Read Stotan! by Chris Crutcher Online


Stotan: A cross between a Stoic and a SpartinIt's the last swimming season for Walker, Nortie, Lion, and Jeff, and their coach is building their self-discipline in a grueling four-hour-a-day test of stamina designed to bring them to the outer edge of their capabilities.As it turns out, Stotan Week is also the week in which secrets are revealed, and the four friends must drStotan: A cross between a Stoic and a SpartinIt's the last swimming season for Walker, Nortie, Lion, and Jeff, and their coach is building their self-discipline in a grueling four-hour-a-day test of stamina designed to bring them to the outer edge of their capabilities.As it turns out, Stotan Week is also the week in which secrets are revealed, and the four friends must draw upon their new strengths for an endurance they never knew they'd need....

Title : Stotan!
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780060094928
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 272 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Stotan! Reviews

  • Caleb Newkirk
    2018-11-29 05:26

    This was a fantastic book. It had everything I was looking for in a book. It threw in a good amount of romance and comedy to balance out the book. Besides the little romance the book was serious and focused on the drive of people. The whole idea of the book is to push yourself so far you almost zone out and can push your body to places it has never been. This book doesn’t just help you learn to push yourself to those limits while working out but in life in general it could help you fight through many things of your life until you excel at it. The life lessons this book teaches you are given in a very clever way. I encourage you to read this book and it would make it even better if you thought past the words on the page and take everything in depth. If you truly think about what is being said you can take away the most life lessons. The lessons I learned from this book have already impacted my life. I am more focused on pushing through things I don’t want to do in my life to better the life that I am living. The book is about a workout, but I have used what I experienced vicariously through the book to better myself in school. I have been more focused on the reward from school and not the work itself. I will say that if you read this book (which you should) it will be a good read but also be so much more....

    2018-11-29 10:19

    This was a great book. I liked it because it was mature and realistic. It had events that aren’t just happy and ending happy. Some ended bad or not how you expected it.The plot of this book was about four boys on a swim team. The coach of the swim team, Max, was a master of karate and jiu jitsu. He also was very wise. A Stotan was a cross between a Stoic and a Spartan. A Stoic was a person who can deal with pain or hardship without showing feelings or complaining. A Spartan was an ancient Greek culture. They were great warriors and would fight as long as they could, no matter what. The reason this was in the book was because it was Stotan Week. The purpose of this week is to become as much of a Stotan as you can. These four boys, Nortie, Jeff, Walker, and and Lion, were the only four who entered. Stotan Week was a five day hardcore workout. They had to get up very early in the morning and start. The first day they went beyond their limits by doing sprints in the pool and push ups. They went home and were beat. The second day they came back and started, all four of them went into “workout mode” and didn’t even think about what they were doing. They weren’t as sore that night. The third day went just like the second did and they were not very tired. The fourth day they felt cocky because they thought it was easy. Since they thought of it like this when they were working out they got very tired and that night they were very sore. The fifth day went the same but they worked as hard as they could so it ended a little early. After that swimming season started. The four boys are the only four that swim at that school, but their times were all up at least one second than before Stotan Week. They were all focused on making it to state. All of them made it, except Jeff, who would have made it but got sick. He had to go to the hospital and there they decided it was best for him to go home to his hospital. There he was diagnosed with a bad blood disease. The book doesn’t tell the reader what it was exactly. He got very sick and was very weak and upset. None of the medication was working for him so everyone got even more worried. The other three boys decided they had to go to state and win for him. They went to state and did their best. They took first in a few events. When they got back they realized that Jeff was very sick and was not going to get better. He was going to die, and everyone finally accepted that. They understood what had to happen and they were going to act like Stotans. Walker decided he needed to tell his girlfriend exactly how he felt about his relationship and that is what he will do.I would recommend this book mostly to boys who are at least teenagers. It is a little tougher to follow and has many pages than other books but is a very good one and has great messages in it.

  • Corey Schmidt
    2018-11-30 11:17

    I read the book “Stotan!” by Chris Crutcher. I thought it was a very good book. It was well written and had a very good message in it. It also went through many other things that teens go through such as friendships and love. It was a very moving book about four guys on a swim team that trained their hardest to win events and eventually try and go to state. Their swim coach, Max, invites them to do a Stotan week to test their abilities. The book takes a turn for the worst when Jeff finds out he has a rare blood disease.The main character and narrator is Walker. He is a very good swimmer and has very conflicted feelings about the girls he likes. The next character is Nortie. He is one of Walkers best friends. He is a quieter guy and is also abused by his father. Lion is also another important character. He is the biggest of the group and is also one of Walkers best friends. Jeff is the last of the four man team. He is the comedian of the group but finds out he has a blood disease at the end of the book. The book takes place in the year of 1986. It mostly takes place at their Frost High School, which is where they go to school. It also takes place at some of the meets they go to.In all, I thought the book was a very good book that tied into many controversial topics that high schoolers have to deal with. It made me want to keep reading and was not too difficult to understand. It also had some twists to it that I didn’t see coming. I would recommend this book to anyone who wanted to read a suspenseful book about the life of high schoolers. It was not difficult to understand so anyone could read it.

  • Carl Koch
    2018-12-14 09:11

    I read the book “Stotan!” by Chris Crutcher. I thought that the book was very well written and had a fantastic plot. Four best friends try their hardest to go to state, but learn valuable life lessons along the way. They learn this lesson because as the boys get closer to state, Jeff develops a rare blood disease that keeps him from competing at the state swim meet. The book had an inspirational message that was made clear near the end of the book in a drastic turn of events. The message is to live life to the fullest, because you never know when your time is up. The book flows well because there are not many difficult words and there is never a dull moment.In the story Walker is the narrator. He is one of the best swimmers and has to deal with a troublesome love life throughout the book. Lion is one of Walker’s best friends, he is the strongest in the group, and lives by himself in an “apartment”. Nortie is also one of Walker’s best friends, he is beat by his father, and is picked on because he has a black girlfriend. Jeff is the funny comedian of the group, but comes down with a serious illness which keeps him from going to state.The story takes place mostly at Frost High School, where the main characters go to school. During the book they also travel to Montana for swim meets. It is set in the year 1986.Overall I would give “Stotan!” four and a half out of five stars. The book flowed very well and was easy to read. It kept my interest throughout the whole story and is appropriate for most age groups. Because of these factors I would highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys realistic fiction and likes not knowing what is going to happen next.

  • Louis Knecht
    2018-12-16 08:27

    I thought that the book “Stotan!” was very good. I like how the author had so many things happen to the main character, Walker. I thought that was very interesting. Overall, I think it was a well thought out good book.In the plot a lot of events happened. Walker was a very good swimmer and on the swim team. The swim team had a week in Christmas vacation called Stotan week. In that week the team went through a lot of very hard workouts that pushed them as far as they could go. They survived and went on with their lives. Towards the end of the book one of Walker's best friends Jeff got very sick and most likely will die. The swimming team was very sad but they kept going. They went to the state meet and either won or finished high in their events. I would recommend this book to all high school males because the main characters are all male. It is a great book to read and a touching story.

  • Shannon
    2018-12-19 05:19

    I wasn't quite ready to leave Chris Crutcher's books when I finished Whale Talk. So I picked this one up. It's an earlier book, and it also features a swim team. I didn't like it as well, but then, a book I didn't like as well by Chris Crutcher is usually better than by a lot of other YA authors. This one started out a little slow, and at first I thought it was going to be a bit too simplistic, but it wasn't. I really loved the relationship between the four boys who populate this book, and if I have any quibbles it's that Elaine, their female friend, should have had a bit more screen time. The ending wasn't happyy, and pretty much left the reader with a lot more questions than answers, but that's the way life is and I appreciate that Crutcher is honest about that without coming across as obnoxiously depressing.

  • Susan Katz
    2018-12-09 07:11

    For me, this book defies all the odds. I'm a person who couldn't be less interested in sports, but the bond of being swimming teammates is, for this quartet of young men, engrossing, convincing, and the perfect way to tell this story. I also find it wonderful that a book which touches on such painful topics as physical abuse, suicide, the loss of both parents in an accident, and fatal illness is told in such a humorous, believable, normal-kid voice. In some ways this makes the grief even more unbearable and yet at the same time places it on a manageable, comprehensible human scale. The book is about nothing less than how to live.

  • Patti
    2018-12-04 12:05

    Another excellent book by Chris Crutcher. I think one of the things I like best about his books are the friendships. In this case, it's a small swim team who are also great friends; they know when to ask questions, ask for help, and when to leave each other alone.The swim team isn't big enough to compete in all events, but they qualify for the state finals in individual categories. In addition to this good news, there is also the bad; one of the guys becomes ill, and another is dealing with abuse in his family. But the friendship amongst these young men hold each other up, and make for an exciting state swimming championship!

  • Lindsey
    2018-12-08 05:26

    I have read this book many times in my life. It continues to be a favorite.

  • Rachel Klem
    2018-11-23 04:05

    The main characters in the book "Stotan", by Chris Crutcher, are Walker, Nortie, Lion, and Jeff. Walker is the narrator of the story and Frost High School's top distance swimmer. Walker has an older brother named Long John. He is in his thirties. Long John is lazy and doesn't take care of himself. He gets in trouble for drugs and drinking. Walker is always the one helping Long John out because he broke off the relationship with his parents. Walker's parents are older and don't show much interest in Walker's swimming or life. They let him do anything he wants and mind their own business. Another main character is Nortie, he has a pretty rough life. When he was six, his older brother was thirteen. Their Dad would come home from work and drink. He would abuse and hit Nortie, his older brother and Mom. Nortie's older brother could not take anymore of his Dad's abusive actions and decided to hang himself. Nortie still lives with both of his parents and gets beat up by his Dad for pointless things. Nortie is also a very strong and intense swimmer. He rips through the water to take his anger out on his Dad. Nortie worries the most on the team and gets anxious about certain tasks. Nortie is one of the sprinters of the team and usually swims the 200 medley and 100 yard freestyle. Lion is also a main character. Lion is a low key and stress-free person. He is a great artist and is always sketching something new in his notebook. He is Frost High School's top butterflyer. His parents died in a bad car accident when he was young. Lion lives by himself in a condominium apartment and is on his own in life. He has his own unique Jeep that everyone rides shotgun in. The last main character is Jeff. He is the man of the swim team. Jeff is ripped from head to toe and has unstoppable powers in the water. He is Frost's other top freestyle sprinter. He is part of the Marine Reserves and he knows history behind everything. He is a loving and fun friend to be around. Jeff soon becomes ill during a swim meet in Montana and can not compete in the last swim meet of the year. The main problem of the book "Stotan" by Chris Crutcher is, it's the last high school swim season for Walker, Jeff, Nortie, and Lion. The four friends are the only members of the Frost High School swim team. It is getting close to Christmas break and their coach Max posts a paper on the swim team bullion board. It informs the swimmers about a Stotan Week during the first week of Christmas break. It is a voluntary event, in which would last from 8 A.M to 12 A.M.. Walker, Nortie, Jeff, and Lion all volunteer in this suspicious event. They soon find out a Stotan is a mix between a stoic and spartan, which can dominate anything. They don't know what to expect going into to this training and start to become anxious. The four young men will soon experience the most mentally and physically grueling week of their lives.The main setting in "Stotan" by Chris Crutcher is at Frost High School’s Natatorium and Lion's apartment.The book "Stotan" By Chris Crutcher is a great and easy novel to read. I like that the book is filled with drama and comedy. I also enjoy the twist of secrets that are unknown by the four friends until they leak out during Stotan Week. Throughout the story the narrator explains the concepts of being self-disciplined, hardworking and team oriented; and that these key factors are needed to achieve success."When one of us started to fade, the others were right there helping-pushing and pulling. Nothing was going to keep us from completing Stotan Week in style." and "For the rest of the day we did sets of 200's steamrollers ( one hard, one easy; two hard, one easy; three hard, one easy; up to ten and back), sprints, two trips to the Torture Lane, then wrapped it up with four more laps bear-walk." These quotes explain to the reader how intense swimming is. It also is very hard to go into training without knowing what to expect. You have to learn how to push through the grueling sets with a positive attitude, and realize all your time and hard work will pay off at the end of the season when States come around. How much would you sacrifice for your sport?

  • Taylor M
    2018-11-20 09:23

    I liked this book because you could relate to it so easily. You could relate to their challenges the characters faced even if you don't participate on a swim team. They realized that hard work pays off and it does no matter if it physically or mentally.

  • Joshua Thompson
    2018-11-19 08:08

    A highly enjoyable YA novel with major life themes as well as strong characters. Very well-written and a very quick read.

  • Lily_E1
    2018-12-17 05:06

    This was yet another one of Chris Crutcher's amazing novels about the importants of friendship. I'd reccomend this book to anyone who wants to cry a bit over a book.

  • Roberta Weiner
    2018-12-17 11:08

    Even though cultural references are outdated, this still reads as a strong YA book for older boys, especially athletes. Really serious themes, not for younger kids.

  • Dalton Dettbarn
    2018-12-10 11:29

    This teaches the kids that there are going to be hardships throughout your life.

  • Brian Debano
    2018-12-11 09:05

    “Stotan,” by Chris Crutcher, is a story that is narrated by a senior of Robert Frost High School named Walker. Walker is captain of a dying swim team program because there are only a total number of four swimmers on the team, all of which are seniors and will be graduating. These three other teammates happen to be Walker’s best friends and their names are Nortie, Lion, and Jeff. The four of them are naturally gifted swimmers, some of the best in the state; however, they realize that this will be it for them. This is their last year and they decide that they want to go out with a bang. The plot of the story takes place when the coach of the swim team, a Korean man named Max, invites Walker, Nortie, Lion, and Jeff to participate in an event called a “Stotan Week.” This event takes place during the beginning of Winter Break and it involves the four boys having to completely commit to a grueling workout that will test their bodies and have them go to their absolute limits. Throughout this week, the four boys all stay the night together and they tell stories. These stories end up having the readers dive into the personal lives of the four boys, uncovering dark and hidden secrets that they have been hiding their whole lives. Overall, these stories are powerful, and I plan on leaving it up to the readers to find out how much.I picked up this book from a friend in class because I needed to read a good book that was not lengthy. I had a lot of work to do this past week, so I did not have the time to invest in a larger book. Overall, I really enjoyed the book. I enjoyed reading about all four of the main characters. I enjoyed the concept of “Stotan Week,” and it made me feel like I should actually push myself more in my physical capabilities. I should become more physically active in my life; therefore, I might actually begin to exercise on a regular basis. The coach, Max, was a great and inspiring coach as well. One day, I would love to be a successful high school coach. As for the topic of swimming, I like to swim myself, so I enjoyed that the book had the swimming season be a main factor in the plot of the story. Speaking of the plot itself, I greatly enjoyed that the main plot was more focused on understanding the lives and secrets of the boys themselves. Getting to know the lives of Nortie and Jeff, especially, was extremely interesting to me. If I were to change one thing from this book, I would have focused less on the swimming and put even more focus on the lives of the four boys. The powerful aspects of the story came from having the reader learn more about the characters. Overall, this book was a short read (I read it in one sitting) and I would recommend this book to any middle school or high school student. Like always, it was a good book and I hope others give it a chance.

  • Heather
    2018-12-10 12:15

    Rating AReview I love Chris Crutcher. Let me say it again, I love him. I read another book of his that used the bonds of a swim team (albeit a much different swim team) as the backdrop to the lives of teenagers--relationships with each other, relationships with their families, and relationships with the world at large--and loved it too. The guy's pretty much money in the bank, in my book.You know, going in, that this isn't going to be a book about swimming. Sure, there'll be a ton of swimming going on (and I'm starting to think that swimmers may be some of the hardest working athletes), but the book is never about the swimming. It's about life. And the thing you have to assume when it comes to a Crutcher novel is that life is rarely pretty; those experiences Crutcher had as a child psychologist before becoming an author are impossible to miss.Here's a run-down of the crappy stuff that goes on around these kids, making for a beautiful book:1. Domestic abuse2. Being orphaned at 17 when both parents die in a freak boating accident3. Having an estranged brother who's known as the town drug supplier4. Getting beaten up by "cooler" jocks at school... just because they can5. Being diagnosed with a terminal illness6. Unrequited love (the essence of the teenage years)Sounds like an upper, right? Sure, it's not a shiny, happy book, but you can't put it down because you love these guys. Crutcher is so great in creating characters that you warm to, that you fall in love with, that you're sad to see go away when you finally close the book. And the best part is that rarely does Crutcher end with answers--because that's life.This book is pretty much perfect. The only flaw for me (and hence the lack of the plus after the A) is that I didn't think the female friend of the swim team (a former swimmer herself) was used as well as she could have been. Crutcher alludes to and, at times, comes right out and says that she's really synced up with these guys, an honorary fifth member of the team, if you will, but so much happens that she's not there for, that I just didn't buy it. That should have been edited better because the way she was written (half in, half out) broke up the flow of the bonds that these guys had. That was my only sticking point.

  • VANCE!!!!!!! Porter
    2018-12-04 05:12

    I think the book was good. I like how the characters were scared in the start of the "STOTAN WEEK." It was like they were afraid that they would die during the workout, like they weren't strong enough or something. But I think it was sad that Nortie's dad beat him and his mom. I like that the main character, Walker, is always there for his friends. When Nortie freaks out because he hit that kid, Walker goes and finds him and calms him down and settles the mess.It's the last year of swim team because they are cutting the team off. They want to show the competition who are the better athletes. Their coach, Max, sets up practice for a week called "STOTAN WEEK" that will push them harder than they have ever been pushed before. Stotan week was easier than they thought it would be. After a couple days they got into the rhythm of the workout and sped the workout up. Now they can show that they are worthy "STOTAN". Now they are ready for the competition to come.Nortie is a tough kid whose dad beats himself and his mom. Nortie's brother committed suicide because he couldn't take the beatings anymore. He thought he had no reason to live. The main character, Walker, is an average kid. He has a good family, lots of friends, and is caring about his friends.The setting of the book "STOTAN" is in Washington state. It starts out in the summer and makes its way to the winter. The interesting thing about the book is set in Washington in the summer/winter and the author of the book lives in Seattle, Washington.I would recommend this book to anyone who loves sport. Also anyone who like books about hardwork and likes being shown how hard you can work if you actually push yourself. And how freinds can help you through life. From fifth grade all the to senior.Stotan week was easier than they thought it would have been. After a couple days they got into the rhythm of the workout and sped the workout up. Now they can show that they are worthy "STOTAN". Now they are ready for the competition to come.

  • Theresa
    2018-12-05 07:02

    So I've clearly read this before- I've read all of CC's books by this time in my life- but it's next on the re-read list. I think that if I were discovering him now, there are some (like Chinese Handcuffs) that might scar me a little much with their descriptiveness, but as I've been on a re-reading kick with CC lately, I'm going for my favorites. So in the past few weeks, I've read Chinese Handcuffs, Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes, and Whale Talk again. It's always been comforting for me to re-read old books, and these still feel that way. 2/12/12Even when CC gets a lot of issues, sometimes I feel like he has no respect for women, or any understanding of DV. I mean, he gets some impacts of it, and he can tell gruesome stories about it. But for every abusive dad he tells about, there's a weak woman staying with him, who the main character continually tells us he doesn't respect. And while clearly the character doesn't respect the abuser, there's never enough discussion of why on earth people stay in awful relationships. No mention of why it's so hard to leave, what the consequences would be- safety, financial, anything. It's such a surface-level understanding of what goes on in these relationships, and it leaves me disappointed. The rest of Stotan, though, I really like. It's one of my favorite CC books, mostly for the friendships in it. I need to read Ironman again, I think, just for a recurrence of Lionel.

  • Joe Schalkowski
    2018-11-20 10:21

    I read the book “Stotan” by Chris Crutcher. The book is about four young men; Walker, Nortie, Jeff, and Lion. They are part of the senior class of 1984 through 1985 at Robert Frost High School in Washington state. All four of the young men are on the swim team for the last year it is going to be around. After they graduate the swim program is going to be shut down at Robert Frost High School so the boys are determined to go out with a bang. They cruise through the season smoothly, with only a couple minor set backs, until they get to the meet that qualifies them for State. Then tragedy strikes. Jeff gets diagnosed with a rare blood disease and gets transferred to the hospital immediately. The boys go to State without him but swim for him. Swimming for Jeff gives them new determination. Walker takes first in his event at State, Nortie also takes first, and Lion takes eighth. Walker is a senior who was born to swim and absolutely loves to do it. Nortie is the same way. He is a little “slow” and lives with an abusive father until he moves in with Walker. Lion lives by himself ever since his parents died in a car accident when he was a sophomore. Then there is Jeff. He is the life of the group, and is always cracking jokes and being sarcastic. Although Jeff gets diagnosed with a blood disease, his attitude remains unchanged.The setting takes place in Washington state. It takes place in the years 1984 through 1985. A majority of the story took place at Robert Frost High School, where they did their pool workouts.I would recommend this book to anyone who asks me. It was a very good book and I really liked it. The book had a very important lesson behind it, and I feel I can take a lot out of this book.

  • Jen
    2018-11-18 09:26

    I'm not sure I gave this book an unbiased chance. the reason I read it is that Ben is reading it in English at school and I wanted to read it with him. I had some reservations going in from other reviews I read on good reads. In the end, I wish they weren't reading this book at has a very disturbing domestic abuse scene that really bothered me, the language is bad, and there are a number of sexual references I could have lived without. I never would have read this book on my own and then suggested it to Ben. I know if I talked to the English teacher about it, he'd tell me that's how teenage boys talk; he hears worse than that on the bus, etc. He'd think I'm naive about my son. Call me naive, but I'd think he's wrong. I honestly don't think ben's friends talk about sexual favors from their friends' moms and sisters, etc.. I'm not saying that's not coming, but at this age and the friends he has, I don't think so. and not even the teacher would argue that he hears language like that in the hall (they DO NOT allow that at their school. At all.)If I just read the book on my own, and maybe discussed it with some people, I'm sure I would have appreciated the messages of the book more, and probably liked it more. It does deal with some heavy issues, but there are some good lessons learned, and the ending is pretty good. I'm having a bit of an adjustment that someone thinks my son is old enough to read this, not get bogged down in the seriously yukky stuff, and learn from it. I can't say that it's an uplifting book and that's what I prefer he read, but hopefully he gains some good things from it.

  • Brian
    2018-11-21 10:10

    In writing this review I am trying to keep in mind that I am not its intended audience. If I were a teenage boy I would have loved this book. As an adult man I think it is okay, if a little boring.“Stotan!” is a very dated text, especially when it comes to some minor subplots, particularly one concerning a student teacher dating a student (this could happen in 1985, when book was published) but is unfathomable, and illegal now. There is also a plotline that involves students and the Aryan Nation which seems like no big deal nowadays as that “threat” has long since diminished.However, the text has many pluses, among them the fact that it’s male teenage characters (who are athletic and “manly”) show their emotions, which is a good thing for teenage boys, the intended audience, to see demonstrated. The story revolves around four friends who are swimmers on the high school team, who face some challenges of life together. There are many nice lessons and ideas presented in this novel. As an adult you see how weakly plotted it is, but a teenage reader would quickly be caught up and learn some nice insights about living and human nature while reading it. Pages 128 and 188 have some wonderful passages that any reader regardless of age would benefit from and to see a young adult novel that does not pander to its audience is refreshing.All in all “Stotan!” has a nice ending and an observant young reader will take some valuable lessons from it. That is more than can be said for many of the options out there.

  • 124noah
    2018-11-24 06:07

    This is a great book about facing challenges physically and mentally. In the fist part of this book the four swimmers that make up Frost's swim team, Walker, Lion, Norton, and Jeff, sign up for Stotan Week. All these friends have been swimming together since back when they were little kids during the summer league. Walke ris the main character in this book and is trying to settle some scores this swimming season since he was a late developer. Lion is a black swimmer who has a strong passion for art and is very good at it. Jeff used to be in the military and is back to try to use want he learned in the water. Nortie (Norton) is the best in the group and is trying to be an elementary school teacher but an incedent could mess that all up. This is a week that their coach, Max, will push them to the limit with tough challenges in and out of the water and could help them improve their case for the State Meet. This week could make or break these four friends relationships by the time it's over. It will show a great strength of their mental and physical ability's. This is a week when secrets will be shared and revealed.this is a week that will change the rest of their lives. But shortly after this week one of these friends will face a life threatning illness. Will he die? Will the rest of the gang have a worthy State performance for him? What will happen? You'll have to read to find out.

  • Brandi
    2018-11-23 06:15

    I found this book in high school (so YEARS ago) and it became one of my favorite reads. In fact, a few years later, I ended up hunting down the book (couldn't find it in any of the local bookstores and one finally just had to order it for me) because I missed it.It's the story of four guys-four friends, all on their high school swim team. Their coach tells them that he has a program for them to participate in over christmas break, if they want. A secret program that they won't find out about until they get there. The guys, all sure in their abilities, show up and soon learn what it means to become a STOTAN-a cross between a stoic and a spartan. Which basically means that their coach puts them through a world of hurt-hours of reps, laps, cross training-all designed to break down their mental barriers, the part of their brain that says I can't do this.The book uses that experience and what was learned and then shows us how that shows up in the real world for them-how they then deal with girlfriends, abuse, major health scares, and generally just trying to figure out who they are and what they want to do with their life. It's an entertaining and emotional read and I highly recommend.

  • Evan Teters
    2018-12-01 06:59

    Being a swimmer in high school myself, the tale of the challenges four senior swimmers face during their last swim season was very enjoyable. As Walker, Nortie, Jeff, and Lion prepare for the final swim season of their high school career with a very challenging "Stotan week", they are unaware of the challenges ahead they could never be prepared for. The novel goes much deeper than 4 friends in high school, and that is a good thing. The story of these swimmers is well told and kept me wondering what would happen next. The characters were very alive and unique in their own ways, and everyone had a story. The only downside would be that the author seemed to try to touch on too many issues within the plot of the book. Max, the swimmer's coach, never seemed to get much closure on his own personal story, and the situation of racism and hate in the town never felt quite resolved. Despite leaving a few unresolved conflicts, the author does a good job of presenting an enjoyable and meaningful story.

  • Patrick
    2018-12-05 04:10

    Stotan! is a rich mix of controversial topics. The writing is consistently solid throughout the text. As usual, Mr. Crutcher hides none of the ugliness of life by placing it front and center in the story. Domestic and Child Abuse are central to the plot. The story line also takes on neo-Nazi's as a adjunct to the main thrust of the plot. The flaws of the main character increase the attraction of the young man. The girl trouble that spins around the life of Walker adds an intriguing angle to the story. There is nothing resembling a resolution to the situation, giving the story an unresolved recurring theme.You do not have to know anything about swimming to enjoy the story. The novel is set in 1984-85, so the surroundings have changed--a payphone is a prominent prop in the text--but the themes surrouding HS students have not.p.10 He's got a seatbelt on his toilet.p.70 Sometimes you have to wonder who are the kids and who are the adults.p.126 My vision of Hell is swimming butterfly down a one-lane pool toward Eternity.

  • Darcy
    2018-12-04 04:06

    What seems to be a lark of their swim coach, giving up the mornings of 1 week's vacation ends up teaching these boys one of the most important lessons of their lives.During their week of Stotan these 4 boys become closer than they were, which is saying something. By secluding themselves amidst the physical challenge the boys ended up sharing things about their lives they never have before. Both of these things helped the boys decide what is important and what is not.As things turn to crap with them, they realize they can depend on each other even when they may not be physically there. What made this story more interesting was the adults. Some of them really went to bat for these kids, others...well they just need to go away.The boys' action at the end was the right thing to do for themselves and for the one that wasn't there! I was glad to see that the others supported them.

  • Samantha Tai
    2018-12-15 04:23

    Each book I read by Chris Crutcher is just better than the last! I couldn't put Stotan! down. In fact, I couldn't leave the beach until I finished it last Tuesday. It's the last swimming season for Walker, Nortie, Lion and Jeff and their swimming coach has asked them to participate in a voluntary weeklong program of four-hour-a-day continual training that will test their self-discipline and swimming skills during their holiday break. This week also becomes a week of bonding between the four friends, learning secrets that they never knew about each other. While it's a difficult week, they come away from it stronger individuals. They don't know it, but their new strengths for endurance will I'd recommend this book to high school students reluctant readers and anyone who likes to read about sports. Chris Crutcher touches on some difficult topics, but the book is very realistic and like his other books, you can't help but root for these four friends.

  • Hannah Rae
    2018-12-15 12:16

    I can't remember which novel I read first--Stotan! or Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes--but it was one of the two that got me hooked on Chris Crutcher. I picked them up because they had swimmers on the front and then I proceeded to read them back-to-back.I loved both Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes and Stotan!, but the comraderie among Walker, Nortie, Jeff, and Lion in that latter title is the reason that I probably prefer Stotan! I also really appreciate the character of Max. A bit edgy, yes, but he's a great role model for the boys. He knows how to listen and observe, and he doles out advice when the timing is right.The only reason that I'm awarding this book four stars instead of five is because I do feel that the characterization of Jeff is a bit lacking... and some of Crutcher's humor is dated. The message is strong, though, and kids today are still able to connect to the story.

  • Danielle
    2018-12-11 07:05

    I put this book off for a long time because I didn't know whether I wanted to take on another book with descriptions of intense physical endurance. (This is my fifth Chris Crutcher novel.) But once again, I appreciated the voice and personality of the narrator and the friendship among the four boys. There's enough humor to keep me going through the gut-wrenching horribleness that these kids live through. Perhaps the story is palatable because the narrator is the most together of all the kids, and he supports his friends when they need it. Crutcher leaves too much open and unfinished here, but it's a satisfying story nonetheless."I think I expected something more out of my senior year, or at least something really different. I wanted to come out of it with more answers than questions; but for answers I got zip. For questions I have legions" (181). 40/60 tbr box.