After the First Death

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After the First Death
After the First Death.gif
Author Robert Cormier
Original title After the First Death
Country United States
Language English
Genre Young Adult, Psychological Thriller
Publication date
1979
Media type Print
Pages 233
ISBN 0-440-20835-1
OCLC 23153589

After the First Death (1979) is a suspense novel for young adults by American author Robert Cormier. The focus is on the complex relationships that develop between the various characters.

Synopsis[1][edit]

After the First Death describes the terrorist hijacking of a summer camp bus full of children. The main characters include Kate, a high school student driving the bus, Miro, one of the terrorists, and Ben, the son of a general for an anti-terrorism group. The story is mostly written from the point of view of Kate, Miro and Ben, switching back and forth, and brief sections are told from the point of view of some other characters Kate is driving the bus when it is hijacked by four terrorists, Miro, Artkin, Antibbe and Stroll. The terrorists force Kate to drive the bus to an old, worn-down railroad bridge, where a drawn-out siege begins, the terrorists threatening to kill one child for every attack by the police or death of a terrorist. The terrorists are working to "free" their homeland, which is never named specifically but could be assumed from their descriptions to be a Middle Eastern, or African country.[2]

Themes[edit]

The various themes explored in the texts include the parallel made through the father-son relationship between Ben, the General, Miro and Artkin. Some of these themes are Courage, Endurance, Survival, Resilience, Sacrifice, Morality, and being wise.[3]

Plot[edit]

Ben Marachand is a teenage boy who was shot and is suffering from post-traumatic stress syndrome. He thinks of himself as dead.

Miro is a student terrorist on his first mission. He and three other terrorists, Artkin, Antibbe and Stroll are getting ready to hijack a bus on a trip to school camp. Miro was assigned to kill the driver of the bus.

However, when Miro boards the bus, he finds out that the driver is a female, and decides not to kill her. Artkin starts handing sweets to the schoolchildren, making them fall asleep. The sweets killed a child, Kevin McMann, by mistake.

Finally, the bus arrives at the bridge. Miro explains to the bus driver (Kate) that that he hijacked the bus so he could free his homeland. However Kate was still determined to escape. He found two solutions, to use Raymond, a child who has not taken the candy and the keys to the bus.

Kate attempts to drive the bus away from the bridge but the terrorists forced open the doors so the bus couldn’t escape. The bus spends the night on the bridge.

The next morning, it is revealed that the ransom is starting to be received. However, the terrorists still need proof about Sedeete’s capture.

A few minutes afterwards, Antibbe was killed by a bullet. The terrorists killed Raymond for revenge. Ben Marachand is sent for proof of Sedeete’s capture. However, soldiers started to attack the bus. They killed all the terrorists except Miro. However, Ben was also shot.

Miro and Kate escaped to the bushes. Kate said Artkin was Miro’s father. Miro felt sorry for Artkin and shot Kate. Ben recovered from the bullet but still feels dead. However, Miro escapes the incident on a truck.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Cormier, Robert. After the First Death. 
  2. ^ Cormier, Robert. After the First Death. 
  3. ^ Cormier, Robert. After the First Death.