Reading Backwards

Book reviews by your favorite Git.

The Bumblebee Flies Anyway

with 2 comments

By Robert Cormier
Don’t sue me. Buy it here:
Rating: Traumatic.
Read: 7th grade, 1998-99
Category-ReqSchool Category-Ugh

I was assigned to read The Bumblebee Flies Anyway for class in 7th grade. And I have loathed it ever since. As I am now in college, it is difficult for me to remember specific details, but I will try to define why Barney and I never got along.

There was something tremendously fishy about the entire premise to begin with (a voluntary patient at a hospital for the terminally ill?). I was unable to like any of the characters, save perhaps Mazzo, one of the only somewhat honest characters in the book. I deplore the symbolism and sentiment behind the premise of ‘going out with a bang’. I cannot abide people who lie to themselves, no matter the circumstances.

And let us not forget the irony. The very, VERY twisted irony with which TBBFA ends with.

I’m afraid to say too much, and so I am afraid that I am being too vague.

There are some books that, although I couldn’t stand them, I believe they should be read, such as Lord of the Flies. But TBBFA was merely another enforced exercise in ‘make them think, make them realize there’s a world, make them start to care.’ Most middle school assigned reading is. However, TBBFA reached new lows with its sheer depravity of an ending.

In truth, the only reason I was kind and gave it two stars is because of the language. It was very well-written.

Better that we had stuck with the Giver. Even Ayn Rand would have made better reading.

Review also posted on


Written by Shen

March 26, 2005 at 12:37 am

2 Responses

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