Set in the oppressive environment of a religious boy’s school, Cormier’s novel tells the story of the war between the school’s secret society, The Vigils, and authority. Created to cause mayhem, The Vigils rule using malicious psychological manipulation – dishing out “Assignments”, created by Archie, that require petrified underclassmen to commit acts of vandalism and defiance. Archie’s power comes into question, however, when freshman Jerry Renault decides to refuse an assignment, an act which causes a wave of retaliation that reverberates through nearly every student in the school.
Don’t let this one fool you – it may be dated, but it’s an intense read! Full of psychological violence and drama, it will leave you disturbed and possibly depressed by the end. Not for someone who wants a “warm fuzzy” read, but definitely one you won’t forget!
Also, this one’s a movie! (Also old).
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