Some of Tim's Stories

Some of Tim's Stories

by S. E. Hinton

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Overview

Short Stories from the bestselling author of The Outsiders, plus exclusive interviews

A teenager when she first gained fame, now a seasoned writer, S. E. Hinton takes her trademark themes to a new level in Some of Tim’s Stories—fourteen original stories depicting adults trapped in lives of missed connections and opportunities. The stories in this collection merge into a larger narrative about two cousins, Terry and Mike, whose lives and families are intertwined but whose paths lead to very different futures: one in prison, the other enduring a guilt-ridden existence working in a bar.

The tales are made especially distinctive in the telling. The “author” of the stories is a bartender named Tim—the “Mike” of his own narrative—whose idiosyncrasies are perfectly captured in Hinton’s intriguing use of metafiction.

The book also features exclusive interviews with Hinton conducted by Teresa Miller, host of public television’s Writing Out Loud. Hinton allows readers into her world as she never has before—speaking openly about her life and career. Complementing the book are line drawings that illustrate the stories and photographs that document the author’s life.

In one interview, Hinton calls Some of Tim’s Stories “the best writing I’ve ever done.” These stories capture the feel of the earlier books that won her fame while demonstrating an adult edginess and a more disciplined talent. Some of Tim’s Stories is sure to captivate Hinton’s long-time fans as it shows new readers that her soul-searching fiction extends masterfully to adult themes as well.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780142411957
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date: 04/02/2009
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 160
Sales rank: 322,410
Product dimensions: 4.20(w) x 7.40(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About the Author

S. E. Hinton's publishing career began at the age of eighteen with the release of The Outsiders, one of the best-selling young adult books of all time. Her six novels have won numerous awards, and four have been made into major motion pictures. She and her husband, David, reside in her childhood hometown of Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Read an Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

The Missed Trip

"Not till you're twelve. That's the rule," Uncle TJ said.

"That's a dumb rule," Terry said. "That's two more years."

Mike didn't say anything, knowing it was useless, but Terry never took a "no" he didn't have to.

"At least you guys will get to go together." Mike's dad loaded the last of the camping gear and guns into the car. "Think how poor TJ felt, getting left behind for four years, seeing me and Grandpa and Great-uncle Jack go off without him. He even stowed away in the trunk one year. When Grandpa found him, we were a hundred miles out, and he turned right around and brought him home."

"And he blistered my butt besides," Uncle TJ said. He rubbed Terry's head. "Two more years, pal."

"Well, you two ready to go live off the land?" Mom and her sister, Aunt Jelly, came out of the house.

When the men left, the moms would joke for days about them "living off the land."

"They stop at Safeway, the meat market, and the liquor store before they leave city limits," they laughed.

The boys knew better. Still, there were probably secrets to this trip their dads made every year, sometimes for a long weekend, sometimes for a week. They never missed it. The men had gone deer hunting in October every year since they were twelve years old. Only missed the years Mike's dad was off to war.

The boys knew they were supposed to continue this, and someday bring their kids, too. When those kids were twelve.

The trip was supposed to mean something. Mark something. It wasn't just the deer hunting, or the first driving lessons Terry was so crazy for ...

Mike's dad kneeled down and said, "Don't be too anxious for this, Michael. It's the beginning of the end of childhood. That's exciting, but a little sad."

Mike was ashamed to think he didn't want to grow up too fast, not like Terry who was always grabbing at things out of reach.

This childhood seemed perfect to him: the two families mixed together, two brothers who had married two sisters, his cousin who was more his twin.

It was like having two dads, two men who didn't just give them balls and bats but played along with them, who preferred the boys to fishing buddies on long trips to the lake, who taught them to water ski and handle guns and helped them mow the yards.

But each boy loved his own dad best. Mike couldn't understand how you could talk about anything serious with Uncle TJ, who had a joke for anything ...

Terry couldn't see the pleasure Mike found in silent hours with his father, sitting in a boat or in a duck blind.

"Me and Terry can sometimes feel what the other one is thinking," Mike told his dad once.

His dad said, "Yes. We could see that even when you were babies."

Uncle TJ would have started his long story about the moms wanting twins but not wanting to be pregnant with them, so they divided the set ... It was a funny story and Mike and Terry still rolled with laughter even after they no longer believed it.

But still, Mike liked his dad's answer best.

"Come on in, boys, you're going to freeze," the moms said after their hugs good-bye.

But Mike and Terry stayed to watch the car drive off.

"I can't wait," Terry said.

"It'll be better if we're ready."

In his search to find something to blame for what happened after, Mike even hoped Uncle TJ had been driving — he was a careless driver, everyone knew that. But no, there was nothing to blame except God or bad weather, and that was so useless Mike gave it up after a few years.

But in later years, when he tried to think of reasons for other things, Mike often thought if he and Terry had had this trip, things would have turned out different. This trip that was to start the end of childhood.

Maybe they wouldn't have wrecked and wasted all the gifts they had been given, like kids who couldn't understand what some things cost.

The moms had done the best they could — no blame there — Mike's step-father's resentment probably no more damaging than Terry's mom's indulgence.

But by the time the boys were twenty-five, good memories grew tainted with a sad relief that the dads never saw the sorry mess made of their hopes and cares and dreams ...

In the darkest part of the darkest nights ...

When Mike woke sweat-drenched, still half-drunk and more than half hungover ...

And Terry lay listening to the snores of his cellmate, concentrating on the snores of his cellmate so he wouldn't hear the other sounds ...

When even across two hundred miles they could feel each other's mind, trying to find something to lay blame to:

Bad company, little money, less thought

Luck and fate and choice

Reckless, careless, stupid

Remorse, regret — the only feelings left sometimes ...

They mostly blamed themselves, and only rarely blamed each other.

They never took that easy out, the one you heard a lot these days.

They'd had a happy childhood. It was more than most people got.

CHAPTER 2

Full Moon Birthday

"Just think," Terry said. "It's Friday the thirteenth, a full moon, and your twenty-first birthday. Anything could happen, man, just about anything."

"I know what's going to happen if you don't behave," Mike said.

Terry had been playing eye-tag with one of the four young ladies seated behind them. There were four men sitting there, too.

"Now just who is buying you your first legal drink here?"

"I haven't seen you fork over the money."

"What are you looking at, kid?" said a voice from behind them. Big guy in a hunting cap.

Mike choked on his drink when Terry answered: "Just admiring your lovely granddaughter, sir."

Surely Terry's famous luck had run out with that one ...

But the guy just said, "She's had enough of your admiration. And she's not my granddaughter."

Terry shrugged apologetically and turned back to the bar.

"Full moon, anything's likely to happen," he repeated. "And you got to admit this was a good idea."

He set his drink down and wandered off in the direction of the john.

Mike agreed with him there. Coming to Colorado to fish was a good idea. Different scenery, different weather. They had caught their limit and then some.

The ones you ate on the spot didn't count, Terry said.

Mike was going to start a new job in a week, on a street crew. It was nice to get a little vacation in first.

Terry had been gone for a while, Mike noticed, when he heard a chair scrape behind him, saw hunting-cap head for the john.

But instead of going in the door marked "Bucks," he kicked open the one marked "Does."

And there was the girl, sitting on the sink, her legs wrapped around Terry's waist, her arms wrapped around Terry's neck, and it was a pretty good bet she had her tongue wrapped around Terry's tongue.

Mike slapped down a bill to pay for the drinks and charged out the door, knowing Terry was so quick he'd probably beat him to the parking lot — and he almost did.

The four guys chasing them cut them off from the truck, so they ran across the road and down into the woods.

The roar of the river got louder, and Terry yelled, "Jump in and swim for it!"

Hearing the crashing through the woods behind them, Mike thought this was as good a plan as any, and they both hit the icy water at the same time.

The river was fast, but not furious; it was likely they'd freeze before drowning. They floated and swam downstream as long as they could before crawling on shore.

"I told you, full moon," Terry said through chattering teeth as they walked down the moonlit dirt road, totally lost. "It makes things happen."

Mike, hugging himself, shivering, was too miserable to punch him.

A truck drove by, slowed.

"You boys fall in the river?" The woman was about thirty, a little weather-beaten, but pretty.

"Yes ma'am. Fishing."

"Well, you'll freeze out here at night, wet like that. You look harmless enough. Hop in." She had a low, husky voice. A kind voice. "Name's Chris."

Back at her place, she gave them some of her ex-husband's sweats to wear when they got out of the shower, while she ran their clothes through the washer and dryer. He must have been a tall guy. They fit fine.

Terry walked around, looking at the old photos on the wall. Mike sat in front of the fire. It was a nice cabin. He was glad she didn't have a TV. It was the kind of a place where you didn't want a TV.

"Great place you got here, ma'am," Terry said, when Chris came back with some beers. She was smaller than she'd seemed in the truck.

"Don't call me that, it makes me feel old. You want a tour?"

"Sure."

Mike stayed where he was, watching the fire. Twenty-one ...

They were gone a long time. When they came back, Terry was wearing a damn goofy grin; Chris was wearing a robe.

Mike felt a jolt like electricity when she put her hand on his hair.

"I hear it's your birthday," she said softly ...

The truck was still there the next morning. But their ice chest, the tackle were gone.

"Dammit!" Mike said. "That was my favorite rod."

"Could have been the tires," Terry said cheerfully. "You got to admit it turned out nice."

Almost killed, almost drowned, almost froze, but by the time Terry was through, Mike's twenty-first birthday would sound like the best one on record.

Mike glanced at the sky, the faint moon still in sight. My birthday moon ... Oh God, just once, let me see Terry get worried.

They stopped in Trinidad for lunch, tacos and margaritas.

"You two twins?" the waitress asked, puzzled, when she checked their IDs. They'd been asked that before — the same last name, the strong family resemblance ...

"Yep. Twins. But born two months apart."

"Cousins." Mike cut that story short. He was still pissed.

Terry watched another customer get up, leave.

"Weird-looking dude," he remarked.

"Or dudette." The waitress set down their drinks.

"What?"

"Trinidad's the sex-change capital of the world. We got the best nut-picking doctor in the States. You see a lot of strange-looking strangers around here. They do it in stages. But some of them turn out right pretty."

Terry shuddered violently.

"Hey." Mike was struck by a thought. "You don't think Chris? ..."

"Dammit," Terry said desperately. "Don't even think it!"

Mike grinned to himself. He didn't think it. He wasn't the hound Terry was, but he knew a woman when he tripped over one in the dark.

"It was kind of strange, the way she had men's clothes laying around?"

"Shut up," Terry said.

Mike sipped his margarita.

"Her voice ..."

"Shut up." Terry's face was sweating. He looked a little green.

It was was nice to see him worried.

"You're gonna keep this up all the way back to Oklahoma," Terry accused.

"Yep." Mike ordered another round. To celebrate.

CHAPTER 3

Different Shorelines

SPRING 1987

Mike's feet touched bottom, and he staggered onto shore.

"I won," he gasped out, falling onto the towel.

His cousin Terry dropped down beside him, panting.

"This time," Terry admitted.

Terry won the short races, Mike usually won the long. They were like that at everything they did. Terry was quick but couldn't pay attention for long; Mike was stubborn.

"Wonder what the suckers back in school are doing." Terry pawed through his clothes, found the cigarettes.

Mike knew what at least a few of them were doing. History test. One he'd studied for, too.

Mike had made up his mind. He wasn't going to drop out, flunk. It would give the step-bastard too much satisfaction, the way he kept predicting something like that.

But Terry had made a lot of sense, saying today would be better for the lake. No people, no crowds. Not that he minded; Mike was the shy one.

Terry knew the way to get Mike to skip school. He could always read his mind. Cousins, but it must be something like having a twin, Mike thought. They were closer than most brothers.

"You want to head back now?" Terry asked.

If they left for home now, no one would know where they'd been — though it wouldn't matter much to Terry.

Aunt Jelly would believe anything he told her, or he'd sweet-talk her out of being mad in five minutes. She'd say he was grounded, but that wouldn't last long ...

Mike would be facing the step-bastard, who would yell a lot and then take off his belt, his mom would just watch.

"No," Mike said. "The fish will be biting after sundown. We don't want to waste bait."

"You can be a real mule, Mike," Terry said.

Mike lit his own cigarette, lay back to look at the sky.

It was a real nice day for the lake.

SUMMER 1994

"We'll get a boat," Terry said.

"What we need is a truck." Mike took a long hit off the joint and passed it back.

"Travis Fish & Ski."

Mike hadn't thought about details, but since fishing and skiing were two of his three favorite things, that brand of boat sounded fine.

"Chick magnet."

Well, there's number three, Mike thought.

"I'll tell you what, you get the truck, I'll get the boat. We'll have enough money for both in a couple of months."

Mike stared out at the lake. Boat sounded good. He felt like he was on one now, just drifting along, nice breeze ...

"What is your problem?" Terry asked.

"Who says I have a problem?"

"You just usually do." Terry dug around in the cooler, got out another couple of beers.

Mike didn't say anything. Even if he was stone-cold sober, Terry could talk rings around him. No use trying to argue now.

"We're not hurting anybody, Mike."

"Yes. I know."

"It's not that dangerous. We know the guys."

"Yes," Mike said again, and popped open his beer.

"We'll never get our hands on money like this."

Mike tried to hang onto his nice, fuzzy high, ignore the uneasiness in his gut.

"You know what your problem is?"

Mike said, "I worry too much."

Sometimes he thought the first words out of Terry's mouth must have been, "Mike, you worry too much."

"Well, yeah," Terry said. "That and the constant farting." Mike choked on his laugh, his beer, and threw what was left at his cousin.

But Terry was already in the lake.

FALL 1996

"We used to bring you kids here when you were little," Aunt Jelly said.

"I remember," Mike said.

There were still some little kids determined to stay in the water; it was likely to be the last warm weekend of the year. Already the water was cold.

"Just a little while longer?" they'd whine when their moms made them get out. Their teeth would be chattering, their lips blue, and all they could think of was getting back in.

Mike could remember whining like that. He picked up his cigarettes from the picnic table, tapped another one out.

"He says it's not as bad as you think. His cellmate is fine. They have a window."

Sometimes Mike thought Aunt Jelly must have had a stroke or something, since Terry ... left.

She seemed so stunned. Strange. She was not a stupid woman.

Mike knew damn well there was no window.

"It's not forever."

Mike looked across the lake. It was years. Sometimes it seemed like forever to him, and he was not in there.

He looked at his truck. He was going to sell it, trade it. He'd never have a chance to get another, new, but the sight of it made his stomach turn.

The boat was gone. They took it.

The truck was in Mike's name.

"It's not your fault," Aunt Jelly said suddenly, fiercely. She put her hand on his arm. "Terry knew what he was doing. He knew the risks."

"Yes," Mike said. After all, it was the truth.

"And it's not your fault you're not in there with him."

"Just a little while longer?" the little kids whined.

They could not tell it was cold.

WINTER 1999

Mike walked along the shoreline. He should have brought his fishing tackle, he thought.

But he hadn't planned where he'd go today, just got in his old truck and drove.

He took the stick Amos brought back, and threw it as hard as he could. Then sat down on a log and stared at the water.

Forever wasn't over yet. It still had years to go.

Amos came back with the stick, dropped it. Put his head on Mike's knee and whined. He was a real quiet dog. It wasn't often he whined.

Mike stood up, zipped his jacket. It was too cold to stay. It was getting dark; he needed to go to work.

Something was his fault. He was sure about that.

CHAPTER 4

The Will

"You didn't need to get all dressed up for this," the step-father said.

Mike looked at him but said nothing. He had come from work; he would go back to work from here. You didn't get all dressed up to work on a street crew.

His cousin Terry winked at him. Terry was dressed fine, but he was between jobs as usual and had nothing better to do.

Aunt Julie smiled at Mike. He had come to the reading of the will because she asked him to. She wouldn't care if he didn't dress up.

(Continues…)


Excerpted from "Some of Tim's Stories"
by .
Copyright © 2007 S.E. Hinton.
Excerpted by permission of Diversion Publishing Corp..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Some of Tim's Stories 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Doughnuts More than 1 year ago
Mike and Terry are cousins who are raised as brothers. Mike's real name is Tim, who's telling the story. He refers to himself as mike. Everything changes for them when their fathers are killed in a car accident. Mike lives a life of guilt and sadness while Terry finds trouble with the law. S.E. Hinton has written many great books including "The Outsiders". I have read a few, however "Some of Tim's Stories" is my favorite. The book starts out slow but once you start reading it, you can't put it down. The novel is sad and very realistic. The story ends letting you decide the main character's fait, so there's no sad endings or perfect endings. The book is similar to "That Was Then, This is Now", by S.E. Hinton. Both are about two boys who are like brothers and their drama growing up. Read this book!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! It took me about an hour to read the acctual story, this book was so good!! It's about a man named Tim, who is writing down some of his life stories (hence the name) he never uses his real name, but refers to himself as 'Mike'. All the stories are out of order and kind of about different things, but all the stories have ties to the same plot, Tim has overwhelming guilt after his cousin (who's more like a brother) is sent to jail, when Tim desvers to be there just as much. I understood it, even just being thirteen. This isn't anything like her other books, but, is just as good.
SharonU on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I've only just started reading this and have so far found the interview with SE Hinton the best bit. The actual stories are a bit depressing.
goodinthestacks on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I was looking for some short stories to read and stumbled upon this book in my library. The first story of "Some of Tim's Stories" grabbed me right away. What followed was an interweaving tale about Mike and Terry, cousins who faced the ups and mostly downs of life. While this book is a narrative about two young men, it is not linear and the stories reveal a little at a time about their lives, which was great since it was exactly what I was looking for. If you get engrossed in this book, you'll get through it in about 2 hours tops since the actual stories last for about 70 pages. The rest of this book was interviews with S. E. Hinton, which was interesting but not great. Wish there were some more of Tim's stories instead.
HippieLunatic on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a fantastic exploration of the writing process. Tim, named only in the title of the book, has many issues to deal with. He takes to writing in order to work through aspects of his life, choosing a character who is basically himself, to center the stories around.Honestly, being able to pick up on these hints make the collection stronger for me, an aspiring writer, but the collection is strong enough without that. (Had it been entitled "Some of Mike's Stories," the exploration of a man, wracked with guilt and loss, would have been strong, too.)I love that the stories are all connected to one another, pieces of a life left on a trail. Pick up one hint in a story, and it becomes a clearer sense of who both Tim and Mike are in a later story. (Knowing that Mike's father had nightmares, while it is guessable they are war-related, circles back in the story in which Mike is shot in a robbery, for example.)The interviews are interesting, but as a lover of the story-telling process, I am more drawn to the stories than I am the interview questions and answers.
cvosshans on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
If you pick up this book expecting to read a story like The Outsiders or Rumble Fish, you will be disappointed as it isn't that kind of book. This collection of short stories intertwines the lives of Terry and MIke, two cousins raised like brothers. The stories are suitable for teen readers but are somewhat sad and depressing. If you are into that, then this book is for you. Far more interesting is the interview with the author which takes up the last half of the book.
muffins15 More than 1 year ago
to cousins basically raised like brothers. Tim the narrator in the story (is known as mike in the story). Terry the other main character in the story.. Mike becomes depressed and very emotional, terry becomes very known to the law, and gets arrested. suddenly, things take a turn for the worst terry's and mike's fathers die in a brutal car accident. Mike becomes depressed and very emotional, terry becomes very known to the law, and gets arrested. To get rid of the terrible emotions mike starts drinking heavily. mike finally gets out it of jail and mike and terry reunite. Your final review in my over all review I think it was a great book and would recommend it to anyone who is just trying to find a tear jerking , heart stopping, page turning novel! I absolutely congratulate S.E Hinton for this amazing book! She has totally out done her self!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago