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Rachel-K
Posts: 1,495
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Benji n' Reggie

How do these brother's live together and define each other? How, in these first chapters, are they starting to grow apart?

 

Are there any ways they stay truly distant from each other?

 

Can you tell ways in which each of the boys is trying to reinvent himself at the start of another Sag Harbor summer?

 

Do you have the experience of ever trying to change your name or nickname with family and friends?

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kren250
Posts: 76
Registered: ‎01-01-2009
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Re: Benji n' Reggie

Benji and Reggie are very close when they are younger; basically inseparable. As they get older, they start to grow apart as they have different interests. Also, I think they're both afrid that one will drag the other down in the prep school, so they just avoid each other.

 

 

Yes, there are ways they stay distant from each other. Reggie no longer likes being "protected' by Benji, and becomes much more independent and secretive. Benji sometimes doesn't like Reggie tagging along, if it's something he deems Reggie is too young for.

 

Both boys seem to be reinventing themselves to be more "cool" than they may be in real life.

 

Nope, I've never had the need to change my name or nickname....not much you can do to the name "Kelly" to begin with;-).

 

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biljounc63
Posts: 189
Registered: ‎11-02-2008
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Re: Benji n' Reggie

Though Benji is the older (by several months) one I noticed right away that Reggie was the first to  break tradtion of using bike to explore the harbor upon arrival and to get a job. Benji so far has not gotten a job though he talks about getting one. It also raised the issue of perhaps having to try and borrow money from Reggie to buy some frozen dinners after the store credit was used up. It seems to me that Reggie may be the more mature one. He also chose to go to a different high school so as to no be the little brother showing his desire to have independance.  
Reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body.
~ Joseph Addison ~

"Reading lets you visit the world of another"
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dhaupt
Posts: 11,865
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Benji n' Reggie

Well the brothers have to put an end to some pretty serious "twin-ness" before they can be counted as separate beings. Besides being so close in age up until now they went to the same school, were a united front against an older sister and were known as Benji 'n' Reggie.

Benji now wants to be known as Ben, I think to get away from the twin-ness while as another reader states Reggie wants to explore on foot instead of the tradition of using bikes.

I think I'll check back later after I'm further in the book to finish the questions. 

Inspired Bibliophile
Vermontcozy
Posts: 5,279
Registered: ‎10-20-2008
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Re: Benji n' Reggie

Reggie is definately more independent,and it seems pretty ok with himself...Benji still needs peer approval,he lives 85/15 in both worlds...when will the percentages change?...Their Parents probably know most of what is going on with them,as one reader stated,close knit community..Life is always a balancing act........
Kindness,I've discovered,is everything in life...Issac Bashevis Singer
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DSaff
Posts: 2,048
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Benji n' Reggie

Benji and Reggie started out acting like twins. They were inseparable and seemed to like it that way. But, age has a way of catching up with us and this summer seems to change the boys. Benji now wants to be called Ben and wants "private" time away from his brother. Reggie too seems to be pulling away, not wanting the older brother shadow over him anymore. The first change I saw in him was his sneakers and keeping them white. Ben's sneakers were anything but that. It is interesting watching the change.

 

DonnaS =) " Reading is a means of thinking with another person's mind; it forces you to stretch your own." Charles Scribner
"A book is like a garden carried in the pocket." Chinese Proverb
My blog: http://bookworm56.blogspot.com
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booksJT
Posts: 108
Registered: ‎11-24-2008
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Re: Benji n' Reggie

In the first few chapters the brothers are thick as thieves. But as they get older Benji no longer wants to use the name Benji he wants to use the name Ben. Benji wants his own friends and no longer wants to be with Reggie. I don't think they stay apart because they are brothers. They are just not interested in the sames things now.

 

They meet new friends and start playing  different games. The boys have a age cut off for the younger siblings. Benji know longer wants to be considered Reggie's twin. He wants to  be known as an individual. Benji wants to play the big brother role. 

 

Benji and his friends have a secret handshake and a different way of talking to each other. They are more interested in exploring their options with girls. Benji is dressing different then his brother and wearing his hair different. 

 

I have never tried to change my name.

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emmagrace
Posts: 162
Registered: ‎12-04-2008
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Re: Benji n' Reggie

In the beginning the boys were inseperable. Benji was 10 months older than Reggie, but Benji referred to them as Siamese twins. They started going to different schools, Benji hit puberty and they started becoming interested in different thing. They had different friends and Benji started going to school parties without Reggie. They used to dress alike in their polo shirts and now they choose different T-shirts, like at the game. On their way to Sag harbor they were sitting "butt to butt" in their parents car.

 

At the start of summer in Sag, Reggie wants to walk around town instead of ride his bike as they did every year. Benji wanted to change his name to Ben because it sounded more grown up than Ben. Reggie wanted to get a job and Benji wanted to hang out with his friends instead.

 

I have never had to try to change my name with family/friends.

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vivico1
Posts: 3,456
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Benji n' Reggie

When siblings are as close as twins, or are twins, and little, they are each other's very best friend and rely on each other for about everything. But these boys are becoming teenagers and part of defining yourself in your teens, is defining yourself away from who you are with your siblings. Also you may start to develop individual likes and dislikes. I think most of all, when you become teenagers, and I would think especially for the boys, you start to feel things that you just don't need or want to share with your brother or anyone else, i.e. the hormones kick in. Benji wanting to be Ben is him wanting to feel and be taken as an older boy now. After all, you can't spend the time with the girls now that you want, to "explore" these new feelings if your still tied at the hip to your brother! You need to seperate to find who you are now with others, especially of the opposite sex. There is only so much handslapping and wrestling around the boys can do before it becomes awkward for even them lol and their developing feelings for exploring their budding sexuality.

 

 

As for nicknames. I had one that I was called by my family, but by the time I was 15, the term meant something totally different for my age group and something hysterically funny to them and embarrassing to me, so I told my whole family I would not answer to it anymore and they had to use my real name. I even told my parents why and told them if you call me that nickname again and I don't do what you are asking, you can beat me crazy but I will not answer to it anymore, you have to stop for my sake. It took some time but now no one knows my nickname growing up, not even my best friend, even at this age and I am getting up there lol.

Vivian
~Those who do not read are no better off than those who can not.~ Chinese proverb
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CathyB
Posts: 271
Registered: ‎12-30-2006
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Re: Benji n' Reggie

 

As young children, they were each other's best friend and essentially inseparable. They dressed alike and had similar interests. They have started to grow apart during this time. Ben falls into the typical older brother role - he is protective of his younger brother. As time goes on, they develop different interests and a desire to be seen as individuals. ONe works, one does not. One cares about his appearance, one does not.

 

Their true feelings and thoughts are kept from one another.

 

 

Reggie does not want to fall into the usual patterns of the summer - he chooses not to ride his bike and walk instead. The job gives him some responsibility and adds to his maturity; however, I o not know if these are new to his life.

 

Ben says he wants to reinvent himself; however, I don't see any efforts on his part - maybe I missed it.

 

I have never tried to change my name or any nickname that was attached to me.

Reader 2
c1937r
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎02-01-2009
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Re: Benji n' Reggie

I am not finished with the book yet, but I had a very similar "brother" situation with my sons.  They looked alike and were close in age, but they developed in different ways and it was necessary to them that they seek separate identities as teenagers.  That is the time period I saw them "invent" themselves as individuals.  Benji and Reggie are changing in the same way.  Reggie, though younger, seems more responsible and less dependent on peers.  He wants his shoes clean in contrast to his brother who doesn't seem to worry about such things. Benji wants to be called Ben, thus separating him from his "twin" status with Reggie.  Maybe I will see more examples as I read on. 
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Rachel-K
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Re: Benji n' Reggie

I'm really interested to hear so many haven't had the struggle with names and nicknames with family and friends! It seems something only a few go through. Must depend on the ways a particular name can be shortened? Perhaps it's mostly boys with --ie or --y names, (Benji, Reggie).
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GSB65
Posts: 40
Registered: ‎12-06-2008
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Re: Benji n' Reggie

In their life up to this point the two were inseperable.  There wasn't one without the other.  You can see them growing apart in the first chapters by them going to different schools, wearing different clothes, Reggie wanting to walk around Sag instead of riding his bike.  Though Benji is older, you kind of get the impression that Reggie is more mature.  He seems to be the one that is moving on and changing, ex. the new shoes, not riding his bike, getting a job first.  He seems much more sure of himself than Benji does.

 

I think Benji is really trying to reinvent himself.  He wants to go by Ben instead of Benji in order to separate himself from his brother.  He thinks back to the things that he has done to embarrass himself at school and tries not to do those things.  He really tries to fit in with his friends at Sag Harbor even if that isn't really who he is.

 

I've always had nicknames and I've never felt a need to change them.

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enumer
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎01-28-2009
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Re: Benji n' Reggie

Benji & Reggie figured out that they were actually different people, & explored their differences while still being very close. It's a natural progression that happens with all siblings.  They didn't try to not care - they just wanted to be accepted as individuals.

Reminds me of my own family, again.

I did try to change my name, but family & friends couldn't remember, & I finally gave up. 

Inspired Contributor
deaver
Posts: 35
Registered: ‎02-04-2009
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Re: Benji n' Reggie

I agree in part that Reggi appears more mature in some areas but not in all areas.  I mean, to elaborate would be to bring up details later in the book.  But I can say that Ben is the unique one of the pair, not guided as much by current trend.  He's protective over his brother, and seems to be more interested in his school work where as there is some little hints to Reggi falling short in this area and also avoiding negative situations (perhaps why he works so much)?

 

I think the way that they stay distant from each other is in the understanding that they are no longer 'twins'.  They are brothers.  And, subsequently, this understanding between them  changes their action and behavior toward each other and how they relate toward the world.

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bookloverjb85
Posts: 168
Registered: ‎10-12-2007
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Re: Benji n' Reggie

Reggie andBenji's separation started in the city and became more apparent when they went to Sag Harbor.  First with Reggie's shoes and then him not wanting to ride his bike.  I agree that it seems that Reggie is more mature, even though he is the younger sibling.  Benji seems to still want to do some "twin" things together, like riding the bikes and taking the same route to town.

 

When Benji said that he wanted to change his name to Ben I got the feeling that he might have been doing it as a sort of payback for when Reggie  didn't want to ride.  Especially since Benji mentioned that it would throw Reggie of gaurd since he didn't tell him ahead of time.  It seems like the type of thing that they would normally discuss.

--Jen--

"A house without books is like a room without windows."--Horace Mann
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thewanderingjew
Posts: 2,247
Registered: ‎12-18-2007
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Re: Benji n' Reggie

I actually have a real twin brother. Growing up, he was the kid who got sand kicked in his face at the beach, the skinny kid that ads for muscle building tried to attract. Of course he had the gorgeous eye lashes and the beautiful wavy hair. My claim to fame was that I was bigger so I protected him. I never wanted to be separated from him. We were in classes together. Each of us blazed trails for the other, making it easier for us to adjust to all new situations. Even as teenagers we were very close. As we got older, he got stronger and he watched over me as I used to watch over him.
I realized reading the book, that although Reggie and Benji were not twins, they were so close in age they might just as well have been, but they felt constrained by always being identified with the other. Benji, especially, wanted to become his own person. I wonder if it is because they were the same sex. Would it have been that way if one was a boy and one was a girl like my brother and I?
Benji wants to become his own person but it seems like you have to light a fire under him before he actually attempts to take responsibility. Reggie seems to be more mature. He already has a job while Benji is still scrounging for food and has no money because it has run out. He is just beginning to realize that he has to work sooner or later. Benji is enthralled with the idea of his summer vacation. He seems more fanciful. Are his parents trying to make both brothers more responsible by having them deal with the realities of providing for themselves? Is that why they come out infrequently?
twj

rkubie wrote:

 

Can you tell ways in which each of the boys is trying to reinvent himself at the start of another Sag Harbor summer?



 

Reader
epicrat
Posts: 4
Registered: ‎01-31-2009
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Re: Benji n' Reggie

When I read about Benji & Reggie, I thought about my brothers who are also 1 year apart and had the misfortunte of being dressed alike and mistaken for being twins frequently when they were younger. Now they have grown up and have each their distinctive personalities and looks. I wonder if they experienced the same things like Benji and Reggie did.

 

I am curious to see why Benji needs to re-invent himself - what exactly happened in high school? I think it's fair that he wants to change his name to Ben to be more "adult", but he must realize that it will be quite difficult to do so among family.

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ponkle
Posts: 81
Registered: ‎01-30-2009
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Re: Benji n' Reggie

I think they are going thru a normal evolution of coming into their own personalities. I have noticed with my brothers and especialy with twins or brothers who are very close in age as they reach a certain age they seem to want their own friends and independence.  They don't like the "oh, You're Reggie's brother" etc and they don't want the expectations of what comes with that.

 

I did notice when one of my daughters was a teenage her name changed depending on the group of friends she was with, as she changed friend groups she changed Name. Luckily she has a name that can have many nicknames.

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canterbear
Posts: 73
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Benji n' Reggie

It is interesting to see how these 2 brothers grow from being as almost one to maturing into separate brothers.

I think they first liked the comfort of being so bonded, but maturity changes that..both physically and emotional.

 

I have a friend that has been very close to me for 30 years and for 17 of those years we were glued to each other. She still wants to be..but I dont.

I get upset when people call me by her name and I want to go places where no one knows us.

 Its not an easy shift at any age.