Rumble Fish

by S. E. Hinton

Paperback, 1989



Local notes

PB Hin


Laurel Leaf (1989), Edition: PF, 144 pages


A junior high school boy idolizes his older brother, the coolest, toughest guy in the neighborhood, and wants to be just like him.


Original language


Original publication date


Physical description

144 p.; 5.4 inches


0440975344 / 9780440975342



User reviews

LibraryThing member Hdeel
Rusty James who's a boy no afraid of anything ... he's a trouble boy .
loves to fight with other boys in the school .
someday one of the boys that hated him wants to have a fight with him and he should meet him in someplace and if he is strong enough he will be there ..
so he wants to show to him how strong he was . and he asked his friend to go with him cause for sure the other boy will have his friends supporting him. so, all his friends went with him and in the middle of the fight and after the other boy shout him with a knife a boy called The Metrocycle boy came. which he was disappeared for long time. everyone was surprise of seeing him ! and Rusty was one of the fans of him and he wanted to be like him. cause he do whatever he wants and he doesn't care for other people. the reason why the call it with the name cause he's always takes a metrocycles for people and he never get it back for their owners ..
so one day after the fight and after Rusty get hurt. Rust went home and saw the metrocycle boy was at home sitting on the mattress facing the wall after a while the old man which is Rusty's father came and he wasn't drunk cause usually he is ! his father was going to the College but he didn't say to anyone cause he think that no one will believe him he couldn't believe this thing too !
when The metrocycle boy talks with the old man Rust will hate it cause they always talk about something he wouldn't understand it
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LibraryThing member karenamorg
It is hard to image writing such a powerful story as Rumble Fish with relatively few words, yet S.E. Hinton’s book from the sixties about teenager brothers who are disconnected from healthy human emotion and behavior is told very simply and sparingly. That is part of the book’s appeal—and of course lends an authenticity to the protagonist’s voice. There is so much depth in this story in which Rusty-James, a street-fighter who enjoys his status as the toughest kid in the neighborhood, battles personal demons—primary among them is a fear of being alone. He idolizes a distant and disconnected older brother, the Motorcycle Boy, but doesn’t trust him and senses that he can’t depend on him. Hinton has a way of getting into her characters’ psyches and then expressing their feelings in very believable way. In a sequence leading up to an important plot development, Rusty-James, the Motorcycle Boy and a friend, Steven, cross the river to go to the city. Rusty-James comes alive amidst the sights and sounds of the city at night, declaring, “…you could feel energy coming off things, even buildings.” In that passage, I got the feeling that his senses were usually deadened and that he felt comforted by the garish, artificial environment.

Rusty-James is fourteen, but seems older because of the drinking and street fighting he engages in. The Motorcycle Boy is seventeen, but he is described as looking more like in his 20s. The book can be read in middle school, but would also be a great pick for all types of high school students, who might bring more mature insights to classroom discussions. They also might be able to better understand the bleakness and alienation of the characters. Rumble Fish delivers a rich, nuanced story that provides an opportunity for rich literary analyses—for reluctant readers, English language learners, and the enthusiastic readers alike. Target audience is grades 7-10.
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LibraryThing member ctmsjabl
Rusty-James, his drunken dad, and his older brother who everybody calls the Motorcycle Boy stay in an old, beat up apartment and live poor lives. Rusty-James is the only one in his family that goes to school, and he doesn't do that well there. He is late or absent almost every day and has been suspended numerous times. His older brother, the Motorcycle Boy is famous to everyone in his town. He could beat up anybody, but speak words of wisdom if he was in a good mood. Rusty-James' dad is a drunken wreck that has no job and is barely able to support his kids. Rusty-James' mother left him and the rest of his family when he was young, and has never visited or helped them out. Rusty-James' life is sad, but he makes up for it by being a good person and a loyal friend.

I think that Rumble fish, for the most part, was a very good book. One of its pros was that it was very suspenseful. There were fights were I would near expect someone to get killed, but at the last moment, the Motorcycle Boy would drive up and "save the day". Also, there were times where I found myself rooting in my head for Rusty-James in a fight or nervously reading to find out if he would be killed or make it out of a chase alive.

There were also a few cons to this book. I felt that once I was done reading it that I hadn't read much of story, rather a few quick scenes of a fight or a chase. I think the book would have been better if it had more of an actual story behind it, so for this, I deducted one point. I also found that certain characters weren't described good enough. For example, there were a couple people that Rusty-James are friends with, but you don't know much about them besides their name, so for this, I took off one half of a point.

Overall I think that Rumble Fish was a very good book that is definitely worth reading. Even though there are a few cons to it, I very much enjoyed reading this book. There were times of high suspense and others were you find yourself rooting for Rust-James in a fight. Make sure you read Rumble Fish by S.E. Hinton.
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LibraryThing member PatrickHackeling13
Motherless, with a drunken father, and a brother who is always on the run, Rusty James' future looks pretty bleak. For now, however, he is the king of the hill. His brother built up a reputation as the toughest, baddest, and most indifferent fellow to ever walk his streets. With few role models to look up to, Rusty James does everything in his power to emulate Motorcycle Boy.

Despite being able to take a knife to the side, drink like there is no tomorrow, and get with any girl he wants, Rusty James just cannot be his brother. His brother is in a league of his own. He is apathetic to the world. He sees in black and white and hears nothing. After a series of tragic events culminating in Motorcycle Boy's unnecessary death, Rusty James' wish finally comes true. He has become Motorcycle Boy. When all is said and done, though, and the scar tissue has formed, Rusty James is unhappy. Yes, he has become his brother. But in doing so, he has become a ghost.
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LibraryThing member dgiese
This is a useful book when you are overwhelmed by some very serious reading beforehand.
LibraryThing member agwood
Rumble Fish is about young boys who live life a little dangerous. The story is about a young boy who gets knifed by his friend during a fight. Both boys are hurt fairly bad but only one will make it alive. To see what happens at the end you need to read Rumble Fish. It is a great suspense story.
LibraryThing member jduggie
This story really grabbed my attention and I thought it was really good book. It was a really fascinating book and I liked the story. They ending was a whole flip around and it had a different turn around.
LibraryThing member aimless22
I love the tough guy characters that S.E. Hinton has created over her career. Boys acting at being men, talking tough, carrying blades, getting in trouble. The softness of the main character, Rusty James, fits nicely with his idolization of his big brother Motorcycle Boy. The main story is about these brothers. The tragic end is expected, but sad nonetheless. Another young boy becomes a man after violence and love disappoint him.… (more)
LibraryThing member slightlyfan
I really didn't understand the hype with this book.

I, for one thing, didnt like it. I thought it was a little boring and I didn't care much for the characters. I don't get why Rusty-James wanted to be like Motorcycle boy in the first place.

Eh. I'm giving it one and a half stars. I think I'm being too generous.… (more)
LibraryThing member Austinrose
I found Rumble Fish to be a very interesting book. The way the plot is set up. The mix of drama, action, and suspense. This book is based on gang life in the 1950’s. Rumble Fish shows the life of someone who is poor. It shows just how ruff life is on the bad side of town.

My opinion on this book that this book was very good. Rumble Fish show how gang life in the 1950’s is related to today’s gangs. It has a perspective of a young gang member who wants to be like his older brother. I would recommend this book to teens and young adults. I would give this book 4/5.… (more)
LibraryThing member ElCa0720
This book was amazing. I think that S.E. Hinton is an amzing writer that is really great with the way he writes his stories. This book does a the same kind of theme as the other books with gang violence and fighting.
LibraryThing member ctmsanke
I really loved this book. It's a classic S.E. Hinton novel. Her stories are touching, moving, and bring out your inner emotions to make you feel inspired. Her books make me want to reach out and help another, struggling with some kind of burden. As you read "Rumblefish", you will begin to notice that our world isn't as perfect as it seems, and you can't help but shed a small tear.

"Rumblefish" is about a 14 year old small town boy named Rusty-James. Everyone sees him as the toughest kid in town, for he's always wanting to pick fights and act cool. He smokes, drinks, and cheats people out of there moneyl. He's basically the town's very own delinquent. When he's not out stealing from convenience stores or jumping some poor kid off the street, he's either at his girlfriend, Patty's, house, or at home, waiting for his drunk of a father to return from the bar. He doesn't have a mother (she ran away when he was very young), and he doesn't exactly have the potential to lead out a good life. As you get deeper into the book, you'll realize that Rusty's biggest set back is his older, tough cooler brother. No one knows his real name, so they all call him "The Motorcycle Boy." He tells Rusty stories of when there used to be gangs in the good old days, how everyone belonged to one and there were the "Greasers" and the "Socs". Rusty tries so hard to be like his older brother that he, in turn, loses sight of who he really is.

One of the most admirable things about Hinton's novel, "Rumblefish", was that it had real character and reality to it. It was blunt and to the point, which is perfect. It shows how real life was back in the 60's or 70's, and it just makes you think of how much our world has changed since then. Think about; today you don't just jump everyone you see, and there are far more laws and policies about bullying now than back then. Back then, if you got called "gay" or "fat", there just weren't the same disciplinary actions as there are today against that type of harassment. it gives you a real view of now vs. then (which is ironic because an other one of Hinton's great novels is "That was Then, This is Now")

I rated this book a 4/5 because, all though it was an exemplary novel, it had a few kinks in it, so I deducted a point. One of these so called "kinks" was that i thought she could have described the characters a tad bit more. instead of getting a true, cinema-like picture buzzing through my head, i got kind of a blurred vision, with a blank background. when there was a lot of action going on, it started to get confusing. i really think it would of helped if Hinton spent a little more time and gave the characters morecomplex personalities that created a real image inside my head.

Another thing that is really notable about "Rumblefish" is that Hinton left the ending kind of open. In my opinion, this is wonderful! It had just the right amount of closure to end well, but she left you with a job. When you finish the book, you think to yourself "What happens next?" But its that kind of question you can answer yourself, even though the author never stated anything indubitable or sure about it. That is the real magic of this book. You read the whole thing and then, YOU, the reader gets to decide what happens to Rusty. But really, it all depends on your perspective and what you see Rusty as.
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LibraryThing member tomasmorgan
a great book with intense and exiting parts.
LibraryThing member liloing2
Abandoned by his mother and neglected by his worthless father, Rusty-James is left to grow up in the shadow of his legendary older brother, The Motorcycle Boy. His girlfriend Patty and his friend Steve give him love and support, but Rusty-James remains angry and confused. A classic young adult novel about alienation and isolation.… (more)
LibraryThing member ElizaKing
Not as good as I thought it was going to be. My sister loves S.E. Hinton's books and I thought (with my odd Greaser kick lately) that I would try them out and Rumble Fish just let me down.
LibraryThing member fluffypeach
This book is nice and okay the outsiders is much better but it's a good story
LibraryThing member emogirl
Rumble fish review

Rusty James is trying to be like his big bother Motorcycle boy, but Motorcycle boy is care free and doesn’t care for any one. Later on rusty James gets and to big trouble and Motorcycle boy isn’t there to help him.

My thoughts on this book was good cause you can kind of relate to the book and its seems like what is happing in real life in same areas, city, and sates. Also I think that Motorcycle boy should show that he cares for Rusty James, but Rusty James should under stand that Motorcycle boy might want to be alone too.… (more)
LibraryThing member JWarren42
A bit muddled until 2/3 of the way through, then a fairly strong plot emerges, and characters sharpen. I sort of wish she'd started there, though, at that place where the conflict between Rusty-James' worldview shifts because of TMB's mental illness becoming noticeable to him. A good novel, bit a great ending-of-a-novel.
LibraryThing member Brookedenter
Rusty-James wants to be like his brother, Motorcycle Boy. Because Motorcycle Boy is the gang leader. He is also tougher than the other people in their gang. Rusty-James wants to be tougher than him. He wants to be the gang leader, all he wants is just be like his brother.
When Motorcycle Boy left town and went to California for a while. Rusty-James was going to get in a fight with Biff Walcox. Before the two gangs start to attack each other, Motorcycle Boy stops it. He then tells Rusty-James, he saw their mother on TV. Rusty-James have always thought she was dead. He haven’t even asked his father about her.

My opinion on this book is that its really good. I like the book. I think that other people will read it, because there is some drama. I would give this book five stars.
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LibraryThing member fuzzi
I thoroughly disliked this book, partly because I thought it was poorly-written...which is not something I would have expected from this author. Off to the used bookstore it goes.
Her book The Outsiders was my favorite when I was around 12 or 13 and read it numerous times. I then went on to read her That was then, this is now and liked that as well.

I have no memory if I read Rumble Fish or not, as we are talking about 40 years now. This was a quick and easy read, though not sweetness and light, and does not feel overly dated.

I liked it, but I am sure I would have liked it a whole lot more when I was 13 and not 55.
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LibraryThing member ElizaKing
Not as good as I thought it was going to be. My sister loves S.E. Hinton's books and I thought (with my odd Greaser kick lately) that I would try them out and Rumble Fish just let me down.
LibraryThing member EllsbethB
This is a quick and interesting read with a lot of inference.
LibraryThing member Andy_DiMartino
Been an S.E. Hinton weekend. Reading "That was then, this is now" Forgotten how relevant these were
LibraryThing member hollyminnick
Rumble Fish

In the book Rumble Fish, You will meet several people. Some of these people will be Rusty James, and Motorcycle boy and also Steve, are the most popular people of the book, but you will meet more people as well.

Rusty James and motorcycle boy are the main characters In this book. Rusty James and Motorcycle boy are related they both are brothers. Motorcycle boy is always acts big and bad and does anything he wants with out getting worried of getting in trouble. But Rusty James was a totally different kid than his brother. But when you read toward the end of the book you will realize Rusty want to be like his brother suddenly because he don’t always feel happy but now he wants to because his brother is always happy. Also his friend says Rusty that would not be a good idea to be like Motorcycle boy. At the end of the book a tragedy happens and Rusty James grew up and matured.

I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in drama, but this could be a book for anyone. I would rate this book four out of five stars.
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(357 ratings; 3.7)
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