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Union Dues

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  121 Ratings  ·  11 Reviews
The setting is Boston, Fall 1969. Radical groups plot revolution, runaway kids prowl the streets, cops are at their wits end, and work is hard to get, even for hookers. Hobie McNutt, a seventeen year old runaway from West Virginia drifts into a commune of young revolutionaries. It's a warm, dry place, and the girls are very available. But Hobie becomes involved in an incre ...more
Paperback, 392 pages
Published December 21st 2005 by Nation Books (first published November 30th 1976)
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Jun 22, 2009 added it
Read the STOP SMILING interview with filmmaker John Sayles

Q&A: John Sayles
By Patrick Z McGavin

Honeydripper is the 16th film by filmmaker and novelist John Sayles made in collaboration with his producer and partner, Maggie Renzi. A lyrical, funny and sharp evocation of early Fifties Alabama, it stars Danny Glover as a juke-joint impresario who is desperate to save his floundering club from economic ruin. (Honeydripper opens December 28th in LA and NY.)

Since his debut film, The Return of the S
Aug 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Great book, extremely well written.Sayles discusses many different issues that were taking place in the late 60s. Father-son issues, Vietnam War issues, mine safety and other important issues. Quite a lot of changes have occurred since this book was written (1977) but some issues never change and for issues like unions, the situation has gotten worse. I like everything that Sayles does from novels to movies.
Jim Cheng
Mar 08, 2014 rated it liked it
John Sayles shows his customary ear for dialogue in this "novel of the Sixties," which tells three (or four) entwined stories of a West Va. teen who runs away and lands with a group of radicals in Boston, and his coal-miner father who comes to look for him. A small section of the book inspired Sayles' 1987 historical drama "Matewan."
Dan O'connell
Oct 05, 2009 rated it it was amazing
A bumpkin from West Virginia, lets call him "Barack Palin", falls in with WIlliam Ayres and Bernadine Dohrn and blows up his father coal mine...or something like that. Captures the aftermath of the radical anti-war movement in the 70s, the psychology of cults, and somehow maintains strong characters and a class analysis. More fun than Matewan and prescient of the Secaucus Seven.
James Keelaghan
Sep 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A fun read, not least because of the fact that the kernel of the movie Matewan is contained in one of the story arcs, and lets you know what happened t the preacher boy, CR lively and the others. A must read if you love Sayles work.
Oct 18, 2010 rated it really liked it
The characters in this book feel real. Except for the two cops, but their dialogue is hilarious. Excellent take on the end of the sixties/beginning of the seventies in America. Has a real feel for place (W. Virginia/Boston & environs).
Aug 05, 2008 rated it it was amazing
powerful story about class and the 1960s New Left..
Tad Richards
Apr 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
For my money, the best novel of the Sixties, casting an unsparing eye and understanding heart across class, economic, and generational lines.
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John Thomas Sayles is an independent film director, screenwriter, novelist and short story writer who frequently plays small roles in his own and other indie films.
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