The Hour Between: A Novel

Overview

“I love stories about friendship, particularly those in which friendship is recalled under a nostalgic haze...I found the whole thing quite lovely...Stuart knows how to cut the pathos with some sharp wit.”—Daniel Goldin of Boswell Book Company for National Public Radio

When Arthur McDougal is kicked out of Manhattan’s toniest boys’ school, his parents ship him off to the only place that will take him in—the Christian Science–inflected Spooner School. There, in the woods of ...

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Overview

“I love stories about friendship, particularly those in which friendship is recalled under a nostalgic haze...I found the whole thing quite lovely...Stuart knows how to cut the pathos with some sharp wit.”—Daniel Goldin of Boswell Book Company for National Public Radio

When Arthur McDougal is kicked out of Manhattan’s toniest boys’ school, his parents ship him off to the only place that will take him in—the Christian Science–inflected Spooner School. There, in the woods of Connecticut, Arthur meets Katrina Felt, the charming, troubled daughter of a Hollywood movie star. As Arthur struggles with his sexuality and Katrina’s beauty and talent land her in a Broadway musical, the two forge a tender friendship. But while Arthur’s confidence grows, Katrina is pulled down by the heartbreaking secrets and sorrows of her past. By year’s end, their lives will be changed forever, and their friendship will be over. Set in the late 1960s, The Hour Between is a compelling portrait of a time and place, replete with drugs, sex, Andy Warhol, a cast of truly memorable secondary characters, and some of the sharpest and funniest dialogue in recent memory.

Sebastian Stuart has written novels, plays, and screenplays. His last novel was ghostwritten (with acknowledgment): Charm! by Kendall Hart, a character on the soap opera All My Children. Charm! spent five weeks on The New York Times bestseller list. A native New Yorker, Stuart now lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with novelist Stephen McCauley.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

In 1960s Manhattan, Arthur MacDougal has been thrown out of his exclusive prep school and sent off to the Spooner School for the disciplinary challenged in rural Connecticut. Just minutes after his parents speed back to the city, he hits it off with the fragile and quirky Katrina Felt, daughter of a famous show biz couple, who immediately recognizes Arthur's latent gayness. Enter Sapphire, Katrina's roommate, a promiscuous but sweet hippy chick; Nicolas, Arthur's roommate, still dealing with his mother's death; and Lenny, the muscular, snaggle-toothed townie who catches Arthur's eye. Novelist-playwright Stuart (24-Karat Kids) sets his fully drawn character loose in a familiar era, but there's nothing quaint or retro about his '60s set; the ubiquitous drugs, the war, the new sense of sexual freedom and the fight against the establishment are pervasive and essential elements. This simple but wholly moving coming-of-age story features a worthy successor to Holden Caulfield coming to grips with what (and who) he cannot change. (Sept.)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781593501266
  • Publisher: Alyson Books
  • Publication date: 9/1/2009
  • Pages: 260
  • Product dimensions: 5.52 (w) x 8.26 (h) x 0.74 (d)

Meet the Author

Sebastian Stuart has written novels, plays, and screenplays. His last novel was ghostwritten (with acknowledgment): Charm! by Kendall Hart and spent five weeks on the New York Times Bestseller List in 2008. 24-Karat Kids (St. Martins, 2006), was written w
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 2, 2010

    Unhappy rich teens from the sixties

    It's difficult to create reader interest in wealthy, burnt out teenagers from the 1960's when they are so, well, whiny and wasted. Sebastian Stuart tries with a focus on Katrina Felt, a manic, sad, theatrical daughter of a famous movie actress; Katrina befriends Arthur MacDougal, a gay teen from NYC dumped in a New England boarding school collapsing from poor administration and weak educators. Katrina is a mix of Holly Golightly, Pookie Adams and Sally Bowles; how you react to her believability will likely shape your feelings about this short novel. Roddy McDowell and Andy Warhol make cameo appearances.

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  • Posted October 11, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    A high school fantasy by Bruce Stores

    "The Hour Between" illustrates what a boarding school experience might be like where anything goes. Alcohol, drugs, sex, whatever, is part of the fun, while the administration looks the other way. Add to this the author's ability to inject students' personalities that take them on a joy ride while trying to get through the academic year with minimum effort.
    The narrative presents itself as taking place in a Christian Science school. This may be where the narrative has its greatest distance from reality. There are not many Christian Science schools, and the ones I know of maintain ultra-strict rigidity against alcohol, tobacco, drugs of any kind, and sex outside of marriage. Conflict appears, however, between Mr. Spooner, the school's director and Mr. Tupper, a somewhat straight-laced assistant headmaster, a.k.a. English/History teacher.
    "Just then the door to our [dorm room] flew open, the light was switched on and Mr. Tupper was standing there . . .
    "What the hell is going on here? He barked . . .
    "Nothing, Mr. Tupper, we were just talking," I said.
    "Just talking? At two in the morning? On your bed? Just how stupid do you think I am? This damn school is run like a zoo - girls in the boys' dorm at all hours, drugs all over the place, no discipline. It's unacceptable!"
    Mr. Tupper later takes his concerns to the school's director.
    "Half the kids in my class today were on drugs . . . Something has to be done," Mr. Tupper urged.
    But Mr. Spooner remained unfazed.
    The conflict in the administration, however, is only the backdrop for the interaction and relationships between the students. All of this is seen through the eyes of Arthur McDougal, a somewhat-out-of-the-closet gay senior. Arthur has his share of ups and downs with fellow students, but early on, he could tell himself, "I realized that I'd never been this happy before."
    The narrative rushes on to its inexorable climax between Arthur and his close friend Katrina.

    Bruce Stores is author of "CHRISTIAN SCIENCE: Its Encounter With Lesbian/Gay America"

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 20, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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