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Eddie and the Cruisers Paperback – October 15, 2008

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Praise for Eddie and the Cruisers:
"An excellently crafted book. The dialogue is sharp, the book is packed with exquisite description and a surprise ending." --Sunday Journal and Star

"Eddie and the Cruisers seems at first glance to be only a smartly written novel about nostalgia for the music of the late 1950s. It quickly proves, however, to be A remarkably good suspense story, full of vivid characters and some hilarious dialogue."--St. Louis Post-Dispatch

"A warm, entertaining, and highly evocative story of youth, music, and growing up in the 1950s."--The Philadelphia Inquirer

"Sparkling dialogue, wonderful characterizations and a plot which dazzles."--Enterprise Sun

"[A] good mix of everyday blues with old-time bebop."--Booklist

About the Author

P.F. Kluge is Writer in Residence at Kenyon College. He is the author of Gone Tomorrow and A Call From Jersey, published by Overlook. Two films, Dog Day Afternoon and Eddie and the Cruisers, are based on his work.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: The Overlook Press; Reprint edition (October 15, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590200942
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590200940
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #316,936 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Frank M. Rega on July 17, 2002
Format: Hardcover
First, you can get this book from Kenyon College where the author teaches (Google it up), their college bookstore has reprinted it. The book was interesting to compare to the movie and I like the movie better, although the book is good and I coundn't put it down. Any cult fan of the movie should read it - lots of the movie dialog is directly from the book, but many of the plot details are quite different. Sal Amato and Doc are not so likeable in the book, but the Eddie Wilson of the book and the movie is the same mysterious, driven person. JoaAnn Carlino is definitely an attractive character in the book. I don't want to give too many of the plot differences away, since part of the fun of reading it is to see where it differs from the movie.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Hound Dog on November 20, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It doesn't really matter whether or not you've seen the two films or have heard John Cafferty's superb rendition of "On the Dark Side," on the radio before; neither experience is even close to actually reading the 1980 novel by author P.F. Kluge. The somber source material for the 1983 cult classic film starring Tom Berenger and Michael Pare could be called an American rock `n' roll fable, a murder mystery, a realistic (albeit fictional) memoir, and perhaps most poignantly, a ghost story. Kluge's novel very much defies conventional labels of what genre it should belong to, much like its little-seen hero, Eddie Wilson, vainly searches for a music uniquely his own vision (and ahead of its time) before destiny claims him.

While reading Kluge's articulate prose written in ex-Cruiser Frank Ridgeway's first person point-of-view, I couldn't help but be reminded of Jack Kerouac's stream-of-consciousness "On the Road," narrative, which had a very similar feel to it. Much like the film adaptation (which occurs in 1981 with flashbacks to 1962-1963), Kluge's characters exist in a far more cynical, post-Watergate world than the exuberant, youthful generation of the late 1950's that Eddie Wilson so vibrantly personifies during the dawn of a new age. It seems prophetic that the defiant Eddie won't live to see the dramatic (and few for the better) changes in the lives he so greatly influenced before his apparent suicide in 1958. Even though he has limited `screen time' in the story, his somewhat ominous presence is very much felt throughout the novel.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By J. N. Christopher on May 24, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Narrator Frank Ridgeway's story is that of any American adolescent, one of dreams and heroes slowly replaced by loss and friends. Eddie Wilson is the tragic visionary, the Springsteen + James Dean character that remains to this day the very heart of the American dream. In the bonds between these brothers of purpose, we find ourselves and our national heritage.
Words & music still need each other. Thought & spirit govern our course through life.
The author, the Wordman himself, lives & teaches. His book is available in a special paperback edition with a new post-movie afterword. Find him & you'll find this book. It's well worth the effort.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Jym Cherry on February 3, 2010
Format: Paperback
Eddie and The Cruisers, the movie has been on TV recently and it's a movie I usually watch, and I decided I wanted to read the book to see how it compares to the movie. Did the screenwriters just adapt what was in the book? Or was the book a starting point for them? And, of course, it adds to the eternal debate which is better, the book or the movie? This is a review of P.F. Kluge's Eddie and The Cruisers (until the last paragraph).

Frank Ridgeway is a high school English teacher who is getting a divorce and pretty much doesn't like the students he teaches or his life. In his past he was a guitar player and lyricist for the 1958 era band Eddie and the Parkway Cruisers, who`s lead singer, Eddie Wilson, died mysteriously. After one of Frank's classes he's contacted by a reporter, Elliott Mannheim, who is doing a retrospective story on The Cruisers because their song "Far Away Woman" has been getting some airplay, and there`s a rumor of undiscovered recordings Eddie made right before he died. After the interview with Mannheim, Frank is contacted by Doc Robinson, the former manager of The Cruisers who was somewhat of schemer/scammer but now is making a living as a DJ at a college radio station. Doc tells Frank there may be tapes, he doesn't know but he started the rumor there were to flush them out if there were any tapes. And this is where the plot starts to get a little implausible to me. Doc tells Frank he needs to seek out all the old Cruisers and see if they know or have the tapes. Why doesn't Doc do this himself? Frank agrees to do this at the very least to make peace with his past.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Joshua Minton on February 28, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I say that with exception of the music from the movie (John Cafferty and the Beaver Band did an exceptional job). First let me say that on the basis of plot, the book is superior to the movie. There was an attempt to tie in some of the back plot in the second movie... Where the novel really shines is in the deep characterization of the secondary characters... Wendell's characer was so much more instrumental in the novel, as the only musician who was in on Eddie's secret experiment at Lakehurst. Since the novel is told in the first person, Frank Ridgeway comes alive... If you can get ahold of this book, it will be worth whatever you have to go through to get it...
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