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Book Review:
S.E. Hinton, Hawkes Harbor

reviewed by Jerry Wright

HH Cover
Hawkes Harbor
Author: S.E. Hinton
Pub: Tor
Hardback: September, 2004
Length: 256pp
ISBN: 0765305631
Price: $21.95

S.E. Hinton burst upon the world a long time ago with a Young Adult book called The Outsiders. She wrote it when she was 15. (Arrrgh.) Since then, she has written a number of YA books, but now, after a hiatus of 25 years, she has written another novel. This one is an "adult" book, which means she adds sex and foul language. A lot of foul language. She said she wanted to know if she could write a sex scene. Well, yes, she can, but that doesn't mean she should have. Oh well.

Hawkes Harbor is a pretty good read. It is temporally unstable, which means it is composed of flashbacks and flashforwards, and non-sequential segments, but is quite easy to follow for all of that. It has Hinton's deft touch with the coming-of-age segments, and deals quite handily with protagonist Jamie Sommers as he tries to get a grip on what has happened to him. (Named after The Bionic Woman?)

Hawkes Harbor is the best-selling author's sixth novel and the only one written for adults. Part high-seas adventure, part vampire horror, it depicts a young man grappling with danger and insanity while looking for peace. There are pirates and sex, gunrunning and smuggling, and sailors who talk like sailors. Yeah. Lotsa "f" words. Feh.

One thing I was NOT aware of until I did a bit of research is the connection this book has to the TV cult favorite Dark Shadows. Was the book really a "Dark Shadows" novel re-written? Don't know. But this reviewer was not the only one to make that connection.

Worth your time? I enjoyed it, it was a fast read, and it kept me up way too late.

Other Books for your Delectation Silverwing by Brian Oppel. A "Watership Down"ish sort of book about bats, from the bat's point of view. Well written and the first of a fine trilogy.


Copyright © 2004, Jerry Wright and Bewildering Stories

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