Thursday, January 27, 2011

Ironman by Chris Crutcher


Author: Chris Crutcher

Publisher: HarperTempest

4 out of 5 stars

To be a triathlete, an Ironman, takes determination, incredible athletic ability, and a certain belief in yourself that pushes you harder and harder. Beauregard Brewster, or Bo for short, has all of these qualities. There are many different triathlons, but there’s only one race that Bo is interested in. That is Yukon Jack’s E. W. Invitational Scabland. To finish this grueling race Bo must use all of that inner fire within him. However, Bo is only seventeen and has some other things to deal with too… such as anger management issues.

Bo’s hot temper seems to always get him in trouble. Past experiences have taught him this, but he just never learns. His problems with one of his high school teachers in particular seem to bring out the worst in him. Keith Redmond is his name, and he and Bo clash furiously. This time though, there are serious consequences.

After an incident with Mr. Redmond, Bo is bordering on expulsion from Clark Fork High School. There is only one solution that can save Bo from his predicament. He must attend Anger Management sessions until his “problem” is fixed.

However, these sessions take place early in the morning, and this cuts into Bo’s training time. Also, Anger Management is filled with teens that have done some pretty serious stuff. Has Bo done anything that bad? However, maybe Anger Management can help Bo figure out what is causing his angry outbursts. Bo’s dad would be as good of a place as any to start. Good old dad and Bo have never gotten along, and never will. Can Anger Management change that and get Bo out of these sessions? Or is Bo’s anger towards his father exactly what he needs, as it drives him towards his goal of becoming an even better triathlete? Who knows, maybe Bo can make some friends and even find love in this crazy quest to cure his livid outbreaks of sudden anger. Chris Crutcher reveals all in this larger-than-life tale of resolve and the strength of the mind in, Ironman!

I appreciated this book so much because it felt real. This story felt like it could really happen, and it touched my heart. Bo is the typical teenager who wants to go out and try new things, yet when it comes to facing his long-time issues, that is something that he can’t bring himself to do. This book is appropriate for teens fifteen and up, as it contains inappropriate language and mature topics that may not be suitable for younger teens.

Bo was absolutely my favorite part of Ironman. He was a smart-aleck, yet determined in what he did. However, having a mouth like his tends to get him in quite a bit of trouble. What I liked the most about Bo was his fierce willpower that showed in everything he did. Whether it was training for his upcoming race, or sticking up for his friends and family, Bo truly believes in what he does. I was also amazed when I was first introduced to Bo and learned that he was a triathlete. What an accomplishment to achieve and overcome at such a young age.

The way in which Ironman is told was a nice change. When reading Ironman, it is either told in letters to Bo’s idol, Larry King, or from the different perspectives of the various characters. It was interesting to hear Bo’s side of the story and also to experience what others thought. Plus, Bo’s letters were quite entertaining and they were also a great way to get to know Bo a bit better.

Another appealing factor of this book was that the story behind it felt so real. Bo’s parents are divorced and Bo has always had extreme issues with his father. As I read the book I could see why. Sometimes my blood boiled at how his father treated Bo. Bo’s father was also the main reason for Bo’s anger issues. The issues that many of the teens in anger management faced, including Bo, were things that happen today and that many teens have to deal with. I feel that this will help teens relate to Ironman. I hope to see this in Chris Crutcher’s numerous other books such as, Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes, Athletic Shorts, and Stotan!

I would have liked to have seen an epilogue, or just have known what happens in the future with the characters. I felt that the ending was done splendidly and resolved many issues, but it didn’t answer all of my questions. However, even though I would have liked to know more about Bo after this account of one part of his life, it was nice to leave it at that.

All in all, Ironman is a riveting tale of a boy’s struggle to overcome the physical and emotional strain that comes with being a teen. Join Bo as he tackles his issues and gets help, all along discovering what life is all about in, Ironman!

-This is T.B. with Another Book Back on the Shelf…
Until Next Time, Keep Reading!

Check out the Ironman website at
Ironman is available form Amazon here.


  1. Thank you for all of the love on my blog, sweetheart! It really made my day :) You have a lovely, lovely blog, too. I look forward to getting to know you better!

  2. Thank you so much! Your blog is great!

  3. Hi Tessa! Nice blog you got here! Thanks for the follow and I forgot to return the favor! Hope to be friends! Take care and happy reading! I'm a new follower! ^^

  4. Thanks so much! Happy reading to you too!


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