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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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“Eleanor Henderson is in possession of an enormous talent which she has matched up with skill, ambition, and a fierce imagination.  The resulting novel, Ten Thousand Saints, is the best thing I’ve read in a long time.”
—Ann Patchett, bestselling author of Bel Canto and State of Wonder

A sweeping, multigenerational drama, set against the backdrop of the raw, roaring New York City during the late 1980s, Ten Thousand Saints triumphantly heralds the arrival a remarkable new writer. Eleanor Henderson  makes a truly stunning debut with a novel that is part coming of age, part coming to terms, immediately joining the ranks of The Emperor’s Children by Claire Messud and Jonathan Lethem’s The Fortress of Solitude. Adoption, teen pregnancy, drugs, hardcore punk rock, the unbridled optimism and reckless stupidity of the young—and old—are all major elements in this heart-aching tale of the son of diehard hippies and his strange odyssey through the extremes of late 20th century youth culture.

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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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