| Quote #1
As the stupefied high-schoolers were leaving the scene, they looked back. They saw the kid, cool times ten, stretch out on the forbidden steps and open his book to read. (5.19)
Okay, (1) this is awesome. But (2), is Maniac really being brave here? Or does he just have no idea that he should be scared of Finsterwald's? Does it make a difference to his legend?
| Quote #2
Strike three took dead aim at the kid's knees, and here was the kid, swooping back and at the same time swatting at the ball like a golfer teeing off. It was the craziest baseball swing you ever saw, but there was the ball smoking out to center field. (7.26)
Ok, at this point even Maniac's got to know he should be scared. A giant kid just sent a fastball straight at his head, for Pete's sake. So now, we're willing to give it to Maniac, who's staying in the batter's box against this pitch and this pitcher: courageous after all.
| Quote #3
More than anything, Maniac wanted to hug Amanda and tell her it was okay. He wanted to go inside, be with his family, in his house, his room, behind his window. But that wasn't the right thing. The right thing was to make sure the Beales didn't get hurt anymore. He couldn't keep letting them pay such a price for him. (21.8)
Is Maniac being courageous or cowardly here? Let's look at the facts. Striking out on his own to protect those he cares about the most? Brave. Letting others' prejudice dictate how he treats his own family? Hm. That looks a little like cowardice to us.