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Jill Eisenstadt Returns To A Haunted Rockaway | Village Voice

One midsummer night when the four are reunited, tensions erupt in feats of daring and self-destruction during the wild, cathartic, near-sacred lifeguard ritual known as the Death Keg. Brilliantly capturing the restlessness and casual nihilism of working-class youth with no options, Jill Eisenstadt's acclaimed first novel startles in its power and originality, its depth of feeling, its bright and dark comic turns.


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Get A Copy. Paperback , pages. Published May 12th by Vintage first published More Details Original Title. Other Editions 8. Friend Reviews.

Far Rockaway Press Reviews

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Aug 17, Tony Parsons rated it it was amazing. Lifeguards at the Rockaway.

Alicia McHenry produce dept. Alex is going to college out of state to study Anthropology. Kissing Joe is the terror of the campus dorm. Peg decides to come back to Rockaway for the summer. Some things never change, or maybe they do. The 4th. It may be offensive to some readers. Only an honest one. A very well written YA book. This could also make another great YA adventure movie, or better yet a mini TV series. It was just OK for me but I will still rate it at 5 stars. View 2 comments. Jul 26, Jen rated it did not like it. I hated this book almost from page one.

The only reason I kept going it because I'm reading it for a book club. The kids are whiny and angsty and nothing happens in almost the entire book. It's just snapshots of the kids whining about life in between drinking and doing drugs and having sex. Maybe I missed the point or maybe I led a sheltered childhood but I couldn't relate to these characters at all.

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It was fun to read this again over the start of summer weekend which was also the weekend of my mumblemumble college reunion. The novel was both a little duller and a little sadder than I remember and now, just as then, the scenes that took place at Alex's college resonated deeply. It reminded me of the film adaptation of The Ice Storm which also captured the boredom and the everyday despair of adolescence.

Feb 25, Laurie rated it it was amazing Shelves: favorites. Found this book in a bookstore in Prague, of all places. What a lucky find. Eisenstadt recreates with brutal honesty the stark social world of teens in s Rockaway. The writing is at once blunt, lyrical, and authentic. Jan 27, Paperback Paris rated it really liked it Shelves: 4-star-ratings , jessica-duffield , Jill Eisenstadt's From Rockaway captures what it is like to be a young adult that has no other options but to be in the working force.

But during the winter months, they have to work crappy jobs, like at Mickey's Deli, where they spend their days and nights loading and unloading trucks. Unfortunately for Jill Eisenstadt's From Rockaway captures what it is like to be a young adult that has no other options but to be in the working force. Unfortunately for the three of them, there really are no other career options for them. They're stuck in this beach town with no drive to go out into the world and figure out what exactly it is they want to do for the rest of their lives.

Fly directly at you in their fat, blind cicada way, while mosquitoes, they circle with a purpose.


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Hover, then strike. And biting flies are silver black with green eyes.

Once moths become moths they have no stomachs or mouths and they die. Timmy lists insects to stay awake on the tower. To stop thinking of Alex. To test the brain cells his mother is convinced he's destroying. Hundreds of them at a time. She was just like one of them, immobile, unable to set herself free from this ghost town. That was until she landed a scholarship to attend college in New England. But when she comes back for the summer and stirs up drama. The drama she brings is the fact she felt the need to leave this dead-end job and the people in it.

She used to date Timmy, but when she went to college that all ended. Alex was in the inner circle with Timmy, Peg, and Chowderhead. But they felt as if she thought they weren't good enough for her and she left for New England to get a new life and new friends. But when she comes back for the summer, they still haven't gotten over her living them. So there are still unresolved feelings between all of them. One night the four of them reunite for old time's sake; they all participate in what's called the Death Keg, which is a cathartic and sacred ritual for lifeguards, and tensions grow high.

The Death Keg has been a tradition in their small beach town for a long time. And when Alex comes back they are finally able to complete it. The night turns into a lot of destruction and daring events between the four friends. This was a great novel that describes the struggles of what it was like for youth during the s pressured into working-class life at such a young age.

I liked how Eisenstadt was able to give her readers some insight into what each character was experiencing during their beginning stages into the working-class lifestyle. I would certainly recommend From Rockaway to anyone who enjoys books that reflect a culture that many young people are living in today. Apr 23, Peter Landau rated it really liked it. What makes a book resonate? How come some novels are heralded and then fade away or just never get attention in the first place.

And the blurbs were poetic.