Ash Wednesday by Ethan Hawke

May 10, 2010

I didn’t even know Ethan Hawke had written a book until I saw the audio version of Ash Wednesday available as a download through the public library. I decided to check it out and see if Hawke has anything good to offer as an author. He doesn’t. I only made it about 30 percent of the way through the book (listened to 3 complete files out of 10) before deleting the hot mess off my iPod.

The main plot centers on a 30-something AWOL army grunt named Jimmy Heartsock (was that supposed to be some subtle allusion to “heartsick”???) and his 20-something girlfriend Christy. Hawke tries to paint this pair as a couple who really, really should be together, but haven’t been able to make their relationship work for one reason or another.

Even through 30 percent of the book, I had no clear idea of what their problem was, as not much happened in those pages. There is A LOT of rambling “introspection” on the part of both characters, which takes the reader away from the immediacy of the story. This wouldn’t be a problem if the main characters were likable, but they aren’t. They’re tiresome, immature, and selfish. Let’s put it this way: if they were real people, I’d stay the hell away from them because they’re toxic, negative, and boring. I’d rather go to the derm for my eczema treatment instead of out for drinks with people like these two — and I get injections!

The entire book came off as a bad attempt at ripping of Jack Kerouac. It’s awful I give it 0 stars out of 5.

2 Responses to “Ash Wednesday by Ethan Hawke”

  1. I didn’t even know Ethan Hawke had written a book until I saw this post. 🙂

  2. I love that first point. I’ve always felt like once I’m puhlisbed, that’s some magical threshold. Sometimes I’ll admit to reading someone’s work and I don’t understand why THAT was worthy of publishing or how in the world can THIS be popular. Why them and not me? It’s hard sometimes not to envy the perceived success of others instead of enjoying our own experience. I’m not sure I’ve had a real epiphany moment recently, but I’ve had a lot of little moments that seem to be reshaping my approach to things. Maybe that has been a bit of an epiphany itself it doesn’t have to be the big moments or big actions to have the big impact.

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