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The Hottest State 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 singersongwriter named SarahPlayer 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 uick 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

10 thoughts on “The Hottest State

  1. Morgan (Turbo) Morgan (Turbo) says:

    I've read another of Ethan Hawke and thought he was good So when I saw this book in the free box I couldn't just pass it up laughing that an actor actually thinks he can write toolike I could at a Mel Gibson or Bruce Willis novel uite contrary Hawke has a writing voice that is simple direct and sometimes ingenious Check out one of his character's resolutions I want to never waste energy degrading someone else Also I want to try not see life as a competition If I can do these two things as well as keep myself from being checked into an alcoholic rehabilitation center then I figure I'll be A OK 182 This book reads like a good satisfying meal It's a romance written from a budding hopeless romantic's perspective Perfect in length and depth A good page turner

  2. Whitney Whitney says:

    Ironically I picked up The Hottest State because I thought to myself I haven't read any male authors lately I'm looking to get a masculine perspective on something for a change of pace So I start to read and I realize Oh shit This is Ethan Hawke He has emotions and shitThe main character falls messily in love with a mysterious curvy girl who has serious boundary inconsistencies Readers are led to empathize a little tiny bit with the protagonist's love interests but mostly we're stuck in the protagonist's potential narcissism I'm glad it was a uick readMy favorite part is some poetry the boy wrote when he was seven years old The cowboy ridesThrough desert by desertTraveling by horsesHe gets dirtyLike a rag buried in the sandAnd he dies full of ageand bulletsA hat is shaped in lots of different waysA big bump in the middleAnd flat on the sidesAnd nothing like a jacketFort Worth is the hottest state I knowMy dad lives thereMy grandma tooMost every grandparentexcept a fewIt's so cute I want to give the boy hugs But the grownup not so much

  3. Patrick Patrick says:

    An incredibly visceral raw wound of a book perfectly detailing everyone's experience of obsessive passionate love that ends badly'I loved that stupid girl so much' he says If you can't identify with that statement on some level you have no heartA great debut from a promising author who has far surpassed expectations as an actorwriterartistA uick read that's very easy to pick up again even if it has the effect of giving you an ear to ear grin at the start and ending with you feeling like you've been guttedAn incredible emotional experience

  4. Karen Karen says:

    I really enjoyed this book Ethan Hawke's writing is fantastic It flows so smoothly and effortlessly that you want to read it straight through; which is what I almost did The story was realistic and captured my attention right away I look forward to reading books by Ethan Hawke

  5. Alex Ankarr Alex Ankarr says:

    It has sentimental value what can I say? The book me and hubs were both reading when we met And when we came to uestion each other about reading tastes we both bashfully announced that we were reading A TOTALLY AMAZING BOOK which we were a bit shy to talk aboutYeah same book This bookIt's still pretty amazing

  6. CC CC says:

    I read this such a long time ago when it first came out It's a novella not a novel per se The characters felt familiar and the angst of William loving someone who didn't even know if she liked him half the time much less loved him gave the piece an honest vibeHowever the lack of details throughout left me frustrated Sarah is a nanny yet never seems to work though she still manages to afford a New York apartment William is an actor He's successful enough to make a living at it yet never mentions rehearsing auditioning directors other actors or the hassles of trying to get ahead in what is surely a difficult industry Sketchy details continue when William gets a part in an independent movie which is shooting in Europe He never mentions what the part is and for whatever baffling reason Sarah doesn't bother asking When he trades in his first class ticket for two coach tickets so Sarah can go with him I was ready to finally bond with them and believe in their relationship I was thinking of them tackling Europe together across an ocean with only each other to cling to They aren't well traveled characters but for some reason meet the rush of their new and exciting surroundings with ho hum attitudes Shouldn't at least one of them want to have fun? Go sightseeing? Get swept away? It's as if nothing but the back and forth of maybe I like you or maybe I don't mattered to either of them I know it was a catalyst for William coming to terms with his father later on but Sarah comes off as a manipulative child rather than sympatheticI did like William's relationship with his mother That twinge of loneliness and spending Thanksgiving in another house with another of his mother's boyfriends when there had been so many of them sort of broke my heart Kudos for that

  7. Karen Karen says:

    What a bizarre book I did read it in around 1 day couldn't put it down But in the end I felt like it had been a waste of time This book is basically about a guy who falls in love and then the girl dumps him and he takes it badly but the whole time it seems like it's gonna be which is why I couldn't put it down For awhile I thought William was in the midst of a psychotic break hearing voices erratic violent behavior strange physical manifestations like having to pee 20 times in an hour But then he just recovers and gets over the girl with no explanation for all that Then I thought maybe he was figuring out he was gay nope I wasn't sympathetic to his character or the girl who was supposedly so fabulous And so many things didn't hang together like Sarah grew up in CT lived in Seattle then moved to NY but had never been on a plane? Yet she has a passport ready to go when he invites her to France? And she invites him to visit her preschool classroom and asks him to take a little girl to the bathroom then lie down with her while she falls asleep at naptime? Excuse me? That's a preschool whose days are numberedCan't believe they turned this into a movie

  8. Karielle at Books à la Mode Karielle at Books à la Mode says:

    Ethan Hawke will break your heart The Hottest State chronicles one year in the life of young dashing William Harding aspiring actor and charming lover When he first meets Sarah a girl unlike any he's ever seen he knows from the beginning that he's a goner She's beautiful She's elusive Every little thing she does strikes William greatly The passion the two share the chemistry; it's all so surreal that even he can't believe it He knows right then and there that she is the one that she's the one that he'll love forever but little does he realize that though she may be the pursuit of his pleasure he is just a twenty year old fool in love and by time he's twenty one he'll just be a broken hearted man The way Hawke captures your interest in enthralling He makes you become William Harding I by all means am not a helpless twenty year old boy in love but throughout reading the book I really felt like I was All of William's movements and thoughts I could relate with It was so eerie When William cried I felt like crying and when he got psychotic over his breakup with Sarah I could feel the pain tugging inside of him There's this one funny scene where he throws furniture around and it's not funny like haha but funny because it's a scene where it should have been a turning point I should have said Wow this William is nuts But I didn't say that Instead I found myself cheering him on because as crazy as he was the emotion that was seeping throughout all of it was so legitimate This novel was by far one of them most entertaining novels I've ever read and not only because I feel like it's something straight out of my own past or future for that matter Ethan Hawke will make you laugh and he'll make you love William's story but in the tragic end Ethan Hawke will break your heart

  9. Elizabeth Elizabeth says:

    OMG YOU GUYS did you know that Ethan Hawke wrote a novel? Two novels actually And now you know all that you need to know about this book

  10. Julia Julia says:

    Took a long break after the first third of the book and then read the rest on one day I love the way he writes dialogue it seems as though you’re standing right next to the people talking The story itself was a bit weird but somehow still very enjoyable

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