Shep Greene - The boy, who drank too much

The boy, who drank too much

by Shep Greene

main characters:

Buff: Ousider who came from Canada with his dad and drinks

Narrator ( no name is given ): guy who helped buff to cope with his problems

Place: somewhere in America

Time: about 1970-1980

The narrator of this story was a boy who played hockey. He came from a middle-class family in the USA. He wasn't such a good player.

One day Buff Saunders, also a hockey player had an accident on the ice where he lost four teeth. The narrator took him to hospital because no one else offered help. Buff was an outsider. He and his dad came from Canada. Buff had no friends until that happened but after the accident a friendship developed between Buff and the narrator. He took the narrator to his home where Buff's new friend became the witness of a horrible thing. Buff told his father that he wanted to quit playing hockey. But his father didn't allow that. He pinned his son against the wall and punched him right in the face. Buff neither did nor said something against the hits of his father.

Mr. Saunders had been a hockey player years ago and wanted his son to become a pro. But Buff had other things in mind. Not that he didn't like hockey but he didn't want to play it aggressively. The narrator saw how Mr. Saunder hit his boy and was shocked. When he went home he decided not to talk to anyone about what he had seen some minutes ago.

Some weeks after that happening they had a hockey game. Afterwards everyone went home. The narrator recognized that he forgot something in the locker room. He went back and found Buff sitting there and drinking. He asked Buff about it. Buff only answered that it helped him to concentrate. Once he didn't drink before and after a match and lost his teeth. But the narrator knew that it had something in common with Buff's father. Buff tried to cope with his problems by drinking alcohol like his dad. The narrator wanted to help Buff with his problems because Buff couldn't handle it on his own for sure. One evening Buff didn't want to go home after a match because he was afraid of his father. The narrator invited him to spend the night at his house. Buff agreed and told the narrator that he would only go home to get fresh clothes.

The narrator didn't worry about that and waited for Buff. But Buff never appeared. The narrator was angry on Buff because he didn't ring up to say that he wouldn't come. He decided to clear that thing at school. Next schoolday the narrator waited for Buff during the breakes. But Buff didn't appear at school. During a lesson a girl who knew Buff rushed into the narrator's classroom and told him that she found Buff near the sports ground. They hurried to Buff. He was in a miserable condition. They phoned Ruth who was a friend of the narrator. She came after some minutes. She put Buff into her car and drove to her house.

While she put him into fresh clothes and washed him the narrator and the girl who found Buff went to his father. He was drunk again. Mr. Saunders pinned the narrator against the wall of his office and asked him to tell him immediately where they had brought his boy. The narrator had no other chance than to tell him that they brought Buff to Ruth. Buff's father left him alone and started to move to Ruth's house. The girl and the narrator also went there. At Ruth's place Buff and his father had their biggest fight. His father was already too drunk to fight but Buff put all of his hate behind his punches. When the police arrived Buff ran away. The narrator followed him and they stopped at a garage. Buff told his friend that he wanted to leave town and become a truck-driver. The narrator persuaded Buff to stay. Buff agreed to join a helping programme for alcoholics if his father did the same.

I like the book, because it's realistic and the reader can imagine the contests

very well. I think we should act it like the narrator, to help outsiders dealing

with their problems.I also like the way it is written because it is not too difficult to understand.

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