a band and a friendship The novel is set firmly in the 70 s with the parents suffering from the pop psychology of the time and the id thinking in terms such as ratfink but otherwise the story is pretty timeless Though a loner the id is charming and we grow to like and understand him through the course of the tale As we learn about Justin the man without a face we also "understand him Given the era in which it was written the climactic scenes of the story are necessarily "him Given the era in which it was written the climactic scenes of the story are necessarily little vague and much of what Gibson was criticized for was really the same in the book As it is this is an interesting and compelling coming of age story and perhaps a coming out story though that s far from clear Either way it is a worthwhile read BTW I m not sure if it s coincidence or serendipity but as I started reading this I was listening to a TV rebroadcast of the Joseph CampbellBill Moyers talks The Hero With a Thousand Faces meets The Man Without a Face it made for some interesting conjecture This book concerns the experiences of a 14 year old spending his summer with his family in
a perfect upperperfect upper summering location He has isolated himself emotionally from his family both through conceived and demonstrated persecution of him as being stupid and his lack of understanding of who he is related to the fact that he has no father figure his siblings too as they are all half brotherssisters through different marital experiments on their mother s part The theme through this whole book is The Boy Without a DadThe titular character is introduced at first as a conflict then as a cooling steadying presence guiding him on how to achieve freedom first academically then emotionally This is a coming of age story told from an adolescent point of view and most importantly the search for a father The plot leads him into conflict with his family with him asserting himself awkwardly at times to define that independenceThe wholly engrossing story suffers from two faults the sometimes awkward situations that the speaker and the MWOAF find themselves in that almost ghost the line between father figure and lover that made me uncomfortable and overall the lack of resolution on this the numerable of back stories and outcome of choices made at the end It s a great read however I am left wondering at the end what it meant I just loved itCharles a loner had finally found a father unexpectedly in The Man without a Face In the end was sad though I didn t think it ought toWhat hapenned in the endin my opinion wasn t entirely necessary but I guess Charles was left the wiser. Es enlists McLeod's help as tutor for the St Matthew's school entrance exams his ticket away from the unpleasant restrictions of his home life But important than anything he could get out of a book that summer Charles learns from McLeod a stirring life lesson about the many faces of love.
Isabelle Holland ä 8 ReadI can t decide if I like this "better than the movie The twist in the book is definitely risue but I don t think a "than the movie The twist in the book is definitely risue but I don t think a would pick up on it Then again I m ind of a perv so This award winning novel tells the story of a teenage misogynist and compulsive underachiever Charles Norstadt Chuck who strains to pass his boarding school entrance exams the second time around and thereby escape the constraints of his much married mother castrating even in her desire to alter the cat which Chuck sees as just part of her wholesale plan for the taming and domesticating of the male species and NYMPHET SISTER HE FINDS A MENTOR sister He finds a mentor the horribly scarred and romantic recluse Justin McLeod who proves a demanding tutor smashing some straw man defenses of progressive education This relationship between two emotional cripples leads to a once only homosexual encounter though the episode is handled very subtly Chuck s bitterness is painfully real and the recognition of his sexual feelings commendably frank but in return for this measure of honesty the whole story is slanted to justify the daring subject matter the psychological underpinnings are intrusive talk of Oedipus complexes and sibling rivalry the twin mysteries in the pasts of Chuck s dead father and Justin unlikely the decadence and nastiness of Chuck s family is somewhat over stressed In spite of these flaws the novel works well especially as a morality tale for young adults who at least in 1971 may not be very sophisticated It is obviously about a Man Without A Face When he was a young adult there is many myths that he was in a car accident and his car explodded and his face was diformed The other main myth is that he was a scientist and he was working with chemicals and it blew up in his face and deformed it But i just started to read it recently so im trying to find out what happened to him so i waill eep you updated The movie based on this book is one of my favorite movies but it makes some changes to avoid controversy Having loved the movie for years and just recently reading the book I can safely say the book is better The voice of the narrator is realistic funny and witty The family dynamics are well drawn and the book avoids what the movie didn t tying everything up too neatly 35 stars I really liked this book up until the end The very end almost made me give it two stars Before the last chapter or so I was tempted to give it 45 or even 5 Love the author s writing style and can t wait to seek out of her stuff The movie was actually better which I figured because this book was so short and the movie so brilliant and indepth There are some differences but the main things remain the same A beautiful and psychologically rich story wonderful characterization although McLeod seemed a bit wooden in written form than he was on screen played well by Mel Gibson Charles is convincing and his dysfunctional family dynamic intriguing Worth reading if you enjoyed the movie or haven t seen it whichever although the end is souring Sexuality is focused on with the book rather than the film with an almost confusing bend What really bugged me during the last pages is what happened to a main character It s like an uplifting surge of the heart through growth and recovery from the past through friendship and understanding to unfairness and being sold short As to the very end no I don t think he was molested view spoiler I think the writer was saying he was ashamed. Charles didn't now much about lifeuntil he met The Man Without a faceI'd never had a friend and he was my friend; I'd never really except for a shadowy memory had a father and he was my father I'd never nown an adult I could communicate with or trust and I communicated with him all the. ,
As he had anerr normal teenage boy reaction that embarrassed him after the trauma and then having close contact Homophobia is a major theme in the book starting with the mother wanting her son to avoid boarding school because the previous stepfather insists it turns boys into homosexuals Charles later worrying about that and asking his teacher Charles at the end of book was ashamed and didn t want to speak about what his body did the writer delicately putting it in the only way she could as the character begins to realize he s gay McLeod admits he is also gay but I don t see any sign they did anything McLeod was telling him it was a natural reaction and not to worry about it for years which is why he wanted to talk about it then and not avoid the conversation hide spoiler In 1972 when the novel was published I was 9 years old but read the novel a few years later At the time and still I greatly appreciated the novel and I liked both the main characters I was pleased with the boys reaction to his teacher s orientation but with todays standards I m irritated that the gay guy had to loose his facejob etc all gay people seemed to be portrayed that way for far too long In 1993 I was furious that the film took out any hint of gayness thus betraying what was a story of love forgiveness coming of age and healing Read the book as with many skip the movie The Man Without a Face is about a 14 year old boy named Charles who while spending the summer at his family s beach house asks the local recluse Justin McLeod to tutor him McLeod is nicknamed by the local ids the man without a face because he was terribly burned in a car accident a number of years before The story is told from Charles viewpoint and explores the complicated relationships within his family and eventually with McLeod Charles is struggling to deal with his a absence of his father his fear of friendship and love and his resentment of all the women in his lifeI saw the movie starring Mel Gibson a number of years ago and remember liking it a lot There are some significant differences between the book and the film and I have to say this is one of those rare occurrences when I preferred the movie versionIsabelle Young is purportedly writing for young adults but I think a lot of the story s subtleties would be lost on younger readers Additionally there s some stranger parts and a lot of ambiguous sexuality that may be confusing for younger idsUPDATE I went back and re read a couple of sections in the book and I think I "might be confused now than when I read it the first time The relationship between Charles and McLeod is sexually ambiguous "be confused now than when I read it the first #Time The Relationship Between Charles #The relationship between Charles McLeod is sexually ambiguous the movie there are a series of scenes that seem to blur a healthy relationship father son type of relationship and a sexual one and one scene in particular that seems to imply that something happened between them What s disturbing is that uite possibly the intention of those scenes seems to be to wonder if sexual attraction between a man and a boy is a normal aspect to any father son or mentor relationship The answer is no Pedophilia is not normal or appropriate and I m very surprised this book has made itself onto recommended reading lists for young adults I m not a book banner by any stretch but I would never give this novel to a child fearing it could dangerously distort their idea of what healthy safe relationships with adults look like Having seen the movie and hearing about the controver. Time whether I was actually talking to him or not And I trusted himFourteen year old Charles desperately wants two things a father and a way out Little love has come his way until the summer he befriends a mysterious scarred man named Justin McLeod nicknamed The Man Without a Face Charl.