That Was Then, This Is Now

That Was Then, This Is Now

by S. E. Hinton

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Another classic from the author of the internationally bestselling The Outsiders

Continue celebrating 50 years of The Outsiders by reading this companion novel. That Was Then, This is Now is S. E. Hinton's moving portrait of the bond between best friends Bryon and Mark and the tensions that develop between them as they begin to grow up and grow apart. 

"A mature, disciplined novel which excites a response in the reader . . . Hard to forget."—The New York Times

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780140389661
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date: 04/01/1998
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 192
Sales rank: 12,272
Product dimensions: 4.25(w) x 7.50(h) x 0.50(d)
Lexile: 780L (what's this?)
Age Range: 12 - 17 Years

About the Author

S. E. Hinton is the author of a number of bestselling and beloved books for young adults, including THAT WAS THEN, THIS IS NOW; RUMBLE FISH, TEX, and of course, THE OUTSIDERS, which was written when she was just 16 years old. She has also written several picture books, a collection of short stories, and a novel for adults. She lives in Tulsa, Oklahoma—the setting of THE OUTSIDERS—with her husband. When she is not writing, she enjoys riding horses.

Read an Excerpt

That Was Then, This Is Now

By S. E. Hinton

Viking Books

Copyright © 1971 S. E. Hinton
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0670697982

Chapter One

Mark and me went down to the bar/pool hall about two or three blocks from where we lived with the sole intention of making some money. We'd done that before. I was a really good pool player, especially for being just sixteen years old, and, what's more, I look like a baby-faced kid who wouldn't know one ball from another. This, and the way Mark set me up, helped me hustle a lot of pool games. The bad deal is, it's against the law to be in this pool hall if you're under age, because of the adjoining bar. The good deal is, the bartender and owner was a good friend of mine, being the older brother of this chick I used to like. When this chick and me broke up, I still stayed friends with her brother, which is unusual in cases like that. Charlie, the bartender, was just twenty-two, but he had a tough reputation and kept order real good. We lived in kind of a rough part of town and some pretty wild things went on in Charlie's Bar.

    I looked around for a plainclothes cop when we went in--I can always tell a cop--but didn't find one, so I went up to the bar and hopped on a barstool.

    "Give me a beer," I said, and Charlie, who was cleaning glasses just like every bartender you ever see, gave me a dirty look instead. "O.K.," I said brightly, "a Coke."

    "Your credit ain't so hot, Bryon," Charlie said. "You got cash?"

    "A dime--for cryin' out loud! Can't you let me charge a dime Coke?"

    "Cokes are fifteen cents, and you already got three dollars worth of Cokes charged here, and if you don't pay up this month I'll have to beat it out of you." He said this real friendly-like, but he meant it. We were friends, but Charlie was a businessman too.

    "I'll pay up," I assured him. "Don't worry."

    Charlie gave me a lopsided grin. "I ain't worried, kid. You're the one who should be worried."

    I was, to tell the truth. Charlie was a big, tough guy so a three-dollar beating up was something to worry about.

    "Hey, Mark," Charlie called, "there ain't nobody here to hustle."

    Mark, who had been scouting out the two guys playing pool, came up and sat down next to me. "Yeah, that's the truth."

    "It's just as well," Charlie said. "You guys are going to get in real bad trouble one of these days. Some guy's going to get hacked off when he finds out what you're doin', and you're gonna get a pool stick rammed down your throats."

    "No we ain't," Mark said. "Give me a Coke, Charlie."

    "We don't have any credit," I said glumly.

    Mark stared at Charlie disbelievingly. "You got to be kiddin'. Man, when did we ever not pay our bill?"

    "Last month."

    "You said you'd add it on to this month's. That's what you said. So I don't see why you can't add twenty cents to that."

    "Thirty cents," corrected Charlie. "And, like I just told Bryon, if I don't get that money pretty soon, I'm going to take it out of a couple of hides."

    "I'll get you the money tomorrow if you give us the Cokes right now."

    "O.K." Charlie gave in to Mark. Almost everybody does. It was a gift he had, a gift for getting away with things. He could talk anyone into anything. "But if I don't get the money by tomorrow, I'll come looking for you."

    I got chilled. I had heard Charlie say that to another guy once. I also saw the guy after Charlie found him. But if Mark said he'd have three dollars by tomorrow, he'd have it.

    "Speaking of looking for you," Charlie continued, "the true flower child was in here asking for you."

    "M&M?" Mark asked. "What did he want?"

    "How would I know? Man, that is a weird kid. Nice guy, but weird."

    "Yeah," Mark said. "I guess it would be hard to be a hippie in a hood's part of town."

    "Speak for yourself, man," Charlie said. "This part of town don't make nobody a hood."

    "You're right," Mark said. "But I really sounded profound there for a minute, huh?"

    Charlie just gave him a funny look and got us the Cokes. It was later in the evening now, and some more customers came in, so Charlie quit talking to us. It got pretty busy.

    "Where are you gonna get three dollars?" I asked Mark.

    He finished off his Coke. "I don't know."

    That bugged the heck out of me. Mark was always pulling stunts like that. I ought to know; Mark had lived at my house ever since I was ten and he was nine and his parents shot each other in a drunken argument and my old lady felt sorry for him and took him home to live with us. My mother wanted a hundred kids and could have only one, so until she got hold of Mark she had to be content feeding every stray cat that came along. There was no telling how many kids she might have picked up along the line if she could have afforded more than two--me and Mark.

    I had been friends with Mark long before he came to live with us. He had lived down the street and it seemed to me that we had always been together. We had never had a fight. We had never even had an argument. In looks, we were complete opposites: I'm a big guy, dark hair and eyes--the kind who looks like a Saint Bernard puppy, which I don't mind as most chicks cannot resist a Saint Bernard puppy. Mark was small and compact, with strange golden eyes and hair to match and a grin like a friendly lion. He was much stronger than he looked--he could tie me in arm wrestling. He was my best friend and we were like brothers.

    "Let's go look for M&M," Mark said abruptly and we left. It was dark outside and seemed a little chilly. This was probably because school had just started, and it always seems like fall when school starts, even if it's hot. Charlie's Bar was on a real crummy street with a lot of other bars whose bartenders kicked us out when we strolled in, a movie house, a drugstore, and a second-hand clothes store that always had a sign in the window saying "We Buy Almost Anything"--and from the looks of their clothes, they did. When my old lady went into the hospital, we got so low on money that I bought some clothes there. It's pretty lousy, buying used clothes.

    We found M&M in the drugstore reading Newsweek, which shows what a weird kid he was since there were plenty of skin mags and things to read. A little kid like him shouldn't be reading that junk, I know, but he should at least want to.

    "Hey, Charlie said you was lookin' for us," Mark greeted him.

    M&M looked up at him. "Yeah. How you guys doin'?"

    M&M was the most serious guy I knew. He always had this wide-eyed, intent, trusting look on his face, but sometimes he smiled, and when he did it was really great. He was an awful nice kid even if he was a little strange. He had big gray eyes--the kind you see on war-orphan posters--and charcoal-colored hair down past his ears and down to his eyebrows. He probably would have grown a beard except thirteen was too young for it. He always wore an old Army jacket that was too big for him and went barefoot even after it started getting cold. Then his father got fed up with it and M&M got a pair of moccasins. He had a metal peace symbol hanging around his neck on a piece of rawhide string, and he got his nickname from his addiction to M&M's, the kind of chocolate candy that melts in your mouth and not in your hand. For years I'd never seen M&M without a bag of that candy. I don't know how he ate those things all day long, day after day. If I did that, my face would break out like nothing you've ever seen.

    "You want an M&M?" He held out a bag toward us. I shook my head, but Mark took one, just to be polite, since he didn't like sweet stuff. "You wanted to see us for something?" Mark reminded him.

    "Yeah, I did, but I forgot what for." He was like that. Real absent-minded. "My sister's home," he added as an afterthought.

    "No kiddin'?" asked Mark tactfully, thumbing through a Playboy. "Which one?"

    M&M had a million brothers and sisters, most of them younger. They all looked alike and it was really funny to see him out somewhere with four or five little carbon copies with dark hair and big serious eyes--hanging all over him. If I had to be a baby-sitter day and night, I'd lose my temper and kill one of those brats, but then, M&M never lost his temper.

    "My older sister, Cathy. You know."

    "Yeah, I remember," I said, only I didn't remember too well. "Where's she been?"

    "She went to a private school last year and this summer. She's been staying with my aunt. She had to come home, though, because she ran out of money. She paid for it all with her own bread."

    "Must be smart," I said. I couldn't remember what she looked like; I had never paid any attention to her. "She as smart as you?"

    "No," M&M said, still reading. He wasn't bragging, he was telling the truth. He was a very honest kid.

    "Let's go over to the bowling alley," Mark suggested. The drugstore wasn't exactly jumping with action. It was a school night and nobody was hanging around. "You come too, M&M."

    It was a long walk to the bowling alley, and I wished for the hundredth time I had a car. I had to walk everywhere I went. As if he'd read my mind, which he was in the habit of doing, Mark said, "I could hot-wire us a car."

    "That's a bad thing to do," M&M said. "Taking something that doesn't belong to you."

    "It ain't stealin'," Mark said. "It's borrowin'."

    "Yeah, well, you're on probation now for 'borrowing,' so I don't think it's such a great idea," I said.

    Mark could hot-wire anything, and ever since he was twelve years old he had hot-wired cars and driven them. He had never had an accident, but he finally got caught at it, so now once a week he had to go downtown on his school lunch hour to see his probation officer and tell him how he was never going to steal cars any more. I had been worried at first, afraid they were going to take Mark and put him in a boys' home since he wasn't really my brother and didn't have a family. I was worried about Mark being locked up. I didn't need to. Mark always came through everything untouched, unworried, unaffected.

    "O.K." Mark shrugged. "Don't get shook, Bryon."

    "Bryon," M&M said suddenly, "were you named after the lord?"

    "What?" I said, stunned. For a minute I thought he meant God.

    "Lord Bryon, were you named after him?"

    The poor kid had Byron and Bryon mixed up. I decided to string him along. "Yeah, I was."

    "Was there a Lord Bryon?" Mark said. "Hey, that's cool." He paused. "I guess it's cool. What'd this guy do, anyway?"

    "Can't tell you in front of the kid," I answered.

    M&M shook his head. "He wrote poetry. He wrote long, old poems. You ought to write poetry, just to keep up the tradition of the Bryons."

    "You ought to keep your mouth shut," I replied, "before I keep up the tradition of punching wise guys in the mouth."

    M&M looked up at me, and I realized from his hurt, puzzled look that he hadn't been trying to be smart. So I punched him on the shoulder and said, "O.K., I'll write poetry. How's this?"--and I recited a dirty limerick I'd heard somewhere. It made him laugh and turn red at the same time. Mark thought I had made it up, and said, "Hey, that was pretty good. Can you just pop them off like that?"

    I only shrugged and said, "Sometimes," because then I'd take credit whether or not it was really due me. I was like that. I'd also lie if I really thought I could get away with it, especially to girls. Like telling them I loved them and junk, when I didn't. I had a rep as a lady-killer--a hustler. I kept up the old Lord Byron tradition in one way. Sometimes I'd get to feeling bad thinking about how rotten I treated some of these chicks, but most of the time it didn't even bother me.

    "M&M, old buddy," Mark was saying, putting his arm across M&M's shoulders, "I was wondering if you might be able to loan your best friend some money."

    "You ain't my best friend," M&M said with that disarming honesty, "but how much do you want?"

    "Three bucks."

    "I got fifty cents." M&M reached into his jeans pocket and pulled out a couple of quarters. "Here."

    "Forget it," I said. Me and Mark looked at each other and shook our heads. M&M was unbelievable.

    "It's O.K. I'll get fifty cents again next week, for baby-sitting."

    "Is that all you get paid for watching all those kids? Fifty cents?" I couldn't get over it. Fifty cents a week?

    "I think it's enough. I don't mind taking care of the kids. Who's going to do it if I don't. Both my parents work, so they can't do it. Anyway, I like my family. When I get married I'm going to have at least nine or ten kids."

    "There goes the population explosion," Mark said.

    "Well, now that your sister's home she can do a lot of the baby-sitting," I said, trying to be helpful. M&M could tell we thought he was crazy.

    "Cathy's got a job after school; she can't help. I don't know what I have to do to convince you that I don't mind it."

    "O.K., O.K., I'm convinced." I was also tired of the subject and I had got to worrying about how we were going to get three dollars before tomorrow. Charlie didn't get his rough rep or his bar by being nice to people, especially ones who couldn't pay their bills.

    By the time we got to the bowling alley it was ten o'clock. There weren't many people there. Mark and I watched a few games while M&M stared into a package of M&M's. I finally got bugged about it and asked him what in the Sam Hill was he doing.

    "Take a look." He handed me the package, which was open at the top. "Put it right up to your eye.

    I did, and all I saw was a bunch of candy.

    "It's beautiful, ain't it?" asked M&M. "I mean, look at all the different colors."

    "Yeah," I agreed, thinking, If I didn't know this kid better I'd say he was high.

    "Let me look," said Mark, so I handed him the package. "Hey, this is groovy. Look at all the colors." He gave the candy back to M&M, looked at me, and shrugged.

    M&M got up. "I gotta go home now. I'll see you guys later."

    "We just got here," Mark objected.

    "Yeah, well, I just came along for the walk, and now I gotta go home."

    I watched him leave. "The kid's weird," I said.

    "That's all there is to it."

    Mark lit up a cigarette, our last one, so we had to pass it back and forth. "I know, but I still get a kick out of him. Come on, let's go catch up with him. There ain't nothin' to do around here."

    Outside I spotted M&M at the corner. There were three guys trailing him. When you see something like that around here you know right away somebody is about to get jumped. In this case, it was M&M.

    "Come on," Mark said, and we cut through an alley so as to come up behind those guys.

    Three against three. The odds would have been even except that M&M was one of those nonviolent types who practiced what he preached, and me and Mark weren't carrying weapons. We slowed down to a walk when we came to the end of the alley. I could hear the voices of the three guys who were following M&M, and I recognized one of them.

    "Hey, flower child, turn around." They were taunting him, but M&M just kept right on moving.

    "It's Shepard," Mark whispered to me. We were waiting at the end of the alley for them to come by. They didn't. They must have had M&M up against the wall. We could hear them.

    "Hey, hippie, don't you answer when you're spoken to? That ain't nice."

    "Curly, why don't you leave me alone?" M&M sounded very patient. I moved over to the other side of the alley just in time to see Curly pull out a switchblade and reach over and cut through the rawhide string on M&M's peace medal. It fell to the ground. M&M reached down to pick it up, and Curly brought his knee up sharply and hit M&M in the face.

    Me and Mark looked at each other, and Mark flashed me a grin. We both liked fights. We ran out and jumped on them, and the one we didn't get took off, which was a wise thing for him to do. Since we had surprised them, it wasn't too hard to get them pinned. I had Curly Shepard in a stranglehold with one arm twisted behind his back, while Mark had the other guy pinned on the ground.

    "How'd you like a broken arm, Shepard?" I said through gritted teeth, careful not to loosen my grip. His switchblade had fallen on the sidewalk, but I didn't know what all he might be carrying. He liked to play rough.

    "O.K., you proved your point. Let us go, Douglas." Curly said a few more things that I'm not going to repeat. He must have figured out who it was twisting his arm when he saw Mark. Me and Mark were always together. Curly had a special grudge against me anyway. I used to go with his sister; she says she broke up with me, which was the truth, but I was spreading it around that I broke up with her and was giving all kinds of cool reasons. Curly was a little dumb--he belonged to a gang led by his brother Tim and known as the Shepard Gang. Really original. Tim was all right--at least he had a few brains--but I considered Curly a dumb hood. "Look, we didn't hurt him."

    That was a lie, because M&M was sitting there against the wall and already his cheek was swelling up and turning purple. He was trying to tie the ends of the rawhide string together and his hands were shaking.

    "Let them go," said M&M. "I'm O.K."

    I gave Curly's arm an extra twist for good measure and then gave him a shove that almost sent him sprawling. Mark let the other guy up, but when he was almost to his feet, Mark gave him a good swift kick. They left, cussing us out, partly in English and partly in sign language.

    Mark was helping M&M up. "Come on, kid," he said easily. "Let's get you home."

    The whole side of M&M's face was bruised, but he gave us one of his rare, wistful grins. "Thanks, you guys."

    Mark suddenly laughed. "Hey, look what I got." He waved three one-dollar bills at me.

    "Where did you get that?" I asked, although I knew good and well where he got it. Mark was very quick, nobody had to teach him how to hot-wire a car--or to pick a pocket.

    "It was a donation," Mark said seriously, "for the Cause."

    This was an old joke, but M&M fell for it. "What cause?"

    "'Cause we owe it to Charlie," Mark said, and M&M almost laughed, but instead winced with pain. I was really feeling good. I could quit worrying about Charlie's beating us up.

    Mark suddenly poked me. "You still in the mood for a little action?"

    "Sure," I said. Mark motioned toward the next intersection. There was a black guy standing there, waiting for the light to change. "We could jump him," Mark said, but suddenly M&M spoke up.

    "You make me sick! You just rescued me from some guys who were going to beat me up because I'm different from them, and now you're going to beat up someone because he's different from you. You think I'm weird--well, you're the weird ones."

    Both Mark and I had stopped walking and were staring at M&M. He was really shook up. He was crying. I couldn't have been more stunned if he had begun to dissolve. You don't see guys crying around here, not unless they have a lot better reason than M&M had. He suddenly took off, running, not looking back. I started to take a few steps after him, but Mark caught me by the arm. "Leave him alone," Mark said. "He's just all uptight from getting jumped."

    "Yeah," I said. That made sense. That had happened to me before, and I could remember how scared it could get you. Besides, M&M was only a kid, just turned thirteen.

    Mark picked something up off the ground. It was M&M's peace medal. It must have dropped off when M&M started running. He hadn't tied the ends of the string together very well.

    "Remind me to tell him I have this," Mark said, stuffing the medal and the string in his pocket. "Let's stop by and give this three bucks to Charlie before I buy some cigarettes with it."

    "O.K.," I said. I didn't feel quite as good as I had before. I was thinking about what M&M had said about beating up people because they were different. There was a lot of truth to that. The rich kids in town used to drive around over in our part of the city and look for people to beat up. Then a year or so ago a couple of kids got killed in that mess and the fad slowly died out. But there were still gang fights around here and social-club rumbles, and things like Shepard's jumping M&M happened every day. I didn't mind it much, unless I was the one getting mugged. I liked fights.

    "Come on," Mark called, "maybe there's somebody to hustle in Charlie's." I grinned and ran to catch up with him. Mark was my best buddy and I loved him like a brother.


Excerpted from That Was Then, This Is Now by S. E. Hinton Copyright © 1971 by S. E. Hinton. Excerpted by permission.
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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That Was Then, This Is Now 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 344 reviews.
mothman More than 1 year ago
Book review: That Was Then This is Now This is a book by the great author of the Outsiders S.E. Hinton. This takes place in the 60's. Love, lies, fights, and other mixed emotions throughout this twisted story of two friends. If you liked the Outsiders this would be a perfect book for you. Brian is a normal sixteen year old boy who has his best friend lives with him and his mom. Mark is a thief and hot wires cars to get places, while Brian is trustworthy but feels like he's fading away from his best friend Mark who he calls his brother. Brian meets M and M's sister Cathy who he hasn't seen since he was thirteen. They eventually start dating and get really serious together. Cathy is seriously worried about her brother who is a hippie kid that does drugs. Her father doesn't respect anything he does for him and M and M gets emotional and runs away with his hippie friends. While Cathy is searching for her brother in the help of Brian, Brian gets his own issues with his brother her is acting strange. One day Brian and Mark go downtown to a local bar to hustle for some money they owe Charlie the bartender. Charlie warns the two of them about hustling these two Texans. After they hustle the two Texans and give the money to Charlie they walk out the door face to face with a gun from one of the Texans. They say their going to teach Mark and Brian a lesson. The Texans take them to the alley behind the bar to do away with them when Charlie shows up to save them. Carrying a sawed off shot-gun. Charlie is shot in the left eye just as they leave the alley when Mark takes up the gun and shoots back at the Texans. Brian takes possession of Charlie's car and helps the search for Cathy. Mark knows where M and M is so he takes Brian there. Brian can't find M and M that day. Brian takes Cathy to the hippie house to find M and M. They find him on a bad trip on acid. They take him to the hospital and he may not be the same, says the doctor. Brian goes home that night to find pills and drugs Mark had been selling and calls the cops. Mark is thrown into custody and Brian is mixed up now. He finally breaks up with Cathy and moves on with his life. By:Epic Failure
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is such a great read. I had read this in less than a week and the topic and writing was so on point. I love S. E. Hinton she is such a great author. I couldn't put this book down it was too good.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"That Was Then this is Now" is a wonderful book. It teaches you about life, and has a very strong introduction to the story. It shows the problems two boys are facing Bryon and mark. The main points have a lot of suspense, for when Bryon and Mark hustled the Texans and then the Texans took the kids down an alley, and threatened them I was on the edge wanting to know what happened next. The book shows you that when you do something bad there will be consequences, and I think that the Texans were a perfect example of that. Also some of the main points were about Bryon and Mark's friendship growing apart, Mark is jealous and feels threatened by Cathy, Bryon's girlfriend In a lot of way this book reminded me of "The Outsiders", another one of S.E.Hintons books. They are full of suspense and feelings between greasers, the downtown punks, and the socks the uptown rich people. Both are about kids that are still growing up and are facing a lot of problems that life is throwing at them. This book is the best book I have ever read in my life. This book is wonderful and I know a lot of people will like and enjoy it very much. The book does an excellent job of showing friendship, and what not to do with your life. I would recommend this book to teenagers and adults. Mark and Bryon can show how life can go with bad choices; this book is more than entertainment.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love the relashionship between the two boys. It's the only book that's almost made me cey, that's how amazing S.E. Hinton is. But I do have to say that my favorite book by her is "Rumble Fish" and than it's "That Was Then This Is Now" But then again every book by her is amazing. This one is a must read and if you like I would read all of her books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Book title and author: That Was Then, This is Now S.E Hinton Title of review: Review of That Was Then, This is Now Number of stars (1 to 5): Introduction The book is about 2 boys Bryon and Mark that tell a story of their childhood time. From people dying to meeting new people this story tells what it was like in the 70s. The two guys are brothers. After Marks parents died they Bryon's mom took him in. Description and summary of main points Bryon meets a girl while visiting his mom in the hospital. Her name is Cathy and she is M&Ms older sister. They share a close relationship. Bryon ends up falling in love with her. Mark is more in to just hanging out with his friends. He is a pretty nice kid, but he steals cars and also has a bad reputation. Evaluation What is great about this story is that it teaches great and important lessons. This book is great to teach kids about what drugs do to kids. This is one of my favorite book by S.E Hinton. Conclusion I think this is a great book and great for all ages. From the heartwarming stories to the lesson of drugs this is a great story. Every time I finished a chapter I wanted to read more. It grabs the reader's attention and you stick on to the story. Although some parts can be boring most of the time it is suspenseful and fun.
tennis_star More than 1 year ago
"That was then this is now," is a great book telling the story of the trials of a sixteen year old boy during the 1960's. The story takes place in a small town where two best friends Mark and Bryon live. S.E. Hinton tells the life story of these boys through the eyes of Bryon. As they grow up they start to drift apartas Bryon starts spending more time with girls instead of Mark. The main character Mark and Bryon are best friends that call each other brother. As you read this book you will find out all the hardships of their lives. When Mark and Bryon were kids they were insuperable now as they grow up Mark still acts like its old times, while Bryon is moving on and caring about more important things. Bryon and Mark help their friend M and M when he gets mugged by the Shepherd gang. They visit their mom in the hospital as well as a boy who got hurt helping this one black girl. Then Bryon sees Cathy who he hasn't seen in three years. They start dating and get very serious. Then the boys hustle some Texans and almost get shot till Charlie saves them but loses his own life. Then M and M runs away with some of his friends. You will have to read the book to find out the rest. This book is an amazing cross between light-hearted, mature, and brutal writing. This is now one of my favorite books. It very much succeeded in its purpose of getting me to think about everything in my life. I gave this book four out of five stars. It was so good in using sensory details. You feel like you're there with Bryon as he tells the story. I gave this book four out of five stars. It was so good in using sensory details. You feel like you're there with Bryon as he tells the story.
Thomas_A More than 1 year ago
That Was Then, This Is Now is the sequel to The Outsiders and a book about how things can change very fast and the little decisions that you make along the way can end up being very important. The characters change their personalities as the book goes on and they start understanding the consequences of their actions, good and bad. The author changes mood and tone in the characters that creates change about what the characters are feeling with their emotions. The author, S.E. Hinton, does a very good job of telling the story in a unique way that will capture your attention. The main character, Bryon Douglas, comes across obstacles in his life and begins to rethink what he has done and what he is doing. He faces challenges along the way and has to make key decisions to not only help himself, but the people around him. A secondary character, Mark, is Bryon’s best friend and is like a brother to him, since Bryon’s mother took him in after Mark’s parents murdered each other. Mark is always there for Bryon and stays by his side, until conflicts and challenges in their lives start occurring between the two. Another secondary character, Cathy, is Bryon’s girlfriend who has a younger brother nicknamed M&M that ran away on his own. Bryon, Mark, and Cathy go on a journey to find him and the result is terrifying. This adventurous journey is very surprising and interesting as it is not written in chronological order. The characters often have flash backs and tell stories and facts from the past that explain ideas and concepts throughout the book. This book is very suspenseful and exciting to read page by page as the mood changes with each new problem that occurs. The book builds up a good back story that leads up to the climax, which is very unpredictable and satisfying to find out. This book did not necessarily relate to me in a way, but I am sure that other people could relate to some of the characters and problems over the course of the novel. I would recommend this book to anyone that is interested in reading a novel that is very meticulous, suspicious, and exciting at the same time. Reading The Outsiders before reading That Was Then, This Is Now, would help with understanding the setting, plot, and some distant characters, but it is still a great book to read by itself.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
That was then, this is now was one of the best books i have ever read! I absolutley loved it. I think the only problem was that the story did not have any type of happy ending AT ALL. It was a very deppresing story; nothing happy except for bryon going out with cathy. FROM NOW ON, MY REVIEW MAY BE A SPOILER! Charlie was shot saving bryon and mark, m&m took acid and became mentally crazy, bryon had mark, his own brother, arrested for selling pills, and bryon broke up with cathy and she went out with bryons enemy. Then, bryon started failing in school, and he went to see mark in prison and mark tried to kill him for getting him arrested. The story was very interesting but sad, and i was dissapointed by the ending, but the book was great and you should deffinitley read it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a good book that really stands out! A good read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is totaly awesome touching
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Written by S. E. Hinton the great author of The Outsiders, you immediately get drawn into the story. That Was Then This Is Now is a story about two brothers named Bryon and Mark. Mark is technically not biologically Bryon's brother, but was adopted into the family after his parents shot each other in a drunken argument. The book goes deeply into their relationship as not only brothers but best friends. That Was Then This is Now even reintroduces Ponyboy Curtis the main character of The Outsiders. I do however suggest that you read the ending in a private place for it is by far a tear jerker. Overall this is one of Hinton's greatest books and should be read and appreciated for its articulate story and detailed characters
davidp562 More than 1 year ago
This book takes place after the outsiders, and keeps Ponyboy Curtis in the book. This is a book about the transition in which the socs and greasers are finally making there differences work out. It's a story about betrayal and times changing. If you liked the outsiders, this book is a lot sadder and you might tear up a little. I literally almost threw my book against the wall from the ending. It was so raw and sad. I've never read a book like this in my entire life and I loved it. I could almost see myself in the book and being there when it happened. The outsiders is my favorite book, but this book is right behind it. I honestly almost cried a little in this book because it was so sad. But overall I would give this book an overall 9 out of 10 in how much I liked it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I picked up this book after reading The Outsiders, expecting it to be as good. The plot was interesting, and it included characters from The Outsiders, but it just wasn't as well written. The ending wasn't very good,and it left me thinking of it for days. I don't really recommend this book.
cocacola11 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
That Was Then This is Now is about two best friends who would do almost anything for each other, but things are starting yo change very quickly between them. They start to drift apart and not hang out as much as they used to. They start to fight alot more then they used to. Then one night someone is sick of the other one getting away with everything and they take things too far.
DameMuriel on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
It's 10th grade. I'm in love and confused. I sit in my room all night and listen to Babes in Toyland and Sonic Youth. I'm obsessed with the Sci-Fi channel. In my English class, I'm the only person who knows what the word "volatile" means. Even my slightly bald teacher doesn't know. I offer to lend her a dictionary, but she says she doesn't want to talk about it anymore. Her lipstick matchers her eye shadow.I read this book and write a wonderful essay on it for a test. No one else does very well on the test because they don't understand the book and they don't know how to write essays. The teacher reads my essay to the class. I get an award at the end of the year for being the "most promising young writer." Years later I reread this book and feel very sad and nostalgic, especially when I read the parts about M&M because this book is not about being young, it's about being old and remembering, without criticism, when you were young.
LangandLit on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I think this is a great book for the Grade 10 Applied Level. The students are generally very engaged by the subject matter. The text is very rich in terms of symbolism and characterization which makes it great as a jumping off point for further class discussion and exploration.
jduggie on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The thing I liked about this book is that it was a story of the hard times of two individuals named Byron and Mark. They both were greasers and they encountered drugs and violence. They were poor so they had no money at times and they would always have to come up with money some how.
Staciele on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A great "coming of age" story for teenagers. Drugs and fighting are common in the novel as are teenagers living in the 60's. Lots of twists and turns. Recommended for middle school on up.
Tony2011 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The book That was Then This is Now is about two teenage boys who are best friends but through out time they distance themselves and at the end they go there own way. Mark and Bryon live a life where gang fights were over and what happens after? They take there separate ways at first Bryon goes with a girl he meet and Mark did not like her much so mark spent less time with bryon and his girlfriend and more time with other friends doing beer and drugs.
ElCa0720 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This tale about best friends who are vertually as close as brothers is a sweet tale about just growing up and changing. I loved this book. I really enjoyed the story of bryon and mark.
FolkeB on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
That was Then, This is Now is a quick and easy read for any age. This novel is about a young boy and best friend who are inseparable. They live the life of greasers and come in contact with gangs, drugs, hippies, and the law. As main character, Bryon, starts seeing Cathy, his best friend soon starts to slip away. As the title says, they soon start to see that as you grow up time changes and everything is not going to be the same. This novel is a lower level read, but has valid points to become aware of as the years go by. Hinton is able to describe the characters in a way to relate to them, and to feel what they are feeling. I would suggest this book for middle school aged kids or lower level high school kids. As for anyone else who reads, they will still get a good lesson about understanding of life and friendship.
kringhoffer on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
That Was Then, This Is Now by: Kyle RinghofferThat Was Then, This Is Now, by S.E. Hinton was a great book. I chose to read this book because my favorite book of all time, The Outsiders, was also written by S.E. Hinton and because of that I assumed that this would be a good book as well. That Was Then, This Is Now is based in the same universe as The Outsiders, and this is shown through a cameo appearance by ¿Pony Boy Curtis¿, the main character of The Outsiders. The plot revolves around Bryon, a sixteen year old boy growing up and his fading relationship with his brother Mark. This relationship starts to drastically change as they grow up and Bryon starts to fall in love with a girl named Cathy. Cathy is the older sister of M&M, a young hippie that the boys are friends with. Several events happen in the story that cause Bryon and Mark to tread down two different paths, such as the boys being jumped after hustling older men at a game of pool, but then being saved by a friend who is killed by the men. This separates the boys as Bryon is deeply affected feeling guilt for being the fault of his friend¿s death, while Mark feels no remorse and continues on with his life. Other dilemmas point out the moral differences between the two and eventually the story ends with Bryon turning Mark in for dealing drugs, causing their relationship as brothers to end.There were several things that I enjoyed about the book, one being the excellent use of character development. Hinton takes two similar characters and throughout the book show how they develop into completely different people. She does this by showing their differences by using their reactions to different moral dilemmas. I also enjoyed how Hinton didn¿t use a typical ¿happy¿ ending in which everything works out, but instead changes things for the worse when the reader would think they would get better, and ends the book on a much different note than what was expected. My favorite character in the book would have to be Mark because the author slowly gave parts of his background, but not everything at once, and since the story was not being told from his point of view, it gave him a mystery that had me trying to figure him out throughout the book. Although there were some things that I did not like about the book. I felt the author could have elaborated more on Bryon and Mark¿s past, as it hints about things like gang violence but doesn¿t really go into what happened and leaves a lot for the reader to assume about the two. In conclusion, I thought that That Was Then, This Now was a great book, with an interesting plot and characters that I wanted to know more about. Especially after reading both this book and The Outsiders, I plan to read of the books by S.E. Hinton because so far I have enjoyed her style of writing books.
Magadri on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I read this book a while back when I was around 10 or so, and I absolutely loved it. Just finished reading it again for the first time since then (I'm 21 now), and it didn't leave quite the same impression. It was still enjoyable since the characters were interesting and the plot moved along at a steady pace, but the overall atmosphere of the book was very grim. The main character, Bryon, repeatedly states the problems of caring for other people, and by the end of the story it seems like he still maintains this same melancholy attitude. The ending was very sad with no promise that things will ever be better. Still though, overall the book was very good, and some people may appreciate the realistic, untypical non-happy ending. Generally I do, but for this book it just didn't seem fitting.
slightlyfan on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Not one of Hinton's best, but good all the same. This almost seemed like a sequel to The Outsiders -Hinton's first book- because it has a lot of the same characters. I was really suprised to see Ponyboy make a small appearence in this book. The story was decent, but not nearly as good as The Outsiders. The characters were good. All around decent book.
SharonU on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Expecting somewhat of a sequel to The Outsiders, TWTTIN did not provide. I did enjoy the story though.