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The Hottest State: A Novel

Author : Hawke, Ethan

$5.00

Yes, it’s “that” Ethan Hawke. Ethan Hawke the actor. In this slim debut novel, he tells a coming-of-age tale of a fairly unpleasant young actor from Texas named William who lives in Manhattan and is working his way through an ugly little relationship with a singer/songwriter named Sarah.

Player of confused but adorable Gen X Romeos in films like Reality Bites and Before Sunrise, Hawke, 25, is easily conjured up as a stand-in for 21-year-old William Harding, the disaffected narrator of this slim first novel, a boy-meets-girl, girl-dumps-boy saga set in a grungy New York of aspiring actors, writers and singers.
That William, a college dropout and budding actor, falls fast and hard for Sarah Wingfield, who fronts a band, teaches preschool and is a bit “funny looking,” comes as a revelation to him, given his history of using his good looks for quick sex. Sarah casts William’s sexual yearnings and his white trash boyhood into sharp relief by reading Adrienne Rich, toting a list of rape statistics and refusing to sleep with him. Their doomed romance is intercut with William’s memories of his parents’ breakup, of talks with his best friend and of his overheated teen relationship with Samantha, who still flits in and out of his life.
When Sarah suddenly, inexplicably rejects him after William returns from making a movie in Paris, he descends into self-loathing panic and trashes his apartment. His callow cynicism about women and his flattened out, ’90s rendition of Holden Caulfield (“Samantha wanted to have sex. She wasn’t doing me any goddamn favors”) grow wearisome. But Hawke’s emotionally raw account of a world inescapably contracted is oddly affecting and sure to make many a teenage heart go pit-a-pat.

In stock
Format : Paperback
Condition : Very Good
Edition : Reissue
Publisher : Vintage
Date Published : 1997
ISBN : 0679781358
ISBN13 : 9780679781356

1 in stock

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