Book Review: Hawkes Harbor


Hawkes Harbor
I wrote the following book review in July of 2009. The review is basically one big spoiler, so if you think you may want to read the book, don’t read this post.


The woman who wrote The Outsiders wrote this mess of a novel. Ok, I am no longer under any illusion that The Outsiders is great literature. I appreciate it for what it is, but I can see its faults too. I also cut S.E. Hinton some slack with The Outsiders, as she wrote that book when she was 16. She was all grown up when she wrote Hawkes Harbor, so I don’t know what her excuse is with this one.

She’s still basically writing about the same character: handsome young man; difficult childhood; no parental figures; lives rough and takes care of himself; gruff, but with a good heart. Who is this guy she’s still obsessed with? Her father? Her brother? Her first love? Whoever he is, he was still on her mind when this book was published in 2005.

The handsome young man is in a mental hospital. He’s been shot. He has had a mental breakdown. What, oh what, has happened to him?

The story is spun out slowly, in a series of flashbacks. The young man is a criminal. A pirate of sorts. He loves the sea. Ho Hum. Then the vampire shit starts!

A vampire? Are you kidding me? I couldn’t believe it. A vampire. In 1960s New England.

It’s as if Hinton were trying to think of some gimmick to make this book popular in an early 21st century market and hit on the popularity of vampires, so decided to go that route.

But it gets even dumber. The vampire becomes human again (through some rituals never fully explained to the reader). Although the vampire originally had total control over the young man, threatened to kill him if he didn’t do what he was told, by the end of the book, the vampire becomes the young man’s best friend. Weird. Weird and corny!

As I read this book, I kept laughing aloud, because the premises of the story were so ridiculous.

I realize that the theme of this book is redemption. Redemption is a good theme. But a vampire! Give me a break. If the captor had been a military torture expert, the young man the torturer’s captive soldier, the plot may have worked, but a vampire? That’s just silly.

About Blaize Sun

I live in my van, which makes me a rubber tramp. I like to see places I've never seen before, and I like to visit the places I love again and again. I like to play with color. I make collages and hemp jewelry and cheerful winter hats. I take photographs and (sometimes, not in a long time) write poetry. All of those things make me an artist. Although I like to spread joy and to make people laugh, my wit can be sharp. I try to stay positives in all situations, to find the goodness in all people. But I often feel compelled to point out bullshit when I smell it. I like to have fun, to dance, to eat yummy food, to sit by a fire and share stories. I want to know what people hold dear and important, not just make surface small talk. This blog is a way for me to share stories. This blog is made up of my stories, rants, and observations, as well as my photographs.

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