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Extended Audio Sample Ten Thousand Saints, by Eleanor Henderson Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (3,202 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Eleanor Henderson Narrator: Steven Kaplan Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Adopted by a pair of diehard hippies, restless, marginal Jude Keffy-Horn spends much of his youth getting high with his best friend, Teddy, in their bucolic and deeply numbing Vermont town. But when Teddy dies of an overdose on the last day of 1987, Jude’s relationship with drugs and with his parents devolves to new extremes. Sent to live with his pot-dealing father in New York City’s East Village, Jude stumbles upon straight edge, an underground youth culture powered by the paradoxical aggression of hardcore punk and a righteous intolerance for drugs, meat, and sex. With Teddy’s half brother, Johnny, and their new friend, Eliza, Jude tries to honor Teddy’s memory through his militantly clean lifestyle. But his addiction to straight edge has its own dangerous consequences. While these teenagers battle to discover themselves, their parents struggle with this new generation’s radical reinterpretation of sex, drugs, and rock ’n’ roll and their grown-up awareness of nature and nurture, brotherhood and loss.

Moving back and forth between Vermont and New York City, Ten Thousand Saints is an emphatically observed story of a frayed tangle of family members brought painfully together by a death, then carried along in anticipation of a new and unexpected life. With empathy and masterful skill, Eleanor Henderson has conjured a rich portrait of the modern age and the struggles that unite and divide generations.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Eleanor Henderson is in possession of an enormous talent, which she has matched up with skill, ambition, and a fierce imagination. The resulting novel…is the best thing I’ve read in a long time.”

    Ann Patchett, New York Times bestselling author of Bel Canto and State of Wonder

  • Ten Thousand Saints is funny, touching, artistic, surprising, lovely, eye-opening, and very, very wise.”

    Arthur Phillips, New York Times bestselling author of The Song Is You

  • “Henderson does not hold back once: she writes the hell out of every moment, every scene, every perspective, every fleeting impression, every impulse and desire and bit of emotional detritus. She is never ironic or underwhelmed; her preferred mode is fierce, devoted and elegiac.”

    New York Times

  • “An irresistibly rich and engrossing novel…poignant, complex…Henderson brilliantly evokes the gritty energy of New York City in the ’80s, and the violent euphoria of the music scene. The hard-edged settings highlight the touching vulnerability of young characters.”

    O, The Oprah Magazine

  • “Henderson proves herself to be an expert ethnographer; her detail work is phenomenal…But her characterizations demonstrate Henderson’s greatest skill. Even the ones who receive comparatively little stage time are always precisely defined…Not all of these characters are particularly appealing, but they’re memorable, and Henderson’s affection for them is palpable.”

    Washington Post

  • “I loved Ten Thousand Saints; again and again I was stopped cold by beautiful chapter-ending sentences. I remember this Manhattan, the Sunday matinees at CB’s, the rage over yuppies colonizing the East Village.”

    Dean Wareham, lead singer of Galaxie 500 and Luna and author of Black Postcards

  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • Selected for the July 2011 Indie Next List
  • A 2011 New York Times Book Review Top 10 Book of the Year
  • Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award
  • A 2011 Los Angeles Times Art Seidenbaum Prize for First Fiction Finalist
  • One of the 2011 New York Times Book Review 100 Notable Books for Fiction

Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Scott | 2/20/2014

    " Yeah, I wasn't really convinced by Eleanor Henderson's too-long debut novel, set in New York City and southern Vermont in the early 1980s and starring a bunch of teenagers who, at various points, lose their virginity, smoke a lot of weed, huff freon, have a baby, get abandoned by their parents, die, live in Alphabet City squats, get AIDS, get tattoos, get in fights, and, for a big chunk of the book, play in a straight edge band and espouse the whole don't drink/smoke/fuck (also, here: /eat meat) lifestyle. Sounds promising, right? And the NYTBR gave it great front-page review, but really, the whole thing--the tone, the dialogue, the characters and their actions--seemed dangerously close to a YA book. Like, I kinda expected Johnny and Ponyboy to stroll onto the scene at any moment. Also: I didn't buy several key relationships, which provide the motivation for much of the narrative (and so, obviously, I didn't believe much of the narrative). Also, the settings felt forced, especially in the EVill. Basically it felt like Henderson did a lot research about the era, but no way did she live it. 2.5 stars. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Cindy | 2/12/2014

    " Deeply disturbing but couldn't put it down. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Carrie Shaurette | 1/28/2014

    " Realistic, fully developed characters populate this heartfelt coming-of-age story set in the late 80s. Yes I'm a sucker for a good NYC read, not to mention one dealing with the complexities of sex, drugs, and rock and roll, but this one is worth reading. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Tobi Kramer | 1/26/2014

    " I thought this was just an ok book. There were just some things I couldnt find believable, or relate to. "

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About the Author
Author Eleanor Henderson

Eleanor Henderson earned her MFA from the University of Virginia in 2005. An assistant professor at Ithaca College, she lives in Ithaca, New York, with her husband and two sons.