Ciara's Reviews > Ten Thousand Saints

Ten Thousand Saints by Eleanor Henderson
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Aug 03, 12

bookshelves: read-in-2012
Read in April, 2012

i read this book solely because part of the plot hinged on hardcore straight-edge punks, & i was like, "whaaaaat?" i wanted to see exactly how that took shape & how the author handled it. & i must say, well done! she did a really nice job of capturing (my preconceptions of) the atmosphere of the lower east side squatter scene before new york started getting crazy gentrified.

i will also say that this is another novel i picked up in order to give myself a break from reading nothing but books about babies/pregnancy/birth/etc. & wouldn't you fucking know it? one of the very few prominent female characters in the book gets pregnant & a huge chunk of the plot is all about her pregnancy & who is going to step up to be a father figure to the kid once it is born (because it's actual father dies, like, the night of conception).

let's see if i can remember the plot: teenage boy lives with hippie parents in vermont. he's kind of a rapscallion, all into skateboarding & huffing & stuff. he & his BFF go to a party one night, accompanied by the hippie kid's father's girlfriend's foxy teenage daughter. teenage daughter does cocke with the friend & they bone in the bathroom. hippie kid & friend proceed to pass out in the snow. friend dies. hippie kid kind of goes bananas & finds solace in the straight-edge scene, to which he is introduced by dead friend's extremely hardcore older brother. teenage daughter is knocked up & they tell the parental figures that hardcore older brother is the dad. there's all this stuff with protests in tompkins square park & going on tour...i don't know. once the characters are established, things get a little plotless, i guess. everyone is just kind of waiting around for teenage daughter to give birth. as a pregnant lady myself, i can vouch for the fact that this process is kind of a huge snore.

i liked it, i guess? i mean, seriously probably just because i am a sucker for stuff about underground punk scenes that seem like they were written by someone who actually knows anything about it. like, at one point, the punks all collaborate on a zine together! i was like, whoa, zines! it's hard for me to imagine someone like...i don't know, my partner's mom, or my therapist or someone, reading this book & being really into it though. i just don't know who the audience is.
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