by Chris Crutcher

Paperback, 1986



Local notes

PB Cru




Harpercolins Colege Division,1986 (1986)


A high school coach invites members of his swimming team to a memorable week of rigorous training that tests their moral fiber as well as their physical stamina.

User reviews

LibraryThing member OpheliaAwakens
Yay! A swimming book! Any competitive swimmer can relate to the experiences that the guys in this book go through during their hell week.
LibraryThing member madhamster
A story of the strong friendship between four 18-year-olds, following their senior year at high school and their swimming competitions. Told by Walk, the captain of the swim team, side issues mentioned are his relationships with girls, his brother and his parents. Jeff, one of the strongest members
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of the team, is suddenly struck down by an unnamed illness. Although Jeff is still alive at the end of the novel, it is one of the better works about anticipatory grief. Death is an issue for most of the team members: Nortie's brother had committed suicide 12 years earlier, due to their continual abuse by their father; Lion lives alone following the deaths of his parents and younger brother in a boating accident three years earlier. During Stotan Week, a training exercise, these stories come out and their grief is supported by their friends.
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LibraryThing member DF6B_SamG
This book was the first Chris Crutcher book I have read and I found it quite enjoyable. It was fast paced and did not let up. I related to some of the problems that the characters were facging.
LibraryThing member annekiwi
I liked this book. I really felt I knew the characters, could I identify with them, and was amazed, impressed, -whatever other positive accolade you can think of - by their determination and perserverance, especially during Stotan week. This came across with a different feel than most of Crutcher's
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other books.

My one criticism of the book is that Mr. Crutcher could have done more research into deadly blood diseases that could come on subtly and then kill someone inside of a year with no treatment that could cure them. That was my biggest frustration with [Deadline] as well. Perhaps he did or perhaps there was supposed to be meaning in the disease never having a name - a nameless enemy that people with similar diseases could identify with. I don't know, but it annoyed me.
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LibraryThing member trinityM82
Good. As with most of Crutcher's works, it is heavy on character development rather than plot. It's told from the perspective of a senior swimmer, Walker Dupree, who is working through becoming an adult with his three friends, all of whom have more problems than he does. It takes place in the early
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80s, which does effect the story somewhat, though not in a hugely noticeable way (most students probably wouldn't get the cultural references, but there isn't any weirdness with the lack of technology other than the fact that the characters can't google "stotan" to figure out what it is. Walker's older bother is a drug addict who is selling drugs (and was heavily influenced by the anti-war movement of Vietnam, his parents are old enough to be his grandparents and so are aloof and unable to relate though they care. His friend Lionel lost his family in a boat crash (outlined in the short story "Goin' Fishin') and so lives alone in an apt that should be condemened, but has enough moral fortitude and grace to live and not just survive. Nortie is beaten savagely by his dad and is trying to overcome those traits in himself, and Jeff, the genius of the group eventually gets leukimia and the last 50 pages are about how the group deals with his dying state (though he is still alive at the end of the novel). These 4 make up the core of the swim team, which has no other swimmers because it is being discontinued from the school after this year. They are all brilliantly talented and hope to make states together to celebrate their last year together. Max is their coach and introduces them to Stotan (a cross between a Stoic and a Spartan) before their season properly begins as a life lesson for the boys - that pain is something you cannot fight, you need to just go with it, take it with you, and trust your self and body that it can do more than your brain or emotions might allow you to believe. this turns out to be something the boys need to get through the diagnosis and sickness (dyingness) of Jeff. It's okay, very easy read, fast-paced with swear words to make it authentic, though its more about understanding the world through reading about how the characters come to understand it and work through their problems.
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½ (66 ratings; 3.9)
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