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Extended Audio Sample The Chocolate War Audiobook, by Robert Cormier Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.00005170630817 out of 53.00005170630817 out of 53.00005170630817 out of 53.00005170630817 out of 53.00005170630817 out of 5 3.00 (19,340 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Robert Cormier Narrator: Frank Muller Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: July 2004 ISBN: 9781400085347
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Jerry Renault ponders the question on the poster in his locker: Do I dare disturb the universe? Refusing to sell chocolates in the annual Trinity school fund-raiser may not seem like a radical thing to do. But when Jerry challenges a secret school society called The Vigils, his defiant act turns into an all-out war. Now the only question is: Who will survive? First published in 1974, Robert Cormier's groundbreaking novel, an unflinching portrait of corruption and cruelty, has become a modern classic.

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Quotes & Awards

  • The Chocolate War is masterfully structured and rich in theme; the action is well crafted, well timed, suspenseful; complex ideas develop and unfold with clarity. The New York Times Book Review
  • The characterizations of all the boys are superb...  This novel [is] unique in its uncompromising portrait of human cruelty and conformity. School Library Journal, starred review
  • The novel is cleverly written with a good sense of the realistic and a good ear for dialouge, qualities which will attract any reader. Bestsellers
  • Robert Cormier has written a brilliant novel. Children's Book Revie Service

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Readnponder | 2/19/2014

    " I heard this described on a podcast as a YA classic. I had a hard time getting into it. The cruelty among the students was hard to read. And the blind eye turned by the teachers and administrators equally disturbing. I'm sure the book would generate a lively discussion in a high school class ... that is, if students were not afraid to speak frankly. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Adele Griffin | 2/17/2014

    " Thirty-five years later (and 27 years after I read it for the first time) this book doesn't pull one false punch. Archie Costello is a villain for the ages, and Cormier's cinematographic plot strings the tension all the way through to a mesmerizing final act. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Adam | 1/21/2014

    " WARNING: I didn't have to read for long before encountering gratuitous obscene references. Though I have not read very far into the book at all, it is obvious to me that Robert Cormier would have no reservations continuing in obscenity. Even taking into account that this book is supposed to be about a kid at a school of hard knocks, and that I heard all sorts of obscene references at the schools I attended, I can understand why seven publishers rejected this book. I see no reason to recommend this book to anyone. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tom | 1/16/2014

    " Story of struggle between a boy, the school administration, and a "clique" of boys who run the show at the school Everything comes to a head during the annual fund raiser, selling chocolate bars, when the young boy refuses to go along with the clique's instructions. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rebecca | 1/15/2014

    " This book is like a cross between two very well known classics. As soon as I got into it, I was reminded of "The Catcher in the Rye" and "Lord of the Flies". Think secret societies, unfair and corrupt teachers, and characters that go against the grain-because they want to disrupt the universe. Enter an unassuming main character named Jerry, who has just lost his mother-and all he wants to do is play football. The secret society in school, The Vigils, assign different tasks to students. Jerry is assigned the task of refusing to sell any chocolate in the recent chocolate sale-but only refuse for 9 days. Jerry decides that he doesn't want to sell the chocolate at all. Teachers are upset at this refusal-WHAT?!? No school spirit?!!? That is unacceptable. The other students start to question whether they should sell chocolates too. A certain teacher and The Vigils decide to make an example of Jerry-harassment and bullying ensue. Quite an interesting book-as mentioned previously about the other two classics-I was pleasantly surprised. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 William Lui | 1/9/2014

    " THis book is about a group of kids from a school called Trinity. Alot of problems go on in that school. A group called the vigils give assignments to people thougout the school. Everyone's assignemnt depends on the relationship with them. MY favoorite part of the book is when the vigils tell Jerry to unscrew all the screws i onee classroom at night. I didnt think someone would do that and it was very surprising.I found it very funny when all the chairs and everything fell the next day. The picture it made in my head was really funny. Also he refuse to sell chocolates at teh annual chocolate sale. He was the only one who didnt sell anything and people know it was an assignment given by the Vigils. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Caitlin | 1/5/2014

    " I enjoy adolescent literature but I was not fond of this one. Cormier is a well respected author but I found the book to be unneccessarily "teenage," for example, it references masturbation a lot. There is just no reason for that. It felt like he was trying to make it interesting for teens, rather than having his writing style and plot be inherently interesting. Some of the themes of the book were interesting. The main theme was that you shouldn't lose yourself to fit in, but if you go too far the other way no one will be able to accept you. The book has a sense of cronyism and when the main character defies the group he pays for it violently. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sofi Fournier | 12/28/2013

    " this is an amazing book! It's about a guy named Jerry Renault who's bullied by "The Vigils" who where a group of students that controlled part of the school. Renault was refusing too sell the chocolates after the 10 days the Vigils told him not to sell them. Selling the chocolates was a tradition of the school, so the Vigils started to pressure him to do it again, and at the end, Renault ended up losing. The Vigils did horrible stuff to him that almost killed him. It is a very interesting book to read. It is focused on real life, and all that talks about bulling, peer pressure, intimidation, and many other stuff. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Adem Kolenovic | 12/24/2013

    " heard about this book sounds good "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Tina Dalton | 10/27/2013

    " Another book for my YA class; about a secret society in a private boys' Catholic school and a kid who resists them. Not really to my liking. The author is excellent and his writing is good. I just don't like the subject matter. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dawn | 10/25/2013

    " A haunting and vicious tale of power, corruption and evil in a boy's private school. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tiffany Dvorske | 10/8/2013

    " Excellent. Horrifying. Not a feel-good book. I hope administration is not still like this--anywhere. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Zech | 7/29/2013

    " I real want to read the chocolate war on audiobook so I can finish it faster "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Athornton | 3/15/2013

    " Good book. Trying to figure out why it was banned for high school? The sexual reference or the violence? "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rosalin | 1/22/2013

    " Cormier realistically depicts the hierarchical and abusive relationships in high school among boys and their teachers. This school feels like a prison with the the priests as the corrupt guards and The Vigils terrorism powerless boys. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Joel | 6/8/2012

    " We never see Archie eat a Hershey's bar. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Diane | 9/16/2011

    " Excellent bullying story - unique. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mark | 5/7/2011

    " One of my favorites. Cormier is a master storyteller. I love how Jerry has the drive to defy the boys in the club, even though it's a huge struggle for him. The ending can be discussed for hours. Fast-paced. Brilliant. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Valeria | 5/5/2011

    " I went through this book loving the point of it, then came the ending. It completely took the whole book off track and erased everything it was about. I did love the characters and the many literary devices used. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Clare-Dragonfly | 4/25/2011

    " Good lord did I hate this book. "

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About the Author
Author Robert Cormier
Robert Cormier
(1925-2000) (pronounced kor-MEER) lived all his life in Leominster, Massachusetts, a small town in the north-central part of the state, where he grew up as part of a close, warm community of French Canadian immigrants. His wife, Connie, also from Leominster, still lives in the house where they raised their three daughters and one son–all adults now. They never saw a reason to leave. “There are lots of untold stories right here on Main Street,” Cormier once said.
About the Narrator

Frank Muller (1951–2008) was an Audie and Earphones Award–winning narrator. A classically trained actor, Frank appeared on both television and the stage. His credits include Hamlet, The Crucible, The Taming of the Shrew, The Importance of Being Earnest, Law & Order, All My Children, and many, many more. In 1999 Frank was awarded the AudioFile Lifetime Achievement Award, the top honor in the audiobook community.