Written by: S.E. Hinton
Narrated by: Jim Fyfe
Length: 5 hours and 12 minutes
Release Date: July 22, 2004
Publisher: Listening Library
There are many excellent novels that will stick with you for many years. Some of these are a little less modern and their settings are somewhat irrelevant to today’s society. There are few that could interpret today’s society better than S.E. Hinton’s The Outsiders. The story could very well take place in today’s urban America. The tale of brotherhood and childhood rivalries is intense, touching and uplifting. If you’ve never read the book, you might want to consider checking out the audiobook, which is narrated by Jim Fyfe.
Although the novel is excellent in its own right, Jim Fyfe’s adaptation proves that the legendary battle between the “greasers” and the “Socs” never grows old. In fact, it could become an instant classic! Below, you’ll find out why Jim Fyfe’s performance should be praised.
The Narration By Jim Fyfe
In the past few years, a handful of audiobooks have gained mainstream recognition. Although Jim Fyfe might not be a veteran audiobook narrator, he has plenty of experience in other fields and his unique performance ultimately helps to propel The Outsiders into something better than ever before. Fyfe has appeared in shows and movies, such as The X-Files, Moonlight Mile and Full Grown Men. Although he wasn’t widely recognized for these roles, he should gain immense recognition and praise for his work on The Outsiders.
At just over five hours, the unabridged audiobook is straight to the point and excellently paced. Jim Fyfe’s quirky Southern accent certainly helps to bring the characters to life. It is obvious that Jim was picked for the role, due to his authentic accent and it really helps to give each greaser more authenticity. If you met one of these fellows in person, they would likely sound remarkably similar to Fyfe. This allows the listener to immerse him or herself into the story and feel like a part of the gang.
Throughout the tale, Ponyboy is put into many dangerous situations. Fyfe does an outstanding job conveying this to the listener. His tone shifts up a notch, as if to give more urgency to the delivered phrase. This really drives home the point and makes the listener feel anxious and worried for our protagonist. With Fyfe’s astounding performance, the audience begins to develop an intimacy for each of the greasers. This makes the drama and climax even more compelling than the novel itself.
Although the audio is only five hours long, it feels neither too long nor too short. While Fyfe manages to deliver each line in a deliberate manner, he never forces himself or rapidly delivers a line to speed things up. His demeanor and tone remains steady and fluid throughout. The listener will appreciate this aspect of his performance, since it’ll give them the ability to get comfortable and settle in for the ride. Once the show is over, you’ll salivate for a sequel and will plead for Fyfe to lend his vocals once more.
Although Jim does an excellent job with each of the characters, his best work is his rendition of Johnny and Soda. The listener will immediately connect with both and remember them long after the story has concluded. There are many excellent moments in the audiobook, including the dramatic rescue!
A Fabulous Inspiration Surrounding The Socially Unaccepted
S. E. Hinton definitely outdid himself with this wonderful novel. His attention is focused on the socially unaccepted Greasers, whom lived a life apart from the socialite crowd. Ponyboy Curtis diligently tells about his life, as a Greaser and the struggles that he and his gang brothers must overcome.
The Greasers are continuously fighting with their rival gang counterpart, the Socs. Ponyboy’s best friend is Johnny, who is also a Greaser. While out one night at the local drive-in theatre, several of the Greasers just happen to meet Cherry Valance and Marcia. Ponyboy draws an instant liking to Cherry, because she does not have the save views, as the Socs. The girl’s boyfriend, who just happen to be members of the Socs gang, puts a halt to the conversation. He works diligently trying to draw the Greasers into a street fight, but Cherry steps in to save the day.
Ponyboy’s brothers, Darrel and Sodapop, are responsible for his upbringing, but Darrel is forced to be the disciplinary adult. When Ponyboy does not return home until 2 A.M., Darrel is outraged and he becomes so upset that he slaps him across the face. Ponyboy immediately runs away and finds himself in a bigger mess than before. This adventure leads the Greasers on a road to destruction and you must listen to the audiobook to find out what the future holds for these characters.
The Outsiders is a fabulous tale of the coming of age in a small town that refuses to accept those that do not fit in with the socialites. Not only are the Greasers challenged with trying to protect themselves from the Socs, but also they are continuously trying to defend their lifestyle. Left with very little to work with, as far as reputation and money goes, it leaves one to question whether or not there is hope and room for change.
There is absolutely no doubt that The Outsiders is a genuine classic, which will be remembered for many years to come. It has managed to withstand the test of time, where others have failed. Much of this has to do with the book’s ability to relate to those living in a modern society. When this successful novel is combined with Jim Fyfe’s narration, the overall package is enhanced tremendously. Much of this has to do with the authenticity of his southern accent and his ability to dramatize the most important scenes.
If you’re a fan of coming of age tales, The Outsiders is one that cannot be ignored. Do yourself a major favor and check out the audiobook right now! You’ll absolutely love the experience and will find new respect for the immensely skilled Jim Fyfe.
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