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Amazon Best Books of the Month, June 2011: Mostly set in the Lower East Side of 1980s New York City, Ten Thousand Saints is that rare book that paints scenes so vividly you can imagine the movie in your head. I wanted to live inside its pages, where I could imagine not just the scenes themselves, but the cameras, the lights, the actors reading their lines off to the sides of the set. Main character Jude Keffy-Horn--named after a Beatles song by his adoptive hippy parents--spends his high school days in small town Vermont getting high with his best friend Teddy, waiting to turn 16, when he can legally drop out. When Teddy dies of an overdose on the last day of 1987, Jude is sent to live with his pot-dealer father in New York City. Jude soon falls in with a group of straight edge Hari Krishnas, where his commitment to abstinence in all forms--drugs, sex, meat--becomes an addiction itself. Jude struggles to create an identity amongst the extreme movements taking root downtown, while his parents struggle to understand their son’s rejection of their free love culture. Author Eleanor Henderson's meticulous research into the straight edge movement in the late 1980s has opened a door to a piece of history handled with love, care, and incredibly unforgettable characters. --Alexandra Foster

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ISBN-10:  0062021028
ISBN-13:  978-0062021021
Author:  Eleanor Henderson
Publisher:  Ecco
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review by . July 04, 2011
This novel's advance copy comes filled with breathless "in-house praise" and a back cover full of promotional strategies. This energetic campaign may reflect the mood of the setting, the straight-edge hardcore punk scene of 1988, and the chapter near the end which takes in the Tompkins Square Park anti-gentrification riot in Mayor Koch's Manhattan, but it also attests to the confidence that Eleanor Henderson brings to her debut novel. Nearly four-hundred pages, it follows the convoluted …
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