Ash Wednesday and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Qty:1
  • List Price: $12.95
  • Save: $1.29 (10%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Only 5 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Used: Good | Details
Sold by hippo_books
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: Item qualifies for FREE shipping and Prime! This item is used.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more
See all 2 images

Ash Wednesday Paperback – June 10, 2003


See all 12 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Paperback
"Please retry"
$11.66
$1.98 $0.01
Best%20Books%20of%202014

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Best Books of the Month
Best Books of the Month
Want to know our Editors' picks for the best books of the month? Browse Best Books of the Month, featuring our favorite new books in more than a dozen categories.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; Reprint edition (June 10, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375718850
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375718854
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (66 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #255,951 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Sure he can act (and direct), but can he write? Readers and critics remained undecided after the publication of Hawke's first novel, The Hottest State, but most will respond with an encouraging "yes" to his enjoyable second novel, which melds believable youthful introspection to a catchy road-novel plot. Jimmy Heartsock, AWOL from the army, and his pregnant girlfriend, Christy, are the young couple caught between love and disillusionment whose path to self-discovery is punctuated by passion ("This girl had a friggin' fireball for a heart") as well as endearing quirkiness. Jimmy is posted in Albany, N.Y., and waffling in his affections, when Christy gives him an ultimatum: she's going home to Texas and he can either come with her or forget about seeing her again. Taking the biggest gamble of his life, he decides to make the drive with her in his old Chevy Nova, risking dishonorable discharge. Christy, who is afraid to face who she is ("Good morning, fear.... You are my oldest friend") and only feels calm when she is moving, steps on her own path to self-renewal after meeting a blind man on a bus who speaks of change and the possibility of transcendence through God. The two protagonists must each learn to step out of themselves, find "gratitude in the face of loss or suffering" and submit to a love that is attuned to reality before they can find a home with and for each other. Hawke's text at times reads raw, but the novel's conversational tone, dual first-person narration and, above all, direct exploration of the simple truths of life and love make this a worthwhile tale and an honest one, sufficient to make most readers look forward to Hawke's next.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Hawke again departs from the silver screen to bring us this story of AWOL Jimmy and his pregnant girlfriend, who are heading home in a souped-up Chevy Nova to try to straighten out their lives.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Adam Carter on December 27, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I do not deem it necessary to re-hash the plot--since many of the other reviewers have already done so--but also because the plot is not what makes this book great. What worked in this story is mainly the characters. They were real and they were interesting, but what really made the characters work was the point of view. With two main characters, most authors would have gone with an omnicient point of view. Hawke chose to alternate between the two character's first-person points of view, which allows the reader to know the private thoughts and feelings of both characters. When other authors try this technique it usually doesn't work because the reader cannot tell the difference between the speakers, but in this book both characters are so distinct in their personal "voices" that you can always tell which one is speaking. I didn't exactly fall in love with the characters from the beginning, but they kind of grew on me and I found myself wanting to know--even CARING--about what happened to them. In the end, I was satisfied with this book and glad that I had read it. I also enjoyed Hawke's first novel, The Hottest State, and if and when there is a third, I will be sure not to miss that one either.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
15 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Uncle Elmer on September 20, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Ethan Hawke takes the time to wonder aloud those thoughts we all ponder at one time or another in our lives. Insecure thoughts. Angry thoughts. Proud thoughts. Thoughts of love and desire. He takes all of these sentiments and ties them together into Ash Wednesday which is a ode to human growth and the joys and pains of it. This book is about a man and a woman growing together yet wondering if they should be elsewhere but in the end they feel their time together is worthwhile and stick it out.
This is not a great book but it is a good book and one written by a man of depth and substance brave enough to speak his mind about the wackiness of the human condition.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Gail Cooke HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 4, 2002
Format: Hardcover
What happened to actor/director/author Ethan Hawke between "The Hottest State" (1996) and his second novel "Ash Wednesday"? He became a writer of note.
Hawke has fashioned a realistic, poignant story of two lovers, young lovers who must, of necessity, find themselves or lose each other.
Staff Sergeant Jimmy Heartsock, a rather capricious Kent State dropout, has gone AWOL. He's also gone AWOL from Christy, his pregnant girlfriend, who issued him an either or - either come home with me to Texas or we're over. When Jimmy opted for the "or" she boarded a bus for the Lone Star state, after whispering, "You make me sick....People have always told me about this feeling, but I've never had it. It's awful." She spoke these words with "empty eyes, as if it were already two years later."
While he is impulsive and immature, with drugs as "the most invigorating thing" in his life, Jimmy is given to introspection. After some mental reassessment he decides to go after Christy. He catches up with her, and they begin the cross country trip in his `69 Chevy Nova.
It is during this journey that the pair reveal themselves to each other and to the reader through an interesting strategy - the use of dual first person narrators. It is very effective. As Hawke said in an interview he thought this was simply the natural way to tell his story of two lovers.
"I think there's a value to having a dual perspective on a story," he added.
There is value, indeed, as readers are privy to both the thoughts and words of Jimmy and Christy as they come to realize what is important in life and love.
- Gail Cooke
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By C. Blakely on November 19, 2004
Format: Paperback
I was intrigued to read a novel by Ethan Hawke and was very pleasantly surprised with his wonderful, believable use of dialogue. I felt the characters were so screwed up they wiped out any empathy I might have mustered for their situation, but there was so much thought put into this book, so many different ideas concerning our very being on this planet, that I set aside my dislike for the characters and enjoyed reading a novel with so much soul. An excellent actor and a much greater author than I expected. And he shares his beautiful first name with my son, so how could he possibly do any wrong?
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
13 of 17 people found the following review helpful By "info6176" on October 27, 2002
Format: Hardcover
What an original plot Ethan Hawke has come up with: Two young people who were meant to be together and love one another for the rest of their lives just can't seem to get it together (what with all the obstacles thrown in their way), unless they make a serious effort. To make it really interesting(?), let's have the guy be AWOL from committments: his 'career'(The Army), his family, and even his religion. As for the girl - why she has 'committment issues' with men, due to her tattered relationship with her daddy, that she has yet to come to grips with. Throw in an unwanted preganancy and what do you have? A story that has been done many times before - only better from more capable writers (not to mention screen-writers, too). Sorry Mr. Hawke, don't give up your day job!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By "flying_raven" on December 19, 2002
Format: Hardcover
In his second novel, Ash Wednesday, Ethan Hawke tells the story of Jimmy and Christy, two twentysomething lovers who are on the brink of a quarter-life crisis as problems and consequences are thrown into their faces. Christy is pregnant, and Jimmy is AWOL from the Army after an "all around bad day" where he, while strung out on drugs, has to tell a mother that her military son was killed. They embark on a road trip where they each go back to their home towns, see their parents (Jimmy has only has flashbacks of his father, who committed suicide), get married, and face consequences for Jimmy's absence without leave from the Army.
This book is heavy with dialogue, which is, in my opinion, a good thing. One line of dialogue can tell more about a character than pages and pages of a narrator's description, and Hawke definitely has an ear for it (possibly from all those scripts he's read?)These characters are complex, and so real. You believe them as real people, possibly someone you might know in life, and you are dying to know what happens to them next.
This is one of the best books I have read all year.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews


What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?