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While refreshing my memory on the novel “Endgame,” I sadly discovered that the author, Nancy Garden, passed away from a heart attack nearly a year ago, June 23, 2014, aged 76. “Endgame” is the only novel of hers which I have read but she has many more. Nancy and I did exchange emails over the past few years and she very graciously took the time to read and comment on the previous posts I have made about this book on Peaceful Rampage. I took it as a great compliment when she fed back that my comments about the mother in this book were well thought out, especially as she was such a minor character. Her other comments were just as positive. Furthermore, I discovered that her best known novel, “Annie on My Mind” was the first to portray gay teenagers in a positive light. While it attracted much controversy and was temporarily banned in Kansas in 1993, the novel won several awards.

R.I.P Nancy Garden

R.I.P. Nancy Garden

On account of the above, I feel under great pressure to make sure I do a good job on this one. In Endgame, there was one main bully who went by Zorro. He had an entourage of hangers on who assisted with the bullying of Grey in the story but it was evident from the very beginning that he was the driving force behind it all. It was he who, after giving Grey a black eye, demanded that he check with him for the appropriate alibi for the cause of the injury. His bullying of Grey is pretty horrific and makes me somewhat grateful that I didn’t suffer some of the things he did like forcing Grey to drink paint, destroying his drum kit and running over his dog. On the latter, Zorro tried to force Grey to change his story about him running over the dog so Grey’s father’s lawsuit wouldn’t stick. When Grey resisted, Zorro and pals tried to get Grey to perform a sex act on his friend. This was the limit for Grey and why he snapped and took an automatic pistol to school, shooting Zorro through the head and then several other people, killing three more of them.

Why was Zorro such a bully? Reading the story, Nancy gives the impression that Zorro believes that he can bully simply because he can. A star football player, Zorro thinks that he should be treated as royalty with the unimpeded privilege to throw his weight around to tease, haze, abuse and bully undesirables from what he sees as the lower castes. It doesn’t help that the high school, like so many in America, treat him and his fellow jocks as molly coddled Gods and anything they do is beyond reproach. While Nancy doesn’t come out and say this in the book, those reasons alone are why Zorro gets away with destroying Grey’s drum kit and thinks he can get away with running over his dog. In short, I think Zorro was a total asshole and cheered inwardly when Grey put a round into his skull. No one, no matter how athletic, rich or popular they are, should have the right to hurt others.

The practical side of my brain is hearing some of you say, no one deserves to die like that and you’re right. Ending any bully’s life would not end the bullying but Endgame points a damning finger at what happens when bullies go unchecked on account of their status.

Next post: We Need To Talk About Kevin

To buy He Was Weird, go to: http://www.amazon.co.uk/He-Was-Weird-Michael-Lefevre/dp/1909740942/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1430848573&sr=1-1&keywords=he+was+weird