The Bumblebee Flies Anyway [NOOK Book]


They are all going to die. All of the patients at the Complex are terminal, with no hope of reprieve. But they’ve volunteered to come here, to this experimental clinic to allow themselves to be test subjects. Still, they’re all going to die.
All except Barney. Barney cannot remember much about his ...

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The Bumblebee Flies Anyway

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They are all going to die. All of the patients at the Complex are terminal, with no hope of reprieve. But they’ve volunteered to come here, to this experimental clinic to allow themselves to be test subjects. Still, they’re all going to die.
All except Barney. Barney cannot remember much about his life before the Complex, but he knows that he’s there as a control. To see how the drugs being tested will affect a nonterminal patient.
And then they start testing a new drug on him . . . one that will affect his memory.
And Barney starts to remember things he doesn’t want to remember. 

Sixteen-year-old Barney has only fleeting memories about his past but, as a voluntary patient at the institute for experimental medicine, he knows he is different from the terminally ill patients surrounding him. His involvement with the bitter, slowly dying, Mazzo brings Barney hope, pain, and a moment of heroic glory.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780307834270
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 3/19/2013
  • Sold by: Random House
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 646,212
  • Age range: 12 years
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

Robert Cormier
Robert Cormier
Some parents found Robert Cormier’s unsparing, sometimes brutal young adult novels “too shocking,” but his critics and readers alike loved them for their honesty, their integrity, and their refusal to sugar-coat or evade real issues for a young audience. Cormier was one of the first writers for young adults to introduce and discuss controversial subjects in his books.


With The Chocolate War, an unsparing story of corruption and brutal vengeance at a Catholic boys’ school, Robert Cormier turned what had been the sunny world of young adult fiction upside down. The book launched Cormier on a highly successful and often controversial career, in which he tackled the darker issues of adolescence and American suburban life.

Like the anonymously authored Go Ask Alice in 1975, an at times harrowing story of drug abuse for young adult readers, the Chocolate War – and others of the author’s books -- ran into trouble with parent groups who found the writer’s subject matter inappropriate and his approach too explicit. (According to Herb Fostal’s Banned in the USA, The Chocolate War was fifth on a list of the most frequently banned books in American public libraries and schools in the 1990s.)

Reviewers, however, praised his writing. A journalist for much of his life, Cormier balanced his characters’ grim situations with a deft, vivid, lyrical style. Reviewing The Chocolate War, a critic for The New York Times Book Review described it as “masterfully structured and rich in theme; the action is well crafted, well timed, suspenseful; complex ideas develop and unfold with clarity.” When it came to themes, Cormier was unromantic and unflinching. In I Am the Cheese, Cormier evoked the uneasy and elusive world of a boy whose father has testified against organized criminals; in The Bumblebee Flies Anyway, the story pivots around terminally ill teenagers; in Tenderness Cormier introduced a serial killer and a sexually manipulative teenage girl. “Every topic is open, however shocking,” he told a reporter for The Guardian in November of 2000, in what would be one of his last interviews. “It’s the way the topics are handled that’s important.” In Cormier’s world there are no easy answers and few happy endings, but there is extraordinary insight into the world of adolescence: the cruelties, the isolation, and the often-bruising search for identity.

Despite his reputation as a disturber of the literary peace, Cormier was a small-town writer, who spent nearly his entire life working as a journalist for the Fitchburg Sentinel in Massachusetts; he published a memoir of his career in 1991 titled I Have Words to Spend: Reflections of a Small-Town Editor. In addition to four novels for adults, Cormier wrote one last novel for young adults, Frenchtown Summer, the story of a young teenager’s arrival in a new town told entirely in the boy’s poetry. He died on November 2, 2000.

Good To Know

Robert Cormier never lived more than three miles away from the house where he was born in Leominster, Massachusetts.

Cormier included his own phone number as that of one of the characters in I Am the Cheese, and wound up taking calls from thousands of teenagers.

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    1. Also Known As:
      John Fitch IV
    1. Date of Birth:
      January 17, 1925
    2. Place of Birth:
      Leominster, Massachusetts
    1. Date of Death:
      November 2, 2000
    2. Place of Death:
      Leominster, Massachusetts

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 9 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 8 of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 9, 2003

    Still Gets Me After All These Years

    I read this book voluntarily when it was released in 1984 and I must say, after all these years, that has to be one of the best books i've read, and I have read many. I recommend this book for everyone, especially if you like books with unexpected twists and turns. I must tell you, that ending still haunts me!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2013


    Nope i wont

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 30, 2003

    Great story, addicting, and a wonderful message!

    Sixteen-year-old Barney Snow is sent to the Complex for an experiment. He can't remember anything before his life there or why he's there in the first place. He's not dying like the other people there and that earns him dislike from stuck-up Mazzo. Although he makes friends with the 'Handyman'(the doctor), Ali, and Billy the kidney. Barney continues to go through his different tests and Mazzo comes up with a deal for Barney. Cassie, his twin sister, is coming from Italy and he wants Barney there to greet her and stop her from persuading him to let his family come visit him. Barney immediately falls in love with Cassie. The story continues on with Barney uncovering more of his past and many obstacles along that path. The ending may be confusing, but this deffinately a book you DON'T want to miss!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2002

    An Excellent Book for Group Discussion

    The Bumblebee Flies Anyway by Robert Cormier is an excellent book for teen readers. While the setting and situations of an experimental medicine clinic may be unusual, teens can easily identify with the patients and how they are a society of outcasts. Barney, along with his friends Billy, Ali, and Mazzo, have become ostracized due to their illnesses and each identifies their predicament in an independent manor. The intrusion of Cassie into their society brings a sense of the real world into the Clinic. The result ends in a rather unusual ending that might confuse some readers, but the basic premise will still remain appealing. The adolescent readers of this novel will find Barney's medication and Cassie's special relationship to her twin brother Mazzo conversation worthy thus making the novel an excellent choice for middle school and high school classes in which the teacher is wanting to provoke discussion. The Bumblebee Flies Anyway is also an excellent book that any age will enjoy.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 28, 2002


    This book is a good depictoin of what its like in an experimental hospital. This book told how kids deal with the experiments. It showed all the different ways they deal wiyh it. The book is written very well. I recomend this book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 2, 2001

    Great book! Confusing Ending...

    I read this book after seeing the movie on the stand at Blockbuster. I got the book out of the library and found it hypnotizing. The book starts off with Barney Snow, a boy of sixteen growing up in an experimental hospital for terminally ill people, only he's different from everyone. He's not dying. He's there for an experiment on memory. The doctors erase some of it and do tests and treatments that have affects which he calls 'aftermaths'. He's acompanied by the 'Handyman'(the doctor), Billy the Kidney, Ali Roon, and Mazzo. Mazzo is despised by all. He's a spoiled, rich guy probably about twenty, who's angry at the world, and angry at the fact that Barney's not like them. He however has a deal for Barney. Mazzo's twin sister is coming, and he wants Barney to make sure that he doesn't get convinced in letting his family see him. Barney personally can't understand it. He doesn't remember his life before the hospital, and would love to at least know who his family is. Cassie, Mazzo's sister, comes, and Barney falls in love with her. There's some weird connection between Mazzo and Cassie, that doesn't turn up until later. Meanwhile, Barney finds out a deep secret about himself. He becomes friends with Mazzo and helps fullfil his last dream,to drive in a car again. The Bumblebee.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 1, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 22, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing 1 – 8 of 9 Customer Reviews

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