Monday, January 02, 2012

Ten Thousand Saints by Eleanor Henderson

This book was an unexpected surprise from David for Christmas. I think he selected it for me because it is reminiscent of my son's high school straight edge, tattoo fascination days. The novel begins with the fatal drug overdose of a high school boy, Teddy, on New Year's eve. Teddy and his best friend, Jude, ended up at a party with Eliza, who gives Teddy cocaine and becomes pregnant with Teddy's child before his body is found the next morning. The novel seemed a bit preachy in places - certainly these character lives were messed up, but Hare-Krishna-to-the-rescue did not seem the most obvious solution. The book takes on drugs, homosexuality, AIDS, parenting, adoption, tattooing and the hard-core music scene. I stayed interested to the end - although the last chapter (two pages) seemed a forced conclusion. The book has received much praise - New York Times Book Review – Top 10 Books of 2011; New York Times – 100 Notable Books of 2011;
New Yorker – A Year’s Reading selection; O Magazine – Top 5 Fiction; Amazon – Top 10 Debut Fiction. And it was a great Christmas present.

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