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Ten Thousand Saints by Eleanor Henderson
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Ten Thousand Saints

by Eleanor Henderson

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5112828,300 (3.63)19
  1. 00
    A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan (melmore)
    melmore: Both novels are concerned with the punk scene in the 1980s, both feature lost and wounded protagonists, both trace relationships across decades.
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» See also 19 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 28 (next | show all)
A very interesting look at teens in the 80's - drugs, the punk/straight-edge movement ( I was very aware of the punk scene, but somehow knew nothing about the straight-edge stuff) the AIDS crisis, NYC before the clean-up, and the remainders of the hippie culture in Vermont. A bit long and draggy in parts, especially for a book that falls into the YA realm. I did not really like any of the characters, which meant I didn't really care too much about what happened to them. ( )
  Rdra1962 | Aug 1, 2018 |
I really enjoyed this book. The characters were very well developed, the story idea was original and extremely well written. I reserve 5 stars for books that blow my socks off and that I predict will stand the test of time and if it were possible I would give this one 4.5 stars. It was excellent and I highly recommend it. ( )
  Maureen_McCombs | Aug 19, 2016 |
Amazing novel- so much more than I expected even after reading so many good reviews. The first chapter is the best depiction of the inner and outer lives of teenagers that I have ever read. ( )
  ltfitch1 | Jun 5, 2016 |
It was in the early stages of this novel, when 'bongs' were being mentioned regularly, and I had to admit I didn't know what a bong was, that I began to suspect I may be unqualified to read it. Books involving drugs often leave me confused, but in this case it was more fighting off boredom. There were interesting bits, small moments of drama, and a bit of humour (the militant vegetarians attacking the barbecue with 'piss-filled water guns' was excellent), but in between I found it tedious. I detected a determination to portray the characters' issues with drugs in a way that wasn't judgemental or disapproving, but I still found it hard to sympathise with any of them; mostly I just wanted them to get over themselves. ( )
  jayne_charles | Sep 18, 2015 |
Loved this book primarily for the details of the setting: 1980s lower east side and alphabet city, the straight edge scene, Burlington, Vermont and small-town teenage boredom. Aside from that, I can't say I cared much about the characters or plot, which seemed to take forever to get where it was going. Some elements were simply thrown into the mix and never picked up again, such as a character's possible fetal alcohol syndrome. ( )
  kishields | Feb 17, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 28 (next | show all)
Henderson’s book reads in part like an elegy: she follows her characters from 1987 to 2006, long enough to capture the end of the era and its strange aftermath.
added by melmore | editThe New Yorker, Alex Beggs (Jun 27, 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.
 
At times, 'Ten Thousand Saints' feels overplotted, as if the author had let her cast of love-and-drug-besotted misfits take the reins. But that haphazardness paired with the sometime painful teenage rites of passage, adds up to a bittersweet, lovely book.
 
"Ten Thousand Saints" is a whirling dervish of a first novel — a planet, a universe, a trip. As wild as that may sound, wonder of wonders, the book is also carefully and lovingly created, taking the reader far into the lives and souls of its characters and bringing them back out again, blinking in the bright light.
 
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Epigraph
Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, To execute judgement upon all. - The Book of Jude
Dedication
For Aaron
First words
Is it dreamed?" Jude asked Teddy.
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Book description
Adopted by a pair of diehard hippies, restless, marginal Jude Keffy-Horn spends much of his youth getting high with his friend Teddy. 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 the East Village, Jude stumbles upon straight edge, an underground youth culture powered by the paradoxical aggression of hard core 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. An emphatically observed portrait of a frayed tangle of family members, devastated, splintered and brought painfully together by a death, the carried along in anticipation of new and unexpected life, Ten Thousand Saints is a rich portrait of the modern age and the struggles that unite and divide gnerations. (ARC)
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When his best friend Teddy dies of an overdose on the last day of 1987, Jude Keffy-Horn finds his relationship with drugs and his parents devolving into the extreme when he gets caught up in an underground youth culture known as straight edge.

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