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Downers Grove Paperback – April 9, 2001
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
The thing that bugged me were the glaring mistakes about not only the town Downers and its teens but Chicago,in general. When writers research their material,they usually go into a comprehensive sojourn for accuracy. This is where Hornburg slips. Everyone in both the city and suburbs know that North Ave runs east-west,not north-south. Wicker Park is mispelled "Whicker". Bolingbrook is mispelled "Bowling Brook". While Downers Grove has about 3 movie theatres(the Tivoli being the oldest while the others are newer and are in strip malls)none of them would've ever shown anything as edgy as "Kurt and Courtney' .That's what the Music Box,Piper's Alley and Facets Multimedia in the city's for. And why did Hornburg feel the need to make Lemont Rd and Main St two separate roads? THEY'RE THE SAME STREET! As big as Downers Grove is,Hornburg chose to focus on most of the events between the train station,63rd and 75th streets. This would be fine if he sometimes didn't make Downers sound like a tiny one stoplight town. My biggest beef was,hands down, the portrayal of Downers Grove youth.Read more ›
Frankly, I am disgusted. This is an awful novel. I am offended by the geographic inaccuracies, the unabashedly ridiculous personalities, and the fact Hornburg considered spending an hour flipping through his 1970s yearbook as "research."
I hate that I spent a few hours of my life reading this book. There was nothing redeeming about it; more often than not, it was an embarrassment. I wish that I could give this book zero stars. This dockle owes Downers Grove an apology. Actually, Downers Grove is not that great (though not as bad as he says).
Hornburg owes *me* an apology. I really wanted to like this book.
He wishes to present Chrissie as a potentially clever yet deeply cynical person. Unfortunately, most of her narration is nothing but a ridiculous collection of mixed metaphors and shallow, failed attempts at insight.
A character without depth does not usually work well as the central figure in a novel. And it would be the job of an author with far more skill than Hornburg to write such a novel.
As for plot, this novel is dreadfully unoriginal and the story contains so many warmed-over plot elements and tired episodes that unwarranted attention is drawn to the author's lack of skill. It is one thing to present a situation which we've seen before -- in fiction or in our own life -- but to do so without giving a fresh perspective or meaningful context? Why should an author bother?
Hornburg's failure extends so far as to miss important elements regarding the locale of his novel. Now, I'm all for poetic license...but when several other weaknesses in a novel are accompanied by a slip-shod handling of the details which are supposed to provide realism, my estimation of an author is not going to improve.
Certainly, as a resident of the Chicago area who is familiar with the setting of this novel, I may know some things that the general reader does not. So, I'm not going to make a big deal about this.
But even without regard to that, any reader who wants an intelligent, well-written novel to read should not bother with this.
I read the whole thing in a few hours because I was curious as to whether it might get better. It didn't. Its plot was slightly intriguing for a second, because I wanted to know whether the girls would die or go to jail. It wasn't until I finished the whole thing that I realized that there hadn't been any character development or plot development...at the end, I still didn't have a grasp on who the girls were or what they had been through (except in a vague, generic way), I didn't believe in Chrissie's relationship with Bobby at all, and I wondered why the mom and brother had even been put into the book in the first place, considering they were just one-sided cardboard cutouts in the background. Actually, that's pretty much what all of the characters were except for Chrissie, who was too contradictory to be one-sided.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great story I loved reading every word. Many of the places that are described in the book I drive pass (the ones that are still around) everyday. Read morePublished 24 days ago by Maryland429
I just finished reading this book. Judging by the reviews, this is the sort of book that either you will love it - or you will absolutely hate it. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Roddy
I read this book when it came out in 1999. It's a good quick read. Yes there are some inaccuracies about what us DG teens did but I thought it captured us pretty well. Read morePublished 13 months ago by KVILL
A decent premise of one high school student dying each year fizzles into Dawson's Creek. The third season. An urban legend come true that somehow manages to be mundane.Published on July 31, 2013 by Lola Run Lola
This was a good, quick, fun, summer read. It was well-written too. There were a few time-gap missteps (for example I think they listen to a band on a cassette tape that was not yet... Read morePublished on July 5, 2013 by Christopher Gurrie
I was really exited to buy this book for a dollar on sale. "Holy crap! My hometown made it big!"
About three pages in, I wondered why this particular grown man chose to... Read more
This is one of the worst books I've ever read. I agree with a lot of the other reviewers who also gave it a low rating.Published on November 17, 2011 by L. N. Kleisner
I read this book probably 5 or 6 years ago and I have to say it is one of the most memorable I have ever read. Read morePublished on February 10, 2011 by L. Gillis
I went to high school with this author and he got it soooo right!
Great read and very accurate, I already sent it on to my friends
and they loved it too!