During the trip with EBU with Mac, Marcus, and Charlie, many incidents happen. Mac and Marcus constantly try to make Charlie feel safe by talking about his old college days as they get further away from the things that he is used to see and go to. This leads to a major discomfort to Charlie and he eventually runs away when they stop at a truck shop to eat (186). Fortunately, Mac and Marcus find him hitchhiking in the middle of the street and safely bring him to EBU. While the Popovich family is going crazy to find Charlie before the biggest game of the season, Chelsea happens to spot him during a live EBU Sports Hall of Fame induction (199). Miraculously, Charlie acted professional to the point where nobody would make the slightest assumption that he might have any kind of problems. After the police arrive and take Marcus, officer Deluca suddenly tells Marcus that they’re going to the football game instead of the police station. The match has safely ended with the Raiders claiming victory. After the police and Mr.Kenneth (owner of car / store), the conflict between them and Marcus was resolved and Marcus was finally proven innocent. The final game of the Raiders was now in play, Raiders easily leading by 2 touchdowns as Marcus as the new starting QB after Troy quit football. During one of the plays, Marcus spotted Charlie, tightrope walking on the ledge of the stadium. Then Marcus realized that Mac said something similar to this had happened when Charlie was in his college days. Marcus immediately realized that Charlie was reliving the moment and threw away the game to chase after Charlie. The next day, the Popovich family held Charlie’s funeral at their home. Troy and Alyssa (Troy’s ex) got back together and the relationship between Troy and Marcus was at last, ok.
One could think that the ending of Pop was ironic. Just as all conflicts were being resolved and everything was getting better, Charlie Popovich died. He was the most optimistic character in the book and his life ended in a football stadium, which was also where his life began.
The only way to put down this book was to finish it. This is the first book I’ve read written by Gordan Korman but I am certainly happy that i decided to try it. It was absolutely superb. Korman is a complete master when it comes to puns. He also added a tiny bit of romance into the story, just enough to not irritate guys reading it for sports and just enough to get types of readers who may not be that into sports. I think the book was an absolute masterpiece regardless of where you are seeing the book from. Be it: suspense, comedy, puns, imagery; it was all perfect. I highly recommend this book for any readers with or without a preferred genre because no matter what kind of a reader you are, I think that you will like Pop.
During another practice session with Charlie, Marcus’ shoulder gets seriously injured and Charlie left him hanging after promising to come back(83-85). Ever since the incident, Marcus decides he has had enough with Charlie and that he does not want anything to do with Charlie anymore.Nonethelss, Marcus goes to find Charlie at Three Alarm Park after he overhears from Chelsea (Troy’s sister) that Charlie has gone missing. When Marcus starts to think Charlie is acting a bit too weird, he started asking some questions only to find out that Charlie thinks he is the same age as Marcus, while also knowing that he has 2 children. After a couple more questions, Marcus is certain that Charlie has some kind of memory issues which he eventually concludes that it has to be Alzheimer’s, the secret that the Popovich has been so desperate to hide. Soon, Marcus finds out that Charlie called him “Mac” because there actually was a person named Mac that used to play football with Charlie in Three Alarm Park. After getting in contact with Mac, he tells Marcus that Charlie has been inducted to the East Bonaventure University Sports Hall of Fame. Marcus notify’s the Popovich family of this great honor but they decide that Charlie is not fit to go to such a ceremony in his condition. However, Marcus disagrees and plans to take Charlie to the Hall of Fame induction.
Up to this point, friendship has been a major theme. The friendship between Marcus and Charlie is at a whole other level which makes Marcus always concerned about Charlie and care for him. Their friendship has become so deep throughout the book that Marcus is basically willing to risk everything for Charlie. He took all the blame in the police station even when he knew that Charlie was the one who was a major part of all the pranks that they pulled and also that he is the one that who broke the car window. Near the end, Marcus even ignores the family decision of not taking Charlie to the induction ceremony and decides to take Charlie himself. Gordon Korman shows how important and how life changing deep friendships could be.
I have yet to get this book off my hands. At almost every part of the book, there are hook sentences that just urges me to read on to find out more and keeps me excited. The countless number of twists and surprises has amazed me. Also being a sports fan, I love reading some of the football games that Korman has included which also keeps the sports side of me happy while the overall suspense keeps me thrilled.
The book Pop starts off with a highschool boy practicing football all by himself under the blazing sun. The story is told in a first person point of view of Marcus Jordan who recently moved into town due to his mother’s job. When he was practicing football all by himself at Three Alarm Park as usual, a seemingly elder man, calling himself Charlie, came out of nowhere to catch one of his throws (3). Marcus enjoys that he found a person he could finally practice with but he was shocked to find out a man looking about mid 50s could tackle with such power but also be so irresponsible as breaking a window and fleeing the site with his top speed like an oridinary kid (8-9). After passing the tryouts for the David Nathan Aldrich Raiders which had a perfect 11-0 season just last year, Marcus was hated by the whole team because they thought he would ruin their chemistry and also because he and the captain’s ex-girlfriend were going out. Later on, Marcus is amazed to find out that Charlie was actually the dad of Troy (captain of football team), but also a retired NFL linebacker (61). After finding out about Charlie’s identity, Marcus’ relationship with Troy worsen daily while the rest of the team slowly start to accept Marcus.
The characterization of Charlie Popovich seems to be pretty strange. There are many situations where an adult is somtimes as playful as a teenager but Charlie’s personnality seems to be going overboard often. He’s very immature almost at all times, and continues to call Marcus “Mac” even after he told Charlie that Mac was not his name. Furthermore, Charlie seems to be very irresponsible for a 50 year old, breaking a car window and running away, leaving Marcus to deal with the payments. Also, he planned a revenge prank on Kenneth Oliver (owner of car), somthing that adults normally would not do. He continuesly forgets promises and acts as if they never made any.
The way Korman described Charlie got me hooked to the book from the very introduction of Charlie. He seemed like a complete football crazy higherschooler but is actually an immature old man. His countless interactions with Marcus seems to change a bit by bit which got me excited even more. However, some things such as him leaving stores without paying and the cashiers not caring at all kind of amuses me. Regardless of being a formal NFL player, I don’t think store owners would just let him take whatever he wants and leave without payment.