Table of Contents | Message Board | Downloadable/Printable Version
KEY LITERARY ELEMENTS
This story has many locations. In real time, as it is being told, the location is a hospital in Rutterburg, Vermont. However, much of the plot takes place in the past, predominantly in Monument, Massachusetts. The year is unspecified although it appears to be contemporaneous with the publishing of the book (circa 1977).
(character lists may give away information about the plot if you have not yet finished reading the book)
The main character, protagonist, and narrator of the novel. His real name is Paul Delmonte. Adam is between fourteen and seventeen throughout the bulk of the novel. He is on a bike ride to find his father. However, he is deluded and much of what he says is untrue.
David Farmer is Adamís father. His real name is Anthony Delmonte. He was placed in the Witness Protection Program when he uncovered information about scandal with in the government and the mafia when he worked as an investigative reporter.
Louise Holden Farmer
Louise Holden Farmer is Adamís mother. Her real name is Louise Nolan Delmonte. She is often paranoid and withdrawn.
David Farmerís real name.
Adam Farmerís real name
Louise Nolan Delmonte
Adamís motherís real name.
Amy is Adamís girlfriend. She is the same age as Adam. She is wild and daring. Although she seems to be mocking the world, Adam feels safe with her and even tells her of his dream of being a famous author. She is short, red headed and freckled. She lives with her parents, and seems to be an only child. Her mother is very busy and seems disinterested in her life. Her father is the editor of the local paper.
Amy is an Eve (from Genesis) character--but not in the sense that female characters are typically Eve. She represents a sexual being for Adam, yet she would not be identified as promiscuous. She consistently tries to corrupt Adam (though it is purely innocent). Her Numbers challenge authority. Adam would not participate in such pranks if it were not for the urging of Amy.
Arthur is the man that calls Adam honey and tells him where he can find his stolen bike; he is fat and always sweats. It turns out he is just another person at the hospital, who watches everyone as they pass.
The man that interviews Adam on tape throughout the novel. He is an elusive figure, described as T. He appears to be a doctor, but he is working for the government. He is trying to get information about Adamís father from Adam.
The kindly doctor at the hospital who calms Adam. Cormier does not explicitly state the doctorís role in the hospitalization of Adam, but he must have some part in the government investigation because he administers the medicine and he knows Adamís real name is Paul.
The maintenance man at the hospital who is always reading travel magazines. He has red veins in his face.
Louiseís older sister. She is a cloister nun in Portland, Maine. Louise is allowed to stay in contact with her because she is so remote and never lived in Blount.
The old man at the gas station
The old man is Mr. Harvester in Adamís delusion. He gives him a map and tries to help him find where he is going.
Whipper, Dobbie and Lewis
They are the wise guys. In Adamís trip they hunt him down and send him into a ditch with their car. They torment him in the hospital.
A menace that steals Adamís bike on his journey and in the hospital.