It was ok, not bad, and that is what 2 stars is supposed to mean It was a fairly absorbing read, but the characters were so prone to constant yet shifting self analysis, always on the brink of disaster or in mid crisis state, it was like a hyped up version of some fifties melodrama where everyone is having epiphonies every ten seconds, then something happens and they have a new epiphony It was too much Still there was something interesting about the way the two characters thought about themselves and each other, and there were a few passages I really liked So overall, it might be worth reading just for that But I can t exactly say I liked it, yet I m not sorry to have read it Is that 2 or 3 stars worth Not sure.
Have to say that I really felt like he was writing about himself and Uma Not that it s exactly representative, I think the main character was him but not him, sometimes an idealized version of a he man Ethan wishes he were, then sometimes a big blockhead Ethan feels like he is The girlfriend was tall and beautiful with big feet, always talking philosophically about everything like Julie Delphy in Before Sunrise , super smart and REALLY into sex all the time every day I did feel like the female character, though admirable and cool and self aware and confident and smart and all that, was still a male fantasy, one for bookish nerd boys who like women who are super smart and maybe a bit too complicated, thus a handful, but they are so sexy when they talk about nihilism and post modernist architecture and then take off all their clothes.
In the name of honesty I will tell you that I was skeptical going in because he s Ethan Hawke, a guy who probably wanted to add novelist to his already long and gorgeous resume.
More honesty Two chapters in I realized that I needed to carry a notebook because I had to pull over constantly to rewind the audio do we still call it rewinding and write down my favorite passages There were so so many To love each other and live in the truth To not lie at all To maintain a perspective on the other and not wholly judge them in context to yourself Suffice it to say I think Ethan Hawke is brilliant He reignited the romantic in me, someone I thought was dead I will eventually buy this book and highlight three quarters of it.
Will They Won t They On the Road Those au fait with Ethan Hawke s philosopher groovy syndrome breed of intelligent, dreamy slackers in movie roles such as Reality Bites, Before Sunrise and Before Sunset, will find than a hint of them repeated in this sophomoric tale The only problem is that, though all those characters are likeable guys with interesting ideas, they might not be the tautest of storytellers.
Army fuckup Jimmy Heartsock finds himself going AWOL to propose to win back his better half, girlfriend Christy Walker Christy is thinking it s time to call it a day at around exactly the same moment she finds herself pregnant It s will they won t they on the road The narrative is told in first person by both Jimmy and Christy Though Hawke does an admirable job telling Christy s side of the story a woman fond of, but frustrated and reaching breaking point with, her slacker of a fella it s the male voice which rings truest throughout Channelling a beatnik gonzo 20th Century classics American voice, everything is a sports analogy or a pyrotechnic of some description Christy has a dynamite ass, and a fireball mind, sending Jimmy into inferiority about his insert sports analogy here Generally I did like this novel a lot, but for the moments it contained than for the piece overall It s a very humanist narrative which takes in a lot of the history and flaws of two people who love each other but don t agree about everything, and are suddenly are trying to decide what next The plot ties in the couple s interaction and copious copulation with the symbolic background of Shrove Tuesday and Ash Wednesday An appearance by a cat named Grace just as one character is seeking the concept of grace is also a little I m not sure I veer between finding it all very clever one moment and finding it too heavy handed the next I found my faith in the book faltered most when Jimmy who, let s be honest, is Hawke is so madly in love with Christy Ethan Hawke s then wife Uma Thurman, perchance that she can talk the most faux philosophical bullshit while consuming a root beer float and the next few paragraphs will be Jimmy raving about how fantastic, smart and sexy she is, based on what she just said If the audience hasn t had the character s sexiness or intelligence proven to them by what she said did the subsequent praise will not add anything further.
Also, Ethan Hawke I think you re a lovely guy In another life I m sure I would ve fallen for you in a coffee shop somewhere But please, when you re writing fiction as an already a high profile guy, put a bit distance between your real life and the fictional characters you write Make Kristy shorter than Uma, give her a different colour hair Something When the audience is likely to know a little bit about your love life already you have to tread carefully and make sure your fictional voice is truly fictional, otherwise it gets distracting.
A good novel, but not fabulous A lot of interesting moments and observations strung together Without the name Ethan Hawke to help market it, I doubt it would be in print but that s not saying much Also at the risk of being extremely cruel I think I d rather see this filmed by Richard Linklater than read it on the page Some good cinematography could tighten up shine over all the dull bits, and bring emphasis to the dialogue which is one of the strongest points.
After I learned that Hawke was a co writer of the Before screenplays, I knew I had to read his work Ash Wednesday does not disappoint It is eloquently executed It is deep, introspective, existential It s a beautiful portrayal of existence and the human struggle He ends it on a decidedly optimistic note Reading this was wholly enjoyable.
Jimmy Is AWOL From The Army, But With Characteristic Fierceness And Terror He S About To Embark On The Biggest Commitment Of His Life Christy Is Pregnant With Jimmy S Child, And She S Determined To Head Home, With Or Without Jimmy, To Face Up To Her Past And Prepare For The Future Somehow, Barreling Across America From Albany To New Orleans To Ohio And Texas In A Souped Up Chevy Nova, Christy And Jimmy Are Transformed From Passionate But Conflicted Lovers Into A Young Family On A Magnificent Journey I wanted the book for a while without knowing much about it, other than Ethan Hawke was the author My then boyfriend bought it for me I was unable to like or even mildly stand any of the characters The part that most bothered me is early on in the book, when the protagonist s future girlfriend lifts up her skirt and shows him her pussy because he said I m not afraid of you I couldn t help but feel this was unrealistic not to mention irritatingly stupid.
Ethan Hawke has made some interesting movies, and I ve watched his chapter of Shakespeare Uncovered on PBS Now I find that he has some serious writing chops The young people he created for this story are so believable, their predicament so familiar and their pain and struggle so realistic that they seem drawn from life I recommend this book.
So real Jimmy and Christy could be the couple next door, your parents, or friends As Jimmy and Christy travel to Texas they make choices, grow, and question their lives Such a real, heartfelt book full of inspiration and hope.