Ten Thousand Saints

Ten Thousand Saints

Book - 2011
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The extraordinary national bestseller--now a film starring Ethan Hawke, Hailee Steinfeld, and Emile Hirsch.

Adopted by a pair of diehard hippies, restless, marginal Jude Keffy-Horn spends much of his youth getting high with his best friend, Teddy, in their bucolic and deeply numbing Vermont town. But when Teddy dies of an overdose on the last day of 1987, Jude's relationship with drugs and with his parents devolves to new extremes. Sent to live with his pot-dealing father in New York City's East Village, Jude stumbles upon straight edge, an underground youth culture powered by the paradoxical aggression of hardcore punk and a righteous intolerance for drugs, meat, and sex. With Teddy's half brother, Johnny, and their new friend, Eliza, Jude tries to honor Teddy's memory through his militantly clean lifestyle. But his addiction to straight edge has its own dangerous consequences. While these teenagers battle to discover themselves, their parents struggle with this new generation's radical reinterpretation of sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll and their grown-up awareness of nature and nurture, brotherhood and loss.

Moving back and forth between Vermont and New York City, Ten Thousand Saints is an emphatically observed story of a frayed tangle of family members brought painfully together by a death, then carried along in anticipation of a new and unexpected life. With empathy and masterful skill, Eleanor Henderson has conjured a rich portrait of the modern age and the struggles that unite and divide generations.

Publisher: New York : HarperCollins Publishers, c2011
Copyright Date: ©2011
ISBN: 9780062428691
Branch Call Number: FIC Hende
Characteristics: 390 pages

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Valeriebroomfield
Oct 15, 2015

Not what I was expecting at all!
Didn't bother reading!

patienceandfortitude May 14, 2012

An enjoyable read about what happens when immature druggies have children, and how the children grow up in an unstable environment. This is not Leave It to Beaver land. But the characters are sympathetic and the story has a very hopeful side.

k
kelmorr
Jan 27, 2012

Agree with both 'halgeon" & primagigi....surprised it made the NYT list ..I am halfway through and am still waiting for something to make the time spent slogging through this, worthwhile . Will stick it out until the end .

h
halgeon
Dec 20, 2011

I'd rate this one fair. I wasn't as grabbed by the story or the characters as I have been by other novels I've read of late, even though I was about the same age as the characters in the year the novel was set. Still, it ended on an interesting note and was worth reading.

PrimaGigi Dec 06, 2011

When I read the summary and found Straight-Edge written. My hopes plummeted into my bowels. I like the SXE movement about as much as I like PETA, which is zil to none; I find any movement that has such militant mind-sets and no room for expansion of human growth to be cults. Which essentially SXE is. The character of Johnny did little to dispel my belief about the people that follow this movement.

Set in Vermont/New York in the late 80's, during the birth of AID's epidemic and nearing the death of the punk scene. Jude, Johnny and Eliza come together after the death of Teddy (Brother/Friend/father) Each character equally lost, trying to find themselves in different life-altering situations. I like the details about New York and the Village. I just had a hard time remembering the smaller characters whom affected the central characters. The story jumps around too much and you are left trying to remember how this person affects the story. Point-blank... it's a dull read and the only sole-character I liked was Jude who had any redeeming qualities.

debwalker May 28, 2011

Big NYT Book Review by STACEY D'ERASMO
June 16, 2011
"The ambition of “Ten Thousand Saints,” Eleanor Henderson’s debut novel about a group of unambitious lost souls, is beautiful. In nearly 400 pages, Henderson does not hold back once: she writes the hell out of every moment, every scene, every perspective, every fleeting impression, every impulse and desire and bit of emotional detritus. She is never ironic or underwhelmed; her preferred mode is fierce, devoted and elegiac."

Shelf Talker: Evoking the East Village scene in the 1980s, this debut novel captures the coming-of-age experience. Following the death of a teenage boy, three mourners try to make their way in the world, with precious little help from the adults in their lives.

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