We All Fall Down (Robert Cormier novel)
|Media type||Print (Hardback & Paperback)|
|ISBN||0-385-30501-X (first edition, hardback)|
In the small town of Burnside, the Jerome family house is destroyed by teenage vandals, who defecate on the floors and push their daughter down the stairs, placing her in a coma. However, a childlike stalker, calling himself 'The Avenger' witnesses the whole incident, and, enraged, begins to track down each culprit.
Characters in We All Fall Down are Jane Jerome, Buddy Walker, and The Avenger. After the vandalism, the book separates into three discrete storylines: one from Jane's point of view, which reveals how she and her family feel after the trashing; one from Buddy's point of view, which reveals his problems, family, and friends; and one from the Avenger's point of view, which reveals his cruel past and plans and cares.
In the novel, Jane Jerome, 16, is one of the main characters. She goes to high school and lives with her parents, her younger sister, Karen, and her younger brother, Artie, in a small town named Burnside.
After the trashing early in the novel, Jane feels bad about arguing with her sister. A lot of thoughts come to her about her relationship with Karen. The incident in the house and Karen's coma make Jane’s behaviour change. She feels less comfortable in her home. Then she goes out with Buddy Walker. She allows him to kiss her, hug her, and caress her. She thinks that when she is with Buddy everything is wonderful and her troubles go away, but he was one of the trashers.
Buddy Walker, 16, changes after his family has been broken into.It the beginning, he trashes the house of Jane Jerome and watches silently as Jane's sister Karen is assaulted and finally thrown down the stairs to the cellar, which results in a coma. Later on in the story, he starts noticing Jane and begins to fall for her and fills the empty hole with the love for Jane.
However, while desperately trying to cope with the incident of his father moving out and him not telling Jane about the trashing, Buddy struggles to find comfort and support. For some time, it seems as though Buddy finds these things in groups of individuals, but they do not offer Walker true companionship. They instead offer him the temptation and consolidation found with alcohol.
Mickey "Looney", a middle-aged man, has killed a bully at school and his grandfather. He is portrayed as 11 most of the story, until he abducts Jane Jerome. It is then revealed that Mickey committed those crimes 30 years ago and is planning to kill Jane for dating Buddy. He commits suicide at the end of the book as he is about to murder Jane. The Avenger, after his near-death experience, dies.
Because of its frank language and adult themes, it is named one of the top 100 most challenged books from 1990 to 2000, by the American Library Association, and has been banned from some libraries.