Your Emoticons Won't Save You

Your Emoticons Won't Save You

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Your Emoticons Won't Save You is an exciting and inventive novella and poetry collection by celebrated Buddhist teacher and author Ethan Nichtern:

A high quality, personally signed, limited edition print run of this book is available only via

Alex Bardo is witty, heartbroken, and lost. Going on 21, he is more interested in being the CEO of the Wannabe Poet's Brigade than in his expensive education. Trying to find his way in the world after a debaucherous and painful summer of 1998 with his hyper-intellectual, trés annoying best friend Gabe, he sets out on a road trip to their childhood summer camp. Grabbing shotgun for the trip are his old camp friends, now all grown up (sort of): Gideon the Player, Anthony the Traveling Man, and Lucas the Patron of Playtime. Alex is a true seeker and only a partial f-ck up: seeking spiritual aspirin to treat his perpetual hangover, seeking love, and seeking a mystical place called the "real world."

Early Praise for Your Emoticons Won't Save You:

“A charming coming-to-maturity romp in the post-modern highly peopled American landscape, engaging the endlessly inter-connected relationships and talk. A very human endeavor.”
-Anne Waldman, Author, Poet

“Your Emoticons Won’t Save You is provocative, compelling, and somehow both timeless and totally right now. Let Ethan take you on this journey within and without.”
- Sharon Salzberg, NY Times Bestselling Author

“Student, teacher, author, activist, and now poet–Ethan is changing the world one seed syllable at a time. He shares his path through this new work in a way that helps us locate our own.”
-Susan Piver, NY Times Bestselling Author

Praise for Ethan Nichtern's Writing:

"Nichtern writes passionately and innovatively…His toolbox is deep and original…and his voice is resonant and refreshing.”
—Courtney E. Martin, The American Prospect

"Buddhism 3.0 meets the global consciousness movement.”
— Daniel Goleman, NY Times bestselling author, Social Intelligence

Ethan has a powerful voice and is at the forefront of the new generation of spiritual revolutionaries."
— Noah Levine, author of Dharma Punx and Against the Stream

Product Details

BN ID: 2940014006675
Publisher: Nieto Books
Publication date: 01/19/2012
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 144
File size: 793 KB

About the Author

Ethan Nichtern is a Shastri, a senior teacher, in the Shambhala tradition. At 33, he is the youngest senior teacher in the global tradition. He is the author of the novel, Your Emoticons Won't Save You, and the nonfiction book, One City: A Declaration of Interdependence. He is also the founding director of The Interdependence Project, an organization dedicated to Buddhist-inspired meditation and psychology, transformational activism, mindful arts, and meaningful media. He teaches and lectures around the world and is based in New York City.

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Your Emoticons Won't Save You 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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LMaloof More than 1 year ago
Don't be thrown off by the word "emoticons" in the title. This book is not an emoticon, that off- kilteringly sweet, but, ultimately, puzzling facsimile of human warmth and mischief. And rather than being the sort of thing that attempts to self- reference this current moment, much of Ethan Nichtern's second book actually looks back to 1998, a time when many now thirty-somethings can discover some digestible, even delicious, nostalgia in things as varied as mixed tapes, "random" Ithaca parties, the first truly broken heart, and, undeniably, malt liquor. It's a novella that blows up an end of college moment for Alex Bardo and his four New York City childhood friends as they tumble through the lush green of a New England summer. At first read, it is funny, hard to put down and convincing. However, it is also something more, something not quite obvious at first, and something a little hard to put into words. It may be that it engages with Buddhism, and owning our lives, in a way that slips beyond categories of sacred and profane, heavy and light. It also may be the last section of the book, which consists of 11 great poems attributed to Alex Bardo, the novella's protagonist. By ending with a differently- dimensioned view of a character we are just beginning to know, we sense our own voluble, shifting, and, indeed, transitory identities which may be this book's sweetest gift.
mcampbell More than 1 year ago
"Your Emoticons Won't Save You" is a delicious and dizzying reminiscence of a youthful, drunken road-trip with Alex Bardo and his friends as they pass a college summer in the swirling netherland between boyhood and manhood, between the twin burdens of idealism and cynicism. Narrated in Alex's voice, the novel invites the reader into the intimate world of male friendship, unafraid of the sweetness of those relationships, which our culture likes to bury so carefully in tales of machismo, alienation and disaffection. This story is a truthful antidote, filled with affection, love and warmth as the young men party unapologetically, reflect on their privilege, engage in the eternal search for a mate, and indulge in a nostalgic, play-filled visit to their childhood summer camp. Through Alex, the reader feels intensely that moment in life when a person realizes they have a Past to contend with, just as they see the Future bearing down from the opposite direction like a Mack truck with all its weight of expectation. He heroically threads the Scylla and Charybdis of past and future, holding onto the present through his writing, his constant touching ground through his feelings, and his willingness to just stay open to the longing and the uncertainty of it all. Throughout, Alex has a sense of humor, vulnerability, and a profound love for the people in his life that ultimately leads him to find friendship in the most important place of all... The novel is followed by startlingly beautiful poetry attributed to Alex Bardo, but written with sophistication and grace by a poet who has most definitely found his voice. A wonderful first novel! Can't wait for more...
Jerry_Kolber More than 1 year ago
After reading Ethan's first book One City and attending some of his Buddhist classes in New York, I couldn't wait to get my hands on Your Emoticons Won't Save You. It is so readable and fun. The novella is like a beautiful, entertaining tribute to that magical, brief moment when you think you're grown up but you aren't really. It's wrapped in the warm embrace of teenage summers with a just-this-side-of-innocent perspective on the whole thing called adulthood, when the messes boys make of relationships with girls seem like the most important thing in the world, when mix tapes (ahhh mix tapes) are good even when they are bad, and when your parents think you're old enough to start learning about the darker sides of the family tree (and maybe you are, maybe you aren't). Your Emoticons Won't Save you is written in this beautiful lyrical can't-put-it-down-style. Nothing like Nichtern's first book - which was more of a guide on how to navigate 21st century life from a contemporary Buddhist perspective - this is fiction, but still with a whiff of wisdom that permeates the characters lives and perspectives as well as feminist theory, amazing poetry, and a great driving game to play next time you're on a road trip. Good good stuff all around.