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Endless Love

3.54  ·  Rating details ·  3,872 ratings  ·  532 reviews
One of the most celebrated novels of its time, Endless Love remains perhaps the most powerful novel ever written about young love. Riveting, compulsively readable, and ferociously sexual, Endless Love tells the story of David Axelrod and his overwhelming love for Jade Butterfield.

David's and Jade's lives are consumed with each other; their rapport, their desire, their sex
Hardcover, 432 pages
Published April 1st 2003 by Ecco Press (first published 1979)
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Josué G. Malpica Absolutely. Page number 39 or 42, I think, that is quite a boner to be with.

The way it is written is just awesome. I am currently reading it in page 1…more
Absolutely. Page number 39 or 42, I think, that is quite a boner to be with.

The way it is written is just awesome. I am currently reading it in page 101.

I finished last month, in Sep 27th, I think.
I have to say that it is truly a fascinating story that catches you from the first page. I enjoyed the reading of this book, especially the grief of a love so intense it looks more like an obsession.
As a non-native speaker of the English language, this was truly a joy to read because, not only was it a challenge, but also I enjoyed the scent of teen affair.(less)

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Average rating 3.54  · 
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 ·  3,872 ratings  ·  532 reviews

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mark monday
man, this book. this book! this is the second intense reading experience I've had in a row. do you like "intense reading experiences"... and by that I mean a narrative that unspools from one feverish narrator and that deals primarily with escalated, deeply emotional highs & lows? if you do, then this is your book. the book is all David Axelrod, all the time. that boy has the fever, for real.

it doesn't start off in an escalated state. one of the most striking things about the novel is how much ti
Apr 29, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Don't knock it 'til you've read it--the movie doesn't hold a candle to the book. Scott Spencer blew me away. Depicts first love, er,.. obsession, perfectly. I want to believe this book was a catharsis for him, and only those who have experienced loss of love, or have had a misunderstanding of mature love, can really be impacted by the book. He brings to the surface the insanity we have all experienced in relation to our first (and perhaps second? Third?!) loves. After reading the very last page, ...more
Feb 15, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who like to soul-search and examine lives; People interested in psychology

David Axelrod is in love. Deeply, deeply in love with Jade, a girl who lives in his neighborhood. He is 17 and she is 16. And her parents are hippies, so free and open that they welcome David into their home and into their hearts. He spends hours and hours there. Then he starts sleeping there. Then they buy him a double bed that he and Jade share. Isolated in this family environment and in their love for each other, Jade and David spend endless hours talking, making love, and staring
Joselito Honestly and Brilliantly
I used to believe that there is no such thing as an endless love. After reading this book, however, I certainly know better. I can no longer be cynical about it: endless love is, indeed, possible.

If two blind men play tennis, there'll be an endless love. Create an insane character like David Axelrod here, and you'll also have someone who endlessly loves.

No wonder a woman's heart is broken every second. All women like endless loves with endless lovers not realizing that they can only have one wit
David and Jade, a young love, who has to overcome some hurdles and yet there is no happy ending. David commits a crime for Jade, which in turn puts him in a psychiatric hospital. When he is released, he tries everything to find Jade and her family again, only to end up in this hospital and in prison again. But the more Jade moves away from David, the greater his kind of love becomes. I expected more from this book as I read many reviews and was only raved about. It's interesting to read how this ...more
Algernon (Darth Anyan)
Jan 23, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015

If endless love was a dream, then it was a dream we all shared - the dream of never dying or of travelling through time, and if anything set me apart it was not my impulses but my stubbornness, my willingness to take the dream past what had been agreed upon as the reasonable limits, to declare that this dream was not a feverish trick of the mind but was an actuality at least as real as that other, thinner, more unhappy illusion we call normal life.

David Axelrod's account of his passion for Jad
Oct 27, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010
This is either a 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 star book. Seriously, I would understand any one of these ratings. It is about one young man's obsessive (to say the least) relationship with his high school girlfriend. I'd give a "1" for character likeability. Every character is seriously screwed up/deranged/sick in the head, with the possible exception of David's mother. I wish we saw a little more of his parents' relationship because, as Jewish Communists in the late 60s, they are pretty damn interesting. I' ...more
As a constant reader, it’s always a magical moment when one particular book stands out from the rest. It happens every so often and it was certainly the case with Endless Love. It saddens me whenever I discover a book too many years too late. This book was published in 1979 and I probably would have been more shocked reading it during my younger years. I feel maybe I read it at the right time in my life. I'm still young enough to identify with this story, but old enough to be wise in seeing how ...more
Apr 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I finished this book only moments ago. It feels like I sustained some kind of wound. The emotional intensity, made more acute after (sometimes long) periods of lull, replicate exactly the mania of obsessiveness. I was drawn in by the prose, which was just this side of popular fiction, having heady ideas and great turns of phrase, artful syntax, but so readable with nothing to break the story's spell. I was drawn in and kept there by the emotion, emotion associated with the unbridled highs of you ...more
Nenia ✨️ I yeet my books back and forth ✨️ Campbell
This book is currently on sale for $1.99! It's been made into two movies and both times, it's taken a disturbing tale of obsession and turned it into a Nicholas Sparksesque romance, so I'm curious to see what the fucked up original version was like ...more
May 28, 2007 rated it it was amazing
I have always loved this book. A nice primer on love and sex. It's a great portrait of obsession. Mesmerizing prose.

I remember getting a scornful look from Mrs. Bendick for passing it around freshman English when we were supposed to be discussing the similarities/differences of "Romeo vs. Juliet" and "West Side Story." How could I not share that crazed, blood-soaked lovemaking scene with everyone? So much more interesting than Rita Moreno dancing on rooftops!

I try to read it every couple of year
Aug 27, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: prose, 1970-present
I'd seen the horrific Zeffirelli film several years ago, and had no idea it was loosely based on this novel, because I didn't know this novel existed until a couple of my GR friends added it to their shelves. It sounded interesting, and quite unlike the movie, so I thought I'd read it.

To its credit, I managed to read Endless Love fairly quickly, so it wasn't intolerable. The book is, not so much to its credit, consistently tedious, because David Axelrod is just a tedious character and reading p
Jun 11, 2007 rated it really liked it
Heartbreaking. I expected a lightweight story of teenage love; instead, I read a dark tale of delirium and reckless obsession.
Katherine McDermott
Feb 05, 2014 rated it did not like it
I've never felt so strongly about a book that I felt the need to write a review. I don't understand how this book has such great ratings. It is so slow and so boring. 70% of it is just David's inner ramblings that are irrelevant and horribly uninteresting. There are no actual plot points in the beginning that even remotely grabbed my attention. When I saw the great reviews and was reading the book, I really thought I had downloaded the wrong book. This book was just boring from start to finish. ...more
Aishu Rehman
Aug 28, 2018 rated it liked it
Absolutely a literary masterpiece, written with precision and pure talent by an author who defies description, a writer who can create character, thought, situation, depth, and who has a true sense of time and place. And above all, he can create passion. He opens the door and lets us "live" that passion, along with David. This is an unusual love story, and it will capture the reader who is tenacious enough to hold on through some very heavy (long and wordy) passages. I was engaged in the author' ...more
Oct 29, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Now when I pick up this book, I notice an awkward sentence, an odd rhetorical decision that wasn't visible to me in 1982, but still I love everything about this bighearted book.

Read this, and if you can, recommend other books that evoke first love so powerfully or seem to understand how dangerous it can be when you've never wanted anything in your life as much, and you feel out of control, off balance and utterly devoted.
Feb 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Favorite quotes from Endless Love:

"I was totally victimized by the irrational navigation of my unconscious."

"I was, I knew then, a member of a vast network of condemned men and women: romance had taken a wrong turn within me and led me into mayhem."

My Two Cents: This is a classic book which has been reviewed by hundreds, if not thousands of readers and admired by the most credible book reviewers and magazines. So, instead of composing a traditional review, I'm choosing to blog about the impress
Paul Dinger
Jan 03, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I read this book twice and each time it has gotten better. My ex tells me it is newer version of Wuthering Heights which is a book we both admire, I strongly disagree while conceding she does have a point. Jade is the love of David's life and losing her will cause him to burn down her house, and that is just the beginning of this wonderful book. Is it love or obession, what is the difference? Why is it that everyone connected to this sees it as something that dramatically changes their lives, bu ...more
Apr 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
I'm not naturally disposed towards this sort of stuff: the realist or "quasi-realist" novel. My bookshelf brims with philosophy and poetry. I consume articles on the bus and essays before bed. I seldom read to escape, almost never to just "have fun," and I strongly believe in that old adage that truth is often stranger than fiction. So I wasn't expecting to like Endless Love, let alone be blown away by it. But for some reason—and whether this reason is objective or subjective or both is somethin ...more
Laura Plybon
Aug 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
Re-reading this now as an adult, I realize it's a completely different novel than what I read as a teenager. As an 18 year old reader, this book was about love and finding a way to be with a person you loved. As an adult, this book is about living with the consequences of actions that can't be undone, struggling with the burden of emotional attachment at a young age... a lot of things. Adult themes, the least of them the sexuality that was hyped for the cheesy movie they made of this book. The n ...more
May 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: EVERYONE!
David Alexander reminisces about a fire that he started when he was only a teen, and the consequences that followed that drastic event. He tells a story about himself, from the age of sixteen when he had a passionate relationship with Jade,who he loves deeply,selfishly and recklessly. Upon meeting her, he is overwhelmed at the attraction that he feels for her and the bond that he shares with her brothers,Keith and Sammy who both play a major role in his life. He sees Jade mother Ann as a queen,h ...more
Jun 14, 2007 rated it really liked it
Made me feel like my skin was on backwards.
Nov 29, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: regular-fiction
I thought this book about a boy who is obsessively in love with a girl and ends up setting her house on fire would be kinda dull and just a lot of in-love wankery, but what I didn't realize is that it actually *starts* with the house-setting-on-fire and goes from there, really delving into his messed up psyche in the aftermath of his "endless love" being disrupted. It was actually pretty good. I sometimes lose patience with dated novels, but this one's datedness didn't bother me much because it ...more
Carolina Morales
(Note - I will divide this review in two parts, one regarding the novel and a second one only about the movie. I agree the movie doesn't contemplate 1/3 of the book, nevertheless, it is also important as a reference of the themes exposed along the storyline).

First of all, allow me to be a little sexist - but don't worry y'all, I am NOT a feminazi - and affirm this is a novel narrated in first person by a man; also, this whole book could only have been written by a person who carries a cromossome
Rosina Lippi
Jan 11, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This review was written as a part of long series of posts on how to write sex scenes, on a former weblog.

I really admire Scott Spencer's work. Waking the Dead is probably my favorite of his novels, but I've found things to like about all of them. Endless Love is, over all, a delicately told, very dark story, one that I have re-read often. This particular scene I'm going to talk about bothers me -- which may mean it is entirely successful.

Endless Love is about David Axelrod, a teenager desperatel
Debbie Reschke Schug
Oct 27, 2010 rated it really liked it
If left without rules, it’s likely every sensitive teenager would wrap themselves in obsession. Modern American civilization is pretty tame when considering other past societies; we don’t have public orgies like in ancient Greek times, and the small rituals (Halloween, for instance) we do have are pretty button-upped. So we keep our teens on a short leash.
The only recent time period that generally mimics a similar out of control zeitgeist has to be the ‘60s in the U.S. Much has been written in
May 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, 2014
Finding a book that I'd call a favorite after one reading is a pretty rare occasion for me. I have only a handful--probably less than a dozen--of "favorite" books (Jane Eyre, Hey Nostradamus!, The Children's Hospital, The Pursuit of Love, Love in a Cold Climate, Sleeping Murder, Ex Libris, Atonement, The End of Mr Y, Pride and Prejudice...I think I just named them all right there), but for all its unlikeliness (I did find out about it after Googling that awful-looking Alex Pettyfer movie from Fe ...more
Anthony McGill
Dec 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction-general
Not much more to add to all the other reviews. Scott Spencer's novel of obsessive love is a brilliant piece of fiction and a riveting experience to read. A literary work I have treasured since it was first published in 1979.

A masterpiece which had the misfortune of falling victim to an appalling film adaptation in 1981. Shame on you director Franco Zefferelli (and screenwriter Judith Rascoe) for botching up such an outstanding novel. So if you've seen this screen monstrosity or the 2014 remake (
Sep 12, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: heartbreak/tragic love junkies
Shelves: fiction
The first half of the book is a little tedious, and the author's style isn't as polished as it is in his more recent work of a comparable theme, A Ship Made of Paper. But the second half is consuming, utterly heartbreaking, and well worth it. Not at all like the cheesy ending to the Brooke Shields / Martin Hewitt adaptation (although I'm one of the few people on Earth who enjoyed at least most of the movie). Oh, and the graphic sex scenes are something else to look forward to. ...more
Feb 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
The movie seems to be a cliched version of The Notebook with nearly nothing in common with the book (however, I haven't seen the film, so who knows). The book was raw, sexual, and nothing like what I was expecting. Hopefully I will see the movie so I can do a book/movie review! ...more
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Any other books that deal with obsessive love like Endless Love? 4 115 Dec 28, 2012 08:43AM  

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Scott Spencer (b. 1945) is the critically acclaimed, bestselling author of ten novels, including Endless Love and A Ship Made of Paper, both of which have been nominated for the National Book Award. Two of his books, Endless Love and Waking the Dead, have been adapted into films.

He has taught at Columbia University, the University of Iowa, and Williams College, and Bard College's Bard Prison Initi

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