STOTAN! by Chris Crutcher


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Four high-school swimmers undergo rigorous training which carries them to the limit of physical and emotional endurance. Swimming Coach Song has devised a grueling four-hour-a-day work-out for ""a few good men."" Four boys take the bait, each itching to prove his manhood. Each has plenty of anger to dispel: Nortie has a brutal father and a spiritless mother; Jeff is coming off a humbling stint in the military; Lionel, an artist, is an orphan living in a downtown dive; Walker, the narrator, has a hippie brother who pushes dope. The boys are also up against a racist jock classmate who surreptitously delivers Klan literature and has it in for Nortie, who has a black girlfriend. The boys make it through tortuous training and become good enough to place at an interstate meet. But Jeff develops leukemia; through the dignified acceptance of his illness, the others learn what brotherhood really means. Stotan! has energy and gutsiness; Crutcher gives us the flavor of the pumped-up, yet vulnerable, world of high-school sports, but fails to avoid cliched situations or to create subtle interpersonal relationships. Macho writing, liberally spiked with routine jock humor.

Pub Date: March 17th, 1986
ISBN: 0060094923
Publisher: Greenwillow