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Hawkes Harbor Paperback – April 27, 2010

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Erasing age and genre barriers, prize-winning, bestselling YA author Hinton turns out a dark, funny, scary, suspenseful tale that will entertain mainstream and adventure/horror readers alike. Jamie Sommers is orphaned at the age of eight in 1950 and sent to live with some nasty nuns until graduating as a troubled young man to a life at sea. After surviving a number of life-threatening adventures in exotic ports, he ends up in the small town of Hawkes Harbor on the Delaware coast, where he stumbles into a situation so dire his entire life is changed in a manner of minutes. His new employer, the mysterious Grenville Hawke, lord of Hawkes Hall, known to Jamie as It, the Thing and the Vampire, almost kills Jamie, then goes on to enslave him for years to come. Moving back and forth through time, Hinton twists and shapes her bleak material until the story and the reader's expectations have been turned upside down. This is an adult novel, meaning that Hinton gets to write sex scenes and use the word fuck when she wants to, but the basic elements that made her 30-year-old book TheOutsiders a long-time bestseller are present in this rousing read. This is a contemporary Treasure Island with a genre-bending twist.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Bookmarks Magazine

Remember what made The Outsiders, Tex, and Rumble Fish classics? Hinton’s first adult novel (appropriate for teens, too) contains some of those same elements, but critics aren’t quite sure what to make of it. Hinton knows how to tell a story, and this one’s entertaining, ghoulish, and full of fantastical adventures. But the non-chronological time frame and confusing narration left some reviewers bewildered. A few unexplained elements, from Jamie’s fading voice and changes in Hawkes’s personality, also left them hanging. But, if you’re curious to know what Hinton’s been up to the past 25 years and don’t expect a classic, Hawkes Harbor is worth a go.

Copyright © 2004 Phillips & Nelson Media, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 251 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books; 1 Reprint edition (April 27, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765327287
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765327284
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (90 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #398,493 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Susan Eloise Hinton's career as an author began while she was still a student at Will Rogers High School in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Disturbed by the divisions among her schoolmates into two groups--the Greasers and the Socs--Hinton wrote The Outsiders, an honest, sometimes shocking novel told from the point of view of an orphaned 14-year-old Greaser named Ponyboy Curtis. Since her narrator was male, it was decided that Hinton use only her first initials so as not to put off boys who would not normally read books written by women. The Outsiders was published during Hinton's freshman year at the University of Tulsa, and was an immediate sensation.Today, with more than eight million copies in print, the book is the best-selling young adult novel of all time, and one of the most hauntingly powerful views into the thoughts and feelings of teenagers. The book was also made into a film, directed by Francis Ford Coppola and featuring such future stars as Emilio Estevez, Patrick Swayze, Matt Dillon, and Tom Cruise.Once published, The Outsiders gave her a lot of publicity and fame, and also a lot of pressure. S.E. Hinton was becoming known as "The Voice of the Youth" among other titles. This kind of pressure and publicity resulted in a three year long writer's block.Her boyfriend (and now, her husband), who had gotten sick of her being depressed all the time, eventually broke this block. He made her write two pages a day if she wanted to go anywhere. This eventually led to That Was Then, This Is Now.In the years since, Ms. Hinton has married and now has a teenaged son, Nick. She continues to write, with such smash successes as That Was Then, This Is Now, Rumble Fish and Tex, almost as well known as The Outsiders. She still lives in Tulsa with her husband and son, where she enjoys writing, riding horses, and taking courses at the university.In a wonderful tribute to Hinton's distinguished 30-year writing career, the American Library Association and School Library Journal bestowed upon her their first annual Margaret A. Edwards Award, which honors authors whose "book or books, over a period of time, have been accepted by young people as an authentic voice that continues to illuminate their experiences and emotions, giving insight into their lives."

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

24 of 25 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on June 22, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I read Hinton's classic YA novels when I was young, and enjoyed their grittiness. This novel, however, is quite different, because it was originally meant to be a Dark Shadows-tie in novel. That's why some of the characters aren't as fully drawn out as if they had been created for a fully original story - just as if you read a Star Trek or other media tie-in novel, where you already "know" James T. Kirk or Spock. Only in this case, the novel was not published under the Dark Shadows imprint, but characters were renamed as if they were original, with Barnabas Collins, the famous Maine-born vampire, becoming "Grenville". If you enjoy Dark Shadows, and are familiar with the storyline that made the 1960s soap a runaway success and continuing cult favorite, you'll "get" this novel and may enjoy its new, more adult take on the original story. (There's more explicit sex than in the soap, which was very popular with teens.) If you've never seen the show, but are a S.E. Hinton fan, you might want to rent Dark Shadows' first DVD collection in order to understand the storyline better. If you find that Dark Shadows' campy, theatrical feel doesn't appeal to you, you probably won't like this book either.
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29 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Ellen Marks on January 16, 2005
Format: Hardcover
When I was in high school, I loved The Outsiders, and I loved S.E. Hinton's characters (I was a little in love with many of them too). I read everything else she wrote: Rumble Fish; That Was Then, This Is Now; Tex. I read some of them several times. I saw the movies. And so, this fall, when I walked by a display with Hawkes Harbor, I did a doubletake, then went over to read the back cover, and lingered awhile before moving on with a longing backward glance. My husband then bought it for me as a gift.

I read Hawkes Harbor yesterday--it's a quick read. When I was halfway through my husband asked how it was and I said it was awful and he gave me one of those knowing looks and said, "How long has it been since you've read her?" Meaning, maybe you've got it wrong, maybe you're misremembering how good The Outsiders was, it's been 20 years, hasn't it? "No," I said. "She was really good. I was in high school then, and there were books I loved then that were awful, but I knew they were awful and loved them anyway. The Outsiders was something special."

So we went online, and pulled up the first few pages here on Amazon. And the voice is just as strong as I remember it, and the prose is just as clear. On the second page, there's the sentence, "When I see a movie with someone it's kind of uncomfortable, like having someone read your book over your shoulder," a great sentence that puts you right inside her narrator's skin. I don't think there's a single sentence that good in all of Hawkes Harbor.

Hawkes Harbor is a mess. Hinton hasn't figured out how to write in third person, and her point of view is all over the place in a way that's both jarring and distancing.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Dorothy on December 29, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I got this at a library book sale and read it in two nights. What an incredibly compelling book and wonderful find. I LOVED IT. I'm pretty sure I fell in love with Jamie Sommers and maybe even Grenville a little bit. Their journey to friendship was a beautiful thing to read. I'll be keeping this as one of my special books instead of passing it on as I normally would.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By David Berck on June 25, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is SE Hinton's first novel in over fifteen years, according to the blurb on the back. As such, there are many expectations that can come regarding the author of such works as The Outsiders, Rumble Fish, and That was Then, This is Now. Almost inevitably, Hawkes Harbor will be compared to those works that most of us will remember fondly from our younger years.

Unfortunately, Hawkes Harbor just doesn't live up to The Outsiders, which is unfair to Hawkes Harbor. On its own, Hawkes Harbor actually ends up being a very nice story. However, it does suffer on a couple of points. There is a lot of jumping back and forth in time as the main character, Jamie, struggles to remember his past while in a mental institution. Whether or not the feeling is on purpose, the disjointedness of the piecemeal recall can be disorienting and disheartening.

Also, as with the expectation of Rumble Fish quality, the reader may be confounded by expectation of plot and/or genre. Due to some of the reviews and blurbs on the covers, some people will come in with the expectation of a supernatural thriller, but the book doesn't start out like one, instead choosing to set the stage through the flashback scenes. Once involved in the book, it doesn't read like a normal supernatural thriller or romance in the vein of an Anita Blake novel. What the novel truly ends up focused on are relationships between Jamie and other characters and how those relationships change. There are certainly some exciting and terrifying moments, but more importance is placed on how people change and the evolution of their interpersonal relationships. In this exploration of perception and misperception is where there is some common ground with Hinton's previous, more well known works.
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