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Fast Times at Ridgemont High Paperback – September 15, 1981


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 253 pages
  • Publisher: Fireside (September 15, 1981)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671252917
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671252915
  • Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 5.2 x 1.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,901,077 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 17 customer reviews
I have been wanting to read the book for years, thank you.
Mindy Lower
I would say go out and get this book because the moive is like the cliff notes of the movie and if you really wanna laugh then you need to read this.
William Bradford
It's a quick read, and well worth it if you want a light-hearted period book.
A. Ross

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Philip S. Wolf on February 13, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In the fall of 1979 Cameron Crowe did something that many would describe as crazy. At 22 years of age he walked into the office of Principal William Gray's office and asked permission to attend classes for the full length of the school year to research a book he was to write of his experiences inside the walls of Ridgemont High in Redondo Beach, California. The sights, the sounds and even the smells of a High School of the late seventies are described within the covers of this most excellent document of being a teenaged wasteland of thirty years past.

The author walked the halls in a proper uniform of tennis shoes, jeans, t-shirt and backpack and blended in as best that he could while he transcribed everything and everyone around him. In this book you will discover: Brad Hamilton, the guy would takes pride in his fries, Damone, who has already mastered" "The Attitude" Mark Ratner, still hoping to nix the tie, Stacy Hamilton, listening to every pearl of wisdom about sex that Linda Barrett would describe in the lunch room while 15 year old boys observed from the un-cool tables and gazed at still-developing, female-type chests with big wide eyes of teenaged lust. And then, at last we arrive at Mister Hand's classroom where Jeff Spicoli is looking at a history textbook drawing cartoons with bloodshot eyes trying to figure out if this Thomas Jefferson dude was cool or extremely bogus.

What makes this book and the movie that followed it as the classic American story of teenagers coping with life as teenagers in a world they didn't create is that this ain't: "Leave it to Beaver" or: "The Brady Bunch.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Gabriel Neeb on January 3, 2008
Format: Paperback
A few things, yes this should be reissued. No, the edition I'm reading came from the library. I've no idea if there is any appreciable difference.
My only exposure to 'Fast Time...' had come primarily through the 1982 film. Loved it. Raucous with heart- a mix that is often attempted but more often failed, but the movie managed to do that. So I went looking for the book. Only to not find it on amazon or bn or Borders. OK. Check again. Nope. A few years later. Nothing. Now, about ten years after I first saw the movie, I decided to get the book out of the local library. And I'm glad I did.
If the book can be remembered for anything, it will be because the reader can read a part here or there and remember something like that. The uncertainty, the false bravado, the awkward search for conversation, a misread gesture. All the hallmarks of growing up and trying to relate to your peers. It's a book that only a few hundred actually experienced (Mr. Crowe and his classmates), but everyone that has ever attended an American high school will feel a high degree of familiarity with ("Well, no it didn't happen exactly like that...").
Mr. Crowe is smart enough to keep his cast small and focused on certain aspects of their lives. As a reader, I thank him for this as our desire to get a little more under the skin of the experience is always rewarded. My only misgiving is that, 28 years after the events described, the story isn't complete.
As stated, a re-issue would be invaluable.
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21 of 25 people found the following review helpful By A. Ross HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on November 28, 2001
Format: Paperback
I bet you didn't even know this was a book before it was a movie, did you? The first thing to know is that the book is much better than the movie. The definitive novel about early 80s Southern California high-school life, it is actually based on real events, as its subtitle "A True Story" tells you. Cameron Crowe apparently actually attended high-school for a year to do a "portrait" of contemporary high-school life. Fast Times is what emerged. While fairly faithful to the story, the movie diminishes the roles of Mark "the Rat" and Brad, and pumps up the role of Spicoli (who is a freshman in the book). It's a quick read, and well worth it if you want a light-hearted period book. It can be a little hard to find though.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By fatorange23 on February 4, 2012
Format: Paperback
I was in high school myself when the movie came out. The dollar theater Friday and Saturday night showings became THE place to be and be seen and the gathering point for our own late night adventures. We howled at the screen, drooled at the nudity, laughed at Spicoli, and threw our empty beer cans at Mr. Hand. Then the movie was gone and started the inevitable dissipation from our consciousness. But suddenly, a few years later, those of us who thought about it were astonished by how many excellent movie stars used this teen party flick as a launching pad. Then the movie was revisited and reconsidered, surprisingly standing up very well to the test of time. Then some more years passed. It started to come to light that the movie spawned from a book. OK, that's not so unusual. That may be worth picking up at some point, if I see it. More comes to light. It was actually written by Cameron Crowe. No kidding, wow, he's really talented, that's interesting. Actually it's non-fiction and he went undercover for a year and researched it at a real high school. Holy smoke! Now, I had to read it. Except it's out of print and stolen from practically every library in America. A hundred bucks on Amazon. Good grief! Finally, a couple years after that I see a copy for $35 and I snag it. Man, that's about the most build up for a book I can remember. Time to dig in. Can it live up to expectations? It blows them out of the water. It was one of the most beautifully nostalgic experiences to ever come to me from a work of art. The sex was just as sexy. The jokes were funnier. Spicoli was realer. Mr. hand was smarter. And Stacy's abortion was much more brutal. As Crowe took me through the year, it was that same melancholy feeling of loss as when you were actually experiencing the magic of youth slipping through your fingers while at the same time loving every second of it.
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