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Banned Book Review: Running Loose

September 12, 2006

92. Running Loose by Chris Crutcher

Reason:  soft-core pornography and… the slew of references to racial slurs.

As was so kindly pointed out by whoever had borrowed this particular book before I did, the title has a multiplicity of meaning.  The main character Louie falls in love, experiences the agony of loss, goes wild with grief, and all the while stands against the principal and the coach of his football team, who will stop at nothing to have a winning season.  Even if it means playing dirty.  Louie makes a lot of bad choices throughout the book, but he also makes a lot of good ones.  The story has the sort of basic simplicity that has kept its message fresh, even after two decades.  The irony of the reason listed is that while Louie gets hot and heavy with his girlfriend, it is always described tastefully, and Louie comes out the end of the book still a virgin.  Which is only one small part of the lesson told here.  To love, to live, to stand up for others who are weak, to never back down.  And most of all to be patient.

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