After the First Death (Cambridge Literature Series)

Overview

Who will be the next to die?

They've taken the children. And the son of a general. But that isn't enough.

More horrors must come...

Events of the hijacking of a bus of children by terrorists seeking the return of their homeland are described from the perspectives of a hostage, a terrorist, an Army general involved in the rescue operation, and his son, chosen as ...

See more details below
Available through our Marketplace sellers.
Other sellers (Paperback)
  • All (4) from $3.77   
  • Used (4) from $3.77   
Close
Sort by
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Note: Marketplace items are not eligible for any BN.com coupons and promotions
$3.77
Seller since 2009

Feedback rating:

(25880)

Condition:

New — never opened or used in original packaging.

Like New — packaging may have been opened. A "Like New" item is suitable to give as a gift.

Very Good — may have minor signs of wear on packaging but item works perfectly and has no damage.

Good — item is in good condition but packaging may have signs of shelf wear/aging or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Acceptable — item is in working order but may show signs of wear such as scratches or torn packaging. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Used — An item that has been opened and may show signs of wear. All specific defects should be noted in the Comments section associated with each item.

Refurbished — A used item that has been renewed or updated and verified to be in proper working condition. Not necessarily completed by the original manufacturer.

Good
Giving great service since 2004: Buy from the Best! 4,000,000 items shipped to delighted customers. We have 1,000,000 unique items ready to ship! Find your Great Buy today!

Ships from: Toledo, OH

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
$4.46
Seller since 2009

Feedback rating:

(3934)

Condition: Good
28/06/1996 Paperback Used-Good Book in good or better condition. Dispatched same day from US or UK warehouse.

Ships from: Valley Cottage, NY

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
$20.53
Seller since 2011

Feedback rating:

(9)

Condition: Good
01/01/1995 Paperback Good Ships from the UK within 24 hours. Your purchase supports authors through the Book Author Resale Right. Number of pages: 236. Corners bumped. ... *****PLEASE NOTE: This item is shipping from an authorized seller in Europe. In the event that a return is necessary, you will be able to return your item within the US. To learn more about our European sellers and policies see the BookQuest FAQ section***** Read more Show Less

Ships from: nr Bath, United Kingdom

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
$34.21
Seller since 2015

Feedback rating:

(366)

Condition: Good
Possible retired library copy, some have markings or writing. May or may not include accessories such as CD or access codes.

Ships from: Chatham, NJ

Usually ships in 1-2 business days

  • Canadian
  • International
  • Standard, 48 States
  • Standard (AK, HI)
  • Express, 48 States
  • Express (AK, HI)
Page 1 of 1
Showing All
Close
Sort by
Sending request ...

Overview

Who will be the next to die?

They've taken the children. And the son of a general. But that isn't enough.

More horrors must come...

Events of the hijacking of a bus of children by terrorists seeking the return of their homeland are described from the perspectives of a hostage, a terrorist, an Army general involved in the rescue operation, and his son, chosen as the go-between.

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521485616
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 7/27/1995
  • Series: Cambridge Literature Series
  • Pages: 236
  • Age range: 14 - 16 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.08 (w) x 7.80 (h) x 0.55 (d)

Read an Excerpt

I keep thinking that I have a tunnel in my chest. The path the bullet took, burrowing through the flesh and sinew and whatever muscle the bullet encountered (I am not the macho-muscled type, not at five eleven and one hundred eighteen pounds). Anyway, the bullet went through my chest and out again. The wound has healed and there is no pain. The two ends of the tunnel are closed although there's a puckering of the skin at both ends of the tunnel. And a faint redness. The puckering has a distinct design, like the old vaccination scar on my father's arm. Years from now, the wound will probably hurt the way my father's old wounds hurt him, the wounds he received in those World War Two battles. My mother always jokes about the wounds: oh, not the wounds themselves but the fact that he professes to forecast weather by the phantom pains and throbbings in his arms and legs.

Will my wound ache like his when I am his age?

And will I be able to tell when the rain will fall by the pain whistling through the tunnel in my chest?

I am joking, of course, but my joking is entirely different from my mother's tender jokes.

I am joking because I won't have stayed around become a human barometer or an instrument capable of forecasting weather.

But - who's the joke on?

The first of many questions about my presence here.

Keep a scorecard handy.

My father is scheduled to visit me today.

His first visit since the Bus and the Bridge last summer.

I am typing this in the room at Castle and it's beautiful here as I write this. Through the window, I can see the quadrangle and the guys indulging in a snowball fight. The first snowfall of the season. The snow is late this year. Christmas is only two weeks away. Thanksgiving was dry and cold with a pale sun in the sky but no wind. Perfect for a football game, the traditional game between Castle and Rushing Academy. Castle won, 21 to 6, and there was a big celebration on campus. Elliot Martingale brought these fireworks back from summer vacation; they were left over from July 4th at his family's place on Cape Cod, and he said they would be touched off when we won the big game on Thanksgiving Day. We won, he set them off. Beautiful. That's when I went to the john, swallowed fourteen sleeping pills, lay down on the bed listening to the cherry bombs explode and then a cluster of firecrackers going off like a miniature machine gun; and it was nice lying there, drifting away, and then I thought of the kids on the bus, strewn around like broken toys while the guns went off, and I started getting sick and rushed off to the bathroom to vomit.

Please do not consider these the notes of a self-pitying freak who needs the services of a psychiatrist.

I am not filled with pity for myself. And I'm not writing this to cop a plea of some kind.

I do not consider this a suicide note either.

Or even a prelude to one.

When the time comes to perform the act, I will do it without any prelude or prologue, and may simply walk up River Road one afternoon, arrive at Brimmler's Bridge, calmly climb the parapet or whatever it's called, and let myself plummet to the riverbed below.

I have deduced, reflecting on the Bus, that this would be the best way to shuffle off this mortal coil. Poetic justice, you see. Perhaps that's what I should have done when I was sent out to the Bus. The Bus was also on a bridge. That's when I should have taken the plunge, the dive, or the leap. The Bridge on which the Bus was perched is even higher than Brimmler's Bridge. Just think how I would have saved the day - and myself - that way.

And my father most of all.

But how many times is a person allowed to die?

Anyway, my parents are scheduled to arrive here late this morning.

Eleven o'clock to be exact.

My father's first visit since the Bus and the Bridge, but I already said that, didn't I?

My mother has been faithful about visiting. My mother is kind and witty and stylish. She is the essence of the loving wife and mother. She has such amazing strength, an inner strength that has nothing to do with the flexing of muscles. I always sensed it, even as a kid. My father has strength, too. But he has always been too shadowy to pin down. The nature of his profession, I realize now. His is the kind of profession that not only disguises the man but consumes him as well. And his family, too. Even my mother, with all her strength.

When she visited me the first time in September only a few days after my arrival, she played it cool and calm, and this is just what I needed

"Do you want to talk about it, Mark?" she asked.

My name is Ben, my father's name is Mark. If it had been anyone but her, I would have called it a Freudian slip. But she is too uncomplicated for that kind of thing.

I wondered how much she knew about what happened on the bridge. "I'd rather not talk about it," I said. "Not just yet."

"Fine," she said, matter-of-factly, settling down for the visit, arranging her dress over her knees. She has beautiful legs and she is utterly feminine. She never wears slacks or pants suits, always skirts or dresses, even when she does housecleaning. She asked me about school and the classes and the guys, and I told her, talking mechanically, as if my mouth had nothing to with the rest of my body. I told her about Mr. Chatham, who is my math teacher and might have taught my father a generation ago. This is one of the benefits of attending your father's alma mater, my mother said, when she drove me up here last fall. She said I would be able to gather new insights on my father. I didn't tell her that Mr. Chatham is practically senile, the butt of a thousand boyish and not-so-boyish pranks and jokes, and that he didn't remember my father at all. I had suggested the possibility to him. "My name is Ben Marchand," I'd told him, "and my father came to Castle back before World War Two - do you remember him?"

"Of course, dear boy," he said, "of course."

But I did not believe him. His eyes were glazed and vacant, his hand shook, and he always seems about to leap out of harm's way. Which is reflex action. Guys like Elliot Martingale and Biff Donateli rejoice in making old Catham's last days lively. We keep him on his toes, keep him sharp, keep him from dropping into complete senility, Elliot says. How can a man drop out when he thinks a cherry bomb's going to go off in his pants any minute?

Anyway, I started to lie to my mother about Mr. Chatham and his nonexistent memories of my father. "He remember Dad as a good student," I said. "Serious. Never fooled around much in class. A shy, sensitive lad: those were his exact words." I tried to imitate Mr. Chatham's rusty old voice: "A little too thin for his height, lad, but you could see he would fill out someday and be an outstanding man."

I could see immediately that she didn't believe me. She has many admirable qualities but she would never succeed as an actress. The disbelief was apparent in her eyes and in the expression on her face.

"Isn't Dad sensitive and wasn't he a good student?" I asked. "He must have been. He's a general now, isn't he?"

"You know your father doesn't like to be called a general," she said.

"True," I said, and felt myself drifting away from her, something I have been doing recently, drifting away while standing still, letting myself go as if the world is a huge blotter and I am being absorbed by it. "But he is a general, isn't he?" I asked, persisting, suddenly not wanting to drift away, not at this particular moment, wanting to make a point. What point?

And then my mother's strength asserted itself. "Ben," she said, her voice like the snapping of a tree branch. It reminded me of old movies on television where someone is screaming hysterically but I must admit that I was hysterical all right. You can be hysterical without screaming or ranting and raving, or hitting your head against a wall. You can be quietly hysterical sitting in a dorm talking to your mother, watching the September sun climbing the wall like a ladder as it filters in through a sagging shutter. And the slap doesn't have to be a physical act; it can be one word, Ben, your own name lashing out. Yet she did it with love. I have always been assured of her love. And even as I responded to her shouted Ben, snapping me back from the drifting, I still said to myself: But he is a goddam general, whether he likes it or not, and that's why I'm here.

So we carried on a fairly normal conversation. About my classes, the guys: Yes, Mother, they're a good bunch. They leave me alone, mostly because I've come on the scene too late and it's hard to absorb me (they are not blotters, after all), but they are tactful, which surprised me really. I mean, Elliot Martingale is such a character with his clowning and all, and yet he came up to me the other day and said: "Marchand, old bastard, I looked up the back issues of the papers the other day and you're all right, know that?"

I felt either like bawling like a baby or laughing madly; either way, he'd think I was a complete nut. I felt like bawling because those were the first words anyone at Castle had said directly to me and they confirmed my existence here, something I was beginning to doubt. Until that moment, I might have been invisible or not there at all. And I felt like laughing madly because what Martingale said was so very wrong. What Elliot Martingale read about in the papers, my part in the Bus and the incident at the Bridge, was a million miles from the truth. Not lies exactly, of course. But information that was misleading, vague where it should be specific, specific where it should be vague. Inner Delta is very good at that sort of thing, of course.

There, I've said it: Inner Delta

Like pulling a bandage off a festering sore.

Or a diseased rabbit from a soiled magician's hat.

Which, of course, is treason on my part, both as a son to my father and as a citizen of my country.

But do I really have a country?

And do I have citizenship anywhere?

I am a skeleton rattling my bones, a ghost laughing hollow up the sleeves of my shroud, a scarecrow whose straw is soaked with blood.

So much for the dramatics.

My name is Benjamin Marchand, son of Brigadier General and Mrs. Marcus L. Marchand. Although I am temporarily lodged at Castleton Academy in Pompey, New Hampshire, my home is at 1245 Iwo Jima Avenue, Forta Delta, Massachusetts.

Stick around. I may pass out picture postcards any moment now.

***

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Introduction; Text; Glossary; Activities

Read More Show Less

Introduction

In Robert Cormier’s unforgettable novels, an individual often stands alone, fighting for what is right–or just to survive–against powerful, sinister, and sometimes evil people. His books look unflinchingly at tyranny and the abuse of power, at treachery and betrayal, at guilt and forgiveness, love and hate, and the corruption of innocence. Cormier’s gripping stories explore some of the darker corners of the human psyche, but always with a moral focus and a probing intelligence that compel readers to examine their own feelings and ethical beliefs.

The questions that follow are intended to spur discussion and to provoke thoughtful readers to contemplate some of the issues of identity, character, emotion, and morality that make Cormier’s books so compelling.

Read More Show Less

Foreword

1. This novel is told from multiple points of view. Why do you think Cormier has chosen this type of narration?

2. Why does Artkin say it is necessary for Miro to "bury" his real name forever? Are Miro and Artkin burying anything else?

3. Which characters do you sympathize with and why? Do you have a clear-cut sense of right and wrong at the end of this novel?

4. What role does the notion of "manhood" serve? Why does Miro want to achieve this status so badly? Miro thinks that Kate is trying to manipulate him when she says "it's sad not to trust anyone." Why does Miro have to shut this statement out of his mind?

5. How does a concept of duty (to Artkin, to his nation) affect Miro's conception of self, of individuality? How does duty affect the general and his actions in regard to his son? Why does he volunteer his son for the mission?

6. Betrayal is a prominent theme throughout the novel. Do you think the general betrayed his son? Who else betrays or is betrayed? How and why? How does this betrayal compare to the betrayals that happen in the other three books (Carter and Archie, Goober and Jerry, Brother Leon and Caroni, Adam and the government).

Read More Show Less

Reading Group Guide

1. This novel is told from multiple points of view. Why do you think Cormier has chosen this type of narration?

2. Why does Artkin say it is necessary for Miro to "bury" his real name forever? Are Miro and Artkin burying anything else?

3. Which characters do you sympathize with and why? Do you have a clear-cut sense of right and wrong at the end of this novel?

4. What role does the notion of "manhood" serve? Why does Miro want to achieve this status so badly? Miro thinks that Kate is trying to manipulate him when she says "it's sad not to trust anyone." Why does Miro have to shut this statement out of his mind?

5. How does a concept of duty (to Artkin, to his nation) affect Miro's conception of self, of individuality? How does duty affect the general and his actions in regard to his son? Why does he volunteer his son for the mission?

6. Betrayal is a prominent theme throughout the novel. Do you think the general betrayed his son? Who else betrays or is betrayed? How and why? How does this betrayal compare to the betrayals that happen in the other three books (Carter and Archie, Goober and Jerry, Brother Leon and Caroni, Adam and the government).

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)