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The Hottest State

3.33 of 5 stars 3.33  ·  rating details  ·  2,543 ratings  ·  236 reviews
Yes, it's "that" Ethan Hawke. Ethan Hawke the actor. In this slim debut novel, he tells a coming-of-age tale of a fairly unpleasant young actor from Texas named William who lives in Manhattan and is working his way through an ugly little relationship with a singer/songwriter named Sarah.

Player of confused but adorable Gen X Romeos in films like Reality Bites and Before Sun
Published (first published 1996)
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Morgan (Turbo)
Jul 01, 2008 Morgan (Turbo) rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: romantics and fans of Ethan Hawke
I've read another of Ethan Hawke and thought he was good. So when I saw this book in the free box I couldn't just pass it up laughing that an actor actually thinks he can write too(like I could at a Mel Gibson or Bruce Willis novel). Quite contrary, Hawke has a writing voice that is simple, direct, and sometimes ingenious. Check out one of his character's resolutions: "I want to never waste energy degrading someone else. Also, I want to try not see life as a competition. If I can do these two t ...more
i honestly really enjoyed reading this book. i can remember it being mid-90s and seeing ethan hawke on tv and thinking of how much i loved him in reality bites and my young hipster literary self wanting to read this. it's gotten lots of eh reviews. but i don't care, i liked it. i think i'll catch the movie, as well.
Rajesh Kurup
Surprise, surprise, surprise. Ethan Hawke can write, well. His debut novel perfectly captures the essence of being young and in love and then the pain of breakup. I felt deeply those little moments of first falling in love, the uncertainty and self doubt as you wonder what is it about me that she sees. Am I good enough, are we good enough. The story changes dramatically as their relationship turns. When Samantha decides that she isn't really ready for a relationship, Will's reaction is unhealthy ...more
Ethan Hawke will break your heart. The Hottest State chronicles one year in the life of young, dashing William Harding: aspiring actor and charming lover. When he first meets Sarah, a girl unlike any he's ever seen, he knows from the beginning that he's a goner. She's beautiful. She's elusive. Every little thing she does strikes William greatly. The passion the two share, the chemistry; it's all so surreal, that even he can't believe it. He knows right then and there, that she is the one, that s ...more
i do not hate ethan hawke, in fact i was rooting for him the whole time i read this book. and while parts of it were beautiful, i found the characters pretty unlikable. 2 1/2 stars.
I read this such a long time ago, when it first came out. It's a novella, not a novel, per se. The characters felt familiar and the angst of William loving someone who didn't even know if she "liked" him half the time much less "loved" him gave the piece an honest vibe.

However, the lack of details throughout left me frustrated. Sarah is a nanny yet never seems to work, though she still manages to afford a New York apartment. William is an actor. He's successful enough to make a living at it, yet
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I'd been kind of surprised when I saw Hawke's name on books in the bookstore and had intended to check his writing out, but just never got around to it before now. I'd heard some bad things about his writing and wasn't sure what to think. As I do sooner or later most times in this situation, I looked for myself. After all, Hawke thanks Fred Leebron in the acknowledgements in this one, so I figured there had to be some good here. Having finished, I do have to say that Hawke is a better writer tha ...more
When I saw this book at the library I picked it up, wondering if this Ethan Hawke was the actor... It was. So, I decided to read the book, just for fun and since I admire him as an actor I wanted to see if he was a terrible writer. Well, guess what, he is all but that. I was surprised about how much I loved this book. His writing is articulate and direct and while it is not difficult to read it is very interesting.
The Hottest State is a book that just completely holds your attention from the be
I bought this the day it came out... just because of the author... the cutie pie greasy haired lead guy in Reality Bites.

I read this book twice within a month of having it. and have reread it multiple times since.

Its one of those cute, heartbreaking, poor guy sort of quick reads.... I wanted to be the girl that broke this kids heart. I wanted to be the girl he pined for. I wanted to be the girl that picked up the pieces and put him all back together again.The girl that he treated like shit so i
Ethan, te recomiendo que sigas actuando y no escribiendo. No lo pude terminar y debe de tener 200 páginas a lo sumo.
Me resultaron indiferentes los dos protas. INDIFERENTES. Es decir que no logré ni siquiera algún sentimiento importante por ellos, ni odio ni cariño. Me pareció que desde el principio estaban mal presentados y no hubo desarrollo de ellos a lo largo de la historia. Y las situaciones eran muy simples y a veces hasta tontas en lo insignificantes y poco profundas:
"-creo que la oodio
Nellie Airoldi
Il primo centinaio di pagine sono un irrequieto oceano le cui onde nascondono tutte le paure e tutto l’entusiasmo tipici della giovane età adulta, quelle che si confondono nella testa di chi è realmente convinto di aver incontrato l’amore della propria vita e proprio non si vuole rassegnare all’idea di essersi sbagliato. E quindi iniziano gli infiniti tentativi di far tornare le cose come prima, si prova e si riprova a non far deragliare un treno che corre a folle velocità su binari imperfetti, ...more
Hawke should stick to acting.
Ethan Hawke's writing reminds me of most of the acting roles he's playing. Something down-to-earth, focused on people and their connections and love, real and quirky.. In other words, I enjoyed it. The story is brief and pretty simple, and it's not exactly some happy love story, but it feels realistic, is a quick read, and kept me interested mostly. My main negative is that I feel there should have been more written of them and their relationship, and I would have loved to see things from Sarah' ...more
Matt Graupman
Ethan Hawke is a tough guy to figure out. On one hand, he's a sensitive artist in films like "Reality Bites" and "Boyhood" and, on the other hand, he's a regular in horror movies like "The Purge" and "Sinister." He seems like a guy who's into a little bit of everything so it's not a surprise that he'd try his hand at being an author; also unsurprising is that his debut novella is similarly pulled in a variety of directions. It's a "Catcher In The Rye"-style coming-of-age story, a "500 Days Of Su ...more
Meg I.
First off, while I was reading this, I can imagine Jesse (Before Sunrise/Sunset)as William. The similarities were astounding i.e. character, personality, the spontaneity, and so on.

Well, I can't say I like the book, but I don't hate it either. It's bizarre. I was intrigued with the plot (and with Ethan Hawke really, great actor that he is). But in the middle of reading it, I realized there was something off about William being too love struck with Sarah that really got on my nerves. The madness
Jenni Lou
I like Ethan Hawke as an actor. He’s quite understated, yet intense. Sensitive and self-aware. And he surely has playing the broody, conflicted man/boy down. Those character-centric qualities are ever-present in his first novel, The Hottest State, though they certainly don’t translate as well through his words as they do through his performances.

I must admit I was intrigued to read this because I had read most negative reviews of it. Why that piques my interest, I couldn’t say. I don’t typically
It's been months since I read a novel. I was quite surprised how good of a writer Ethan Hawke is. I read this in one sitting, hence I judge it a good read. Got it from the local thrift book store for only Php 20.00 (around 50 US cents) and hoarded it for idle reading time.

Narration was good. I loved the characters. And there were pretty good quotable lines in it. An easy yet insightful coming of age read.

"He said that he didn't think anyone was stupid, that it was remarkable the kind of things
A lot of people wouldn’t pick up this book after reading who the author is, and with great confidence, they would say that actors should just leave literature to writers. But this is no Paris-Hilton-esque novel of egotism. American actor Ethan Hawke is best known for his lead roles in “Reality Bites,” “Before Sunrise,” its sequel “Before Sunset,” and “Hamlet,” but he decided to make room for one more skill in his biography, and that is writing.

In his debut novel, he sketches the story of William
Nov 04, 2014 Taylor rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: lovers
Recommended to Taylor by: my crush on Ethan Hawke
This was a lot better than I remembered it.

The story of a first love, supposedly fiction, but it reads too much like something that's intimately a part of his history, so I would say it has to be semiautobiographical.

William is a young Texan actor, recently moved to NYC. He's young (20), attractive and cocky, and has no trouble with ladies, at least as far as the bedroom is concerned. One night out he meets Sarah, seemingly his opposite, a shy woman who wants to be a singer. He's drawn to her qu
read this in a few hours and loved it. was a little difficult to get into, but well worth the effort.
I liked how both William and Sarah were so easy to like and dislike in equal measures.
the story is a simple one... the birth, falling apart and aftermath of a relationship. it is written with heart and a sense of sincerity and authenticity which made it so readable.

I had read Ash Wednesday by Ethan Hawke previously and loved that too. I am certainly looking forward to reading more by him!
Lara Iodice
Avevo letto "Mercoledì delle ceneri" di Ethan Hawke e mi era piaciuto tantissimo, per cui mi aspettavo un ottimo libro anche questa volta e non mi ha deluso: la storia non è niente di eccezionale, classica relazione tormentata, ma il finale non è banale e scontato. I personaggi sono tratteggiati piuttosto bene e la scrittura nel complesso è discreta, con quale frase particolarmente bella e degna di nota. Non mi ha entusiasmato come l'altro libro, ma tutto sommato merita di essere letto.
A simple book which caught my attention, purely due to my love of Ethan's acting work. The book was easily read and quite simple. I couldn't put it down, however i was disappointed at the end. Some lovely quotes within the book such as....

'First off, you're going to die. So that said, there is not much to worry about. No matter what else happens, you really only have two options: you can either handle things well and be happy, or you can handle them poorly and be miserable.'
I liked that the author gets beneath the exterior of the characters. One of my favorite parst is when Jimmy goes to ask the priest to marry him and his pregnant girlfriend. A Catholic would be required to go to confession before receiving a sacrament. The priest talks to Jimmy about his transgressions and Jimmy breaks down in sorrow. This is a true confession with contrition. When the Father agrees to marry them he has given absolution.
I'm always skeptical of authors turned writers, especially when they are attempting fiction. (Looking at you, James Franco / Actors Anonymous). However, Ethan Hawke is a damn good writer. His prose is simple, characters memorable, and ultimately this boy meets girl, boy loses girl story really sat with me. Terse book clocking in just under 200 pages that should come with you on your next vacation or beach day. Pleasantly surprised.
Yeah, yeah, yeah... people regularly rip this overly achy bit of fiction to shreds. But not me. I love every word. And I have since the first time I read it. It's a regular read for me, every few years I pull out my copy and indulge. Generally over the course of a single day. I even carried around my copy at Sundance this past February on the off chance I ran into Ethan Hawke. I didn't.
Mike Jozic
Ethan Hawke is less skilled here than he is in his second novel, Ash Wednesday, but what he lacks in wordsmithery he makes up for in his ability to tell a genuine story with complex characters and real emotional honesty. I didn't really know what to expect with The Hottest State other than it was a boy-meets-girl tale, but Hawke really suckered me in with his unpretentious narrative and relatable characters. He is not afraid to show them at their most charming or at their ugliest. It doesn't hap ...more
I've had this book awhile. Finally decided to read it. its an easy and fast read. the writing is actually pretty good. However a lot of details did not make sense. A lot of plot points were just unrealistic. The ending was too abrupt and did not offer resolution for the main character. I never really understood Sarahs character. She needed to be more fully developed.
"The love story of the 90s", was - I believe -what the review said, and yes, it does seem familiar somehow. The parties with strangers, the aimlessness of wandering through life with no idea what's going on or what one is doing there, whereever there may be.
But other than the fact that my 90s were pretty close to the characters nineties (minus the whole marriage and making movies thing), this book could be set at any time. It's a love story, and love, as we all know, is eternal.

Only, it's a ver
While Hawke is a good writer, this book contained too much language and sexuality for me. Instead of a "coming of age" novel, I kept wondering why it wasn't in the romance section of my library.

I think Hawke could've done a better job by keeping the sexual stuff out and getting into the main character, William's, head more and expanding his charcter. I felt like the sex was a crutch and Hawke was avoiding something. (Hint, Hint! Books don't need sex to be interesting or sell!)

I loved his refer
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Ethan Green Hawke is a four-time Academy Award-nominated American actor, writer and film director.

In 1988, Hawke was cast in a role in director Peter Weir's Dead Poets Society; the film's success was considered Hawke's breakthrough. He left school and appeared in A Midnight Clear, Alive, Reality Bites, Before Sunrise, Gattaca, The Newton Boys, Great Expectations, and many other movies. In 2001, he
More about Ethan Hawke...
Ash Wednesday Rules for a Knight Manhattan Story The Delaplaine ETHAN HAWKE - His Essential Quotations (Delaplaine Essential Quotations) Slaughterhouse-Five

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“Don't you find it odd," she continued, "that when you're a kid, everyone, all the world, encourages you to follow your dreams. But when you're older, somehow they act offended if you even try.” 470 likes
“It's kind of like this," Decker said: "You wake up in the middle of the night and you're dying for a glass of milk. So you stumble out of bed, stub your toe in the darkness, scream with pain, and limp your way to the refrigerator. You open it up and the light is brilliant. You're saved. Then you fold back the paper container, open up the milk, take a deep breath, and put it to your lips. Only --- yhrch! --- the milk is spoiled. Sure, you're bummed. You fold the thing close and put it back in the fridge. It's dark again. But as you're making your way to your lonely old bed, you think to yourself, Wait a minute, maybe that milk wasn't so bad. And I am still thirsty? So you do an about-face and go back to the fridge. The light warms you up again. You take a sip and yup, it's still spoiled. That, to me, is the fitting metaphor for most every relationship I've ever been in.” 23 likes
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