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Our cover illustration this month is by Alan Lee from The Lord of the Rings by J R R Tolkien. The first-ever colour illustrated edition is now available from HarperCollins (0 261 102230 3) at £30.00. We thank them for their help in reproducing the cover of the book.
The language and content of this story of Playboy of the Greasers - the Outsiders from the 'other' side of an American town - is so immediate it's hard to remember it was written in 1967. It's salutary for adolescent listeners to learn that S E Hinton was only 16 when she wrote it. The 'socials' (the haves) bait the Greasers (the have-nots) until frustration erupts into violence and Pony's best friend is driven to manslaughter. This is a deep and powerful story and Jim Fyfe's unabridged American narration adds a lively authenticity.