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The November Criminals: A novel
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The November Criminals: A novel

2.97 of 5 stars 2.97  ·  rating details  ·  124 ratings  ·  42 reviews
A darkly funny, pot-infused novel of teenage maladjustment in the tradition of Beautiful Children from a compelling new voice in American fiction.

For a high school senior, Addison Schacht has a lot of preoccupations. Like getting into college. Selling drugs to his classmates. His complicated relationship with his best friend (NOT his girlfriend) Digger. And he's just adde
ebook, 240 pages
Published April 20th 2010 by Anchor (first published 2010)
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I’ve been a bad, bad boy.

There are five books on my First Reads shelf, won in contests between November '09 and late spring '10. It’s a nice number--an enviable amount, to those who've won less; a paltry number, to those with more--but to me, it’s a modest sum. A good start. Five (free!) books are nice--ten would be nicer. Fifteen, twenty, thirty would be nicer still. But I have sinned. Thou Shalt Review is the commandment, and I’ve broken it. Five books won, five books read, four reviewed. And
Sep 21, 2011 Richard rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Richard by:
Shelves: fiction, abandoned
The editors of The Wilson Quarterly have provided a casual reading list for summer, and two books caught my eye.
Megan Buskey: My recommendation is The November Criminals, Sam Munson’s debut novel. You’ll be quickly drawn into the pot-smoke-filled world of Addison Schacht, a high school senior (and nominal weed dealer) hailing from Washington, D.C., who becomes obsessed with the unsolved murder of one of his classmates. The gruff and acerbic Schacht is reflective and intelligent in spite of himse
So, I just found out I won a copy. Hope the book's good.


Well, I gave it a go. I read The November Criminals about halfway, then gave up. Which I feel bad for doing. I mean, I won a copy, the least I could do is read the whole thing, right? But I'm not gonna waste valuable hours of my life on a book that fails to hold my attention just because I won a free copy. Although free stuff is nice.

So anyway, my review. There's nothing wrong with The November Criminals, it just bored me to tears. Nothi
The shadow of Holden Caufield falls heavy (and possibly unfairly) across this debut novel, which features a similarly disaffected and obnoxious protagonist. Here, the setting is Washington, D.C. in the fall of 1999, as teenage pot-dealer and Latin whiz Addison slogs his way through senior year of the Gifted and Talented program at his local high school (a very thinly veiled version of D.C.'s real Wilson High School). The book is written as the answer to an admissions essay question to the Univer ...more
I had an intrinsic interest in this book -- I generally love books by first time writers and the author went to Wilson High School about the time my children attended. In fact, the thinly veiled Wilson is the setting for this novel. But Addison, the main character, is such a misanthrope (and at such a young age) I was simply put off by his ramblings. This seems to be a revenge novel and he gets his digs at his long ago high school teachers and DC in general. Munson is just "too cool for school" ...more
A current day Catcher in the Rye, and not in a good way. Munson could have made it less obvious by not naming a primary character Phoebe (though in his defense she does go by the nickname Digger) and by refraining from using the words "goddamn" and "crummy" so much. The plot meanders and near the end I kept asking "so what?" I hate to write negative reviews but I'm struggling to find the positive and/or constructive bits right now. Maybe in a few days....
Christopher Payne
I know I am in trouble with a book when I find myself counting how many pages I have left to read in order to cross the finish line. Sadly with "The November Criminals" that was the case. I never could relate to this book, the main character or what the author was trying to convey. It reads like an egotistical kid who is so full of himself he doesn't care whether his story is worth telling or not. In several examples Addison (the main character) actually tells us we don't want to hear something, ...more
Victoria Aldea
Sam Munson's The November Criminals is a story about the life of a typical, American 17 year-old-teenage boy. Addison Schact is an aimless high school student who is not at all trying to be anything, and using his time for things such as doing nothing except for hanging out for his girlfriend, smoking marijuana,and playing video games. His life at school is a reflection of his home life-- teachers and books are not really paid much attention to and his father is just as distant and eccentric as ...more
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The November Criminals

By Sam Munson
272pp. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
ISBN-13: 9780385532273
ISBN: 038553227X

When one writes a college essay, they usually want to sell their assets to the schools and make themselves stand out in the best way possible. Of course, you should be honest, but you normally wouldn't throw yourself under the bus. Addison Schacht, a senior, is all about honesty when answering, "What are your best and worst qualities?" He tells it all as it is and doesn't really hold b
The November Criminals
by Sam Munson
Hardcover, 258 pages
Published April 20th 2010 by Doubleday (first published 2010)
ISBN 038553227X

On the verge of being seniors, this book is the ultimate example college essay. Although the premise for writing a college essay is to get yourself admitted and not in trouble, this "essay" will really get Addison Schacht remembered. It starts off attempting to answer the question, "What are your best and worst qualities?" but it ends up as an all out confrontation
The November Criminals
Sam Munson
Doubleday publishing co.
258 pages.

I'll try and be as direct with this as possible...

The November Criminals is told from the point of view of Addison, a drug addled, angsty teenager, lacking both parental figures and morality. Addison is the kind of person I wouldn't really want to associate with. Full of Holocaust jokes, and a condescending tone throughout the book, I found Addison to be very annoying. Getting through these 258 pages was, I'll admit, a bit
I must say, While I wish I had read more Virgil before entering Munson's novel...this was an amazing Odessy ( if you will allow this kind of overdone comparison). This is a book that I knew little to nothing about going into. I had no expectations and this ended up being a very good thing. I was duly impressed. I can't remember the last time I was not left dismissing half of the events or dialouge of a highschooler as MUCH TO CALCULATED to be enjoyable. This book accomplished something that is v ...more
Enough with the like italics already. It's really distracting and made it much harder to follow the dialogue.

The dust jacket compares the narrator to Huck Finn and Holden Caulfield. This kind of comparison seems to be exactly what the author was trying to achieve, but it's a transparent and not very successful attempt. Addison Schacht just isn't as funny, novel, or relatable a narrator as his predecessors.

The story was predictable, except when it was wildly implausible. The whole thing felt kind
Wesley Mcginnis
The book, NOVEMBER CRIMINALS by Sam Munson is a great yet sometimes annoying look into the adolescent mind. Some major themes shown throughout the book are, trying to make relationships work, because something is illegal does that still make it wrong and when is it appropriate to take matters into your own hands. These themes are shown in many parts of the book such as when Addison is struggling with his friend with benefits named Digger whom he insists is not his girlfriends. The theme, does so ...more
So, funny story about this book: I was shopping for books to listen to (Audible), and I cross-referenced their reviews with Goodreads', signed up to win a copy while I was at it, bought the book from Audible, and then WON a hard copy. So I read the actual hard copy, since that's what Goodreads wanted me to review...

Anyway, that being said, feeling that fate really wanted me to own this book (twice), I went into it really hoping to like it. And I did, for the most part, but I have to qualify my
Tyler Stoffel
Slow at first, though I suspect deliberately, the book starts off engrossed in the mundane life of an ordinary white suburban high school drug dealer. He has an unusual obsession with the murder of a classmate he never knew, probably because it is the most interesting thing that ever happened around him, and the obsession leads him and his pseudo-girlfriend on a series of banal adventures. Essentially a story about the nothingness of American teenage existence and the absurdity of public educati ...more
Sara Latta
I'd been considering writing about The November Criminals for the YA book recommendation column I wrote for my local newspaper, but ultimately decided against it. I don't think it's being marketed as a YA novel, although I think that it could be; the narrator is 17-18, and it definitely has a coming of age theme. It's not that I didn't like it--I did, quite a bit. And I also think that a lot of teenagers, especially boys, will really dig this book. But I don't think the teenagers who will enjoy ...more
I am a writer. Reading books like this helps me realize what I DON"T want to write. I've thought about writing a coming of age novel, but I don't believe that coming of age happens in high school. This is pretty much a wannabe Catcher in the Rye and the author even nods at this by naming the character's "girlfriend" Phoebe. She goes by Digger BECAUSE she thinks he parent's named her after Holden's sister. So Munson gives a nod to the writer he is imitating.

I picked this up because it was review
I did not like this book much at all. I'm having a hard time thinking of a single redeemable aspect of it. I could not relate to Addison Schacht at all. This isn't usually a problem, but in this case the dissociation was so huge I sometimes had no idea what he was talking about.
I found the writing annoying: Things that should have been one sentence were broken up into two or three; far too many italics; every few sentences was ended with something along the lines of "or something." That may be a
You know those books that you plod through in the beginning, not at all intrigued by the story, hoping that, if you keep reading, it will become interesting at some point? And you know those books that, towards the end, you keep checking to see how many pages are left because the storyline has been resolved and the author has just stretched things a bit too much at the end? Well this book is both of those...except there's nothing else. There's no interesting middle. None. It's 258 pages of one o ...more
"Not sure how this ended up on my reading list, but I regret it. I had the Audible version, which was read by the author. Not good; terrible in fact. I'm terrible at quitting on a story, but I'm not sure I'll finish this, though I am over half way through. [return][return]The story itself isn't that great, either. A high school student gets consumed by his search into a classmates murder. I suppose the author does a decent job of writing the story in the high schooler's voice, but I actually thi ...more
I knew nothing about this book when I bout it. When I met Sam Munson, I thought he was a very cool guy and the excerpt that he read to me seemed interesting. So, I bought the book and saw that it was about a teenager kid that gets into some trouble. As a teenage boy, i could relate to the book and was looking forward to reading it. I started to read the book and everything lived up to my expectations. Some parts of the novel were a little boring but I got through it and it the end was very inter ...more
I received this ARC, and thought it sounded entertaining. Pot smoking, semi-slacker, college-bound, pot dealer high school student independently investigates the violent gunning down of his black classmate. Probably, though, the timing was incredibly wrong for this undertaking, for me. The week I read it marked the three year anniversary of a dear (black) friend's unsolved murder. My friend, Rolland James Holloway, was gunned down in Pomona, California. His case remains opens and unsolved. It wa ...more
First off, I loved this book. However I have to mention that I went to high school with Sam and the book is filled with people and places I know, events that I remember. My high school experience colored my reading of The November Criminals and it's impossible for me to have an impartial view of the story. While the main thread of the book is completely fictional, a number of smaller events and characters are based on reality. Regardless of personal experience it's very well written, moves quick ...more
Natalia Rox
Quite an admissions essay... Addison is a very interesting character. The way he describes himself you feel like his interests should also include chopping up unsuspecting women on their way home from work, but deep down he is harmless. The story drags on, but his tangents are so interesting that I honestly did not mind. I would call it a good coming of age story, but honestly this guy would kick my ass for saying so... I recommend it for readers who want a peek at the seedy underbelly of the te ...more
Allison Relyea
I thought this was a pretty good book. It had lots of parts to it, which made it interesting. The one thing I liked about it was how the author really, and i mean, really described certain parts throughout the book. Sometimes it was a bit dragging, but it was still good. To me, for some reason it made it seem like i could actually see the character doing all of this. In some weird ways, i felt like i could connect to the character. The end, for me, was my favorite part.
Rory Plant
Admittedly this is not the most original book in the world, the similarities to Holden Caulfield are too obvious to be ignored, but I don't think this really retracted from the book. It is a well-written, humorous and honest confession. Honesty isn't supposed to be original- it's supposed to reflect the authors inner most thoughts, that it did effectively in a light-hearted manner. Well worth a read.
Pretty amazing writing, so far as things go, and I really & truly enjoyed it when I read the book in short snippets. Once I sat back to knock it out, however, I the monologue essay narration eventually lost its charm. Initially thought this might make for a good adult read w/ YA appeal recommendation for teens, but not so convinced now. Maybe a select few.
A high school weed dealer does the Catcher in the Rye. There were a lot of funny moments. Toward the end it's mostly an introspective rant with no plot, far into the Jewish thing- history, identity, etc. I liked the story part more. It had it's good points. Very descriptive and with strong characters. SM's a good writer. I'll check out his next book.
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