Scott Spencer


Who saw the Endless love movie? I've heard it is terrible

>>By nickcavefreak   (Saturday, 25 Jan 2003 19:11)

Mmm... not an active messageboard.

I saw the beginning of that movie, and it is terrible. They missed the book entirely. The movie "Waking The Dead", however, captures the feel of the book very well.

>>By SuperEdo   (Saturday, 25 Jan 2003 19:11)

Alas! I have yet to see the movie. Released in 1981, it is unlikely
that I'll ever be able to find it at a local movie rental. The book however,
I have read and in my opinion is a great masterpiece. I give
"Endless Love" two thumbs up (not the movie)...

>>By Sarah York   (Saturday, 25 Jan 2003 19:11)

Scott Spencer is my favorite writer and I have created a small website about him and his books. Check it out @

>>By Craig Heppe   (Saturday, 25 Jan 2003 19:11)

I got the novel "Endless Love" for a Christmas present in 2001 after reading every review of this so-called very good book on I had seen the shitty-ditty film version of "Endless Love" at least two times before I read the novel. When I read it, I discovered what is to be a true literary masterpiece, which unfortunately has now become an obscure one, thanks to that atrocious movie and it's sappy romantic soul-pop ballad sung by Diana Ross and Lionel Richie which became a big worldwide hit.

Despite it's title, "Endless Love" by Scott Spencer is in no way a romance novel. Deep, powerful, disturbing and haunting, it is a novel that examines the
nature of obsessive youthful passion and what consequences may come when one starts to love too much. First published in 1979 and hailed by the New York Times as "one of the best books of the year", it was translated into nearly two dozen languages and sold close to 2 million copies worldwide.

Beginning in the late 1960's and ending in the late 1970's and set in Chicago, New York City, and Vermont, "Endless Love" follows the disintegrating life adventures of a young man named David Axelrod. David tells us the story of how his obsessive nature got him into serious trouble, thanks to his overwhelming devotion towards an eccentric family, the Butterfields, and their beautiful young daughter, Jade, who David is sexually obsessed with. When he tried to redeem himself back into the family's good graces, it only brought him more trouble.

What makes this novel genuine is its mixture of social, political, and literary themes tied in with a youthful obsessed love affair. David's parents, Rose and Arthur, are social left-wingers, Arthur being a "left-wing lawyer". Jade's parents, Hugh and Ann, along with her two brothers, eldest Keith and younger Sammy, are secret bohemian left-wingers.
The Butterfields reside in a Victorian house in Chicago and live in a world of foreign arts, underground literature, and expressing one's self to experimentation and sex. David is drawn into their world and finds it richly satisfying than the world of his own parents. But most of all, David is sexually drawn to Jade. His and Jade's lives are consumed with each other; their sexuality taking them further than they understand. David even starts spending nights at the Butterfield home, sleeping with Jade. Her parents don't seem to mind, being too stoned and too obsessed with their so-called "New Sexual Freedom" to even worry.

One summer day, David is suddenly told by Hugh, Jade's father, that he cannot visit them or Jade for 30 days, saying that he and Jade had made this decision. David starts to feel downbeat, believing that his seperation from Jade and the rest of the Butterfields might never end. And he will do whatever it can to be with them again.

So, as the novel really begins (all of what was said above is told in flashbacks and writtin letters as the story progresses), we see David committing a dangerous act that will change his life for the worst.
On a hot August night, David sneaks onto the porch of the Butterfields' house and sets fire to a stack of newspapers. His plan is to make the fire look like an unexplained accident which the family will alert to. Before the family will emerge, David will run from the house after he has set the fire and start pretending as if he were taking a regular stroll down the block, passing the house. When the family comes out to see the fire, David will either help them put out the fire or stand by and act surprised to see them. After that, he thinks they might see him as a hero and will welcome him back into their circle.
However, the plan goes horribly wrong. After the fire
is set and David waits for the Butterfield clan to emerge, they do not come out and the fire starts to cover the entire porch. David bursts into the house to save them. He finds the entire family acting very frightened in a strange way. It turns out that they are high on LSD. Finally the family comes to and starts to escape the burning house, which is increasing. David and the Butterfields, including Jade, all survive, but the house is burned to the ground.

David confesses at the hospital that it was him who started the fire and is arrested. For his sentence, he will
serve time in a psychiatric hospital for a couple of years. He is also told by the authorities that he is not, under any circumstances, to try and make contact with members of the Butterfield family.
Before his departure, David writes a hundred letters to the family, apologizing for what he had done. But he does not dare send them the letters.

David secretly spends his time in the pyschiatric hospital writing letters to Jade which he does not send either.

When David finally returns home with his parents, it appears that all is not well with him. He is tortured by memories and dreams of Jade. His family life has changed as well. Rose and Arthur, his parents, are separating. Arthur has found a new loving relationship with a black woman named Barbara. Rose has become a bit bitter. She even believes that it was the Butterfields' fault for making her son the way he is. David, in the meantime, starts to look through telephone books, finding out where the Butterfields are living so he can try and contact them in order to make emends with them. He is successful in finding Ann's, Jade's mother, number which he eventually calls, giving Ann a little scare.
Ann, however, does send David a letter explaining how life is going on. The Butterfield family has gone their own seperate ways. Hugh has left her and is living a free-spirited life. He even has a new lover who shares his same interests, a younger woman named Ingrid. Ann even tells David the real reason why the family decided to have him banished from their home. David starts to make more contacts with Ann, who is alright with him but feels uneasy that he calls her unexpectantly and tries to trick her into telling him where her sons and daughter are living now.

David's parole officer gives David a warning about going to New York City, which is where Ann is living now. He tells David that he was visited by Hugh Butterfield who wants to have David back in the psychiatric hospital after receiving word of mouth that David was trying to make contact with the rest of the family when he was not suppossed to. Hugh had went particularly mad when he was told that David would not have his parole revoked and said that he will do whatever it can to see that David will never any member of his family, including his daughter, again.

Finally, David, against all authority rules, secretly travels to New York City, then to Vermont, to try and meet the members of the Butterfields and set things straight. But most of all, to reunite with Jade and see if she still loves him. Little does David realize that along the way he cause some unfortunate incidents, including bringing upon the unexpected death of a Butterfield (I won't tell who) and suffer the aftermath of violating his parole.

This novel is an absolute must-have while the movie is a must-never-ever-watch-at all. Don't even think that that Diana Ross/Lionel Richie song has anything to do being related to the story, which it really does not. I must, however, warn to the squeamish out there that the novel contains some very graphic-depicted hard core sex, including one that runs 30 pages long and ends up with David and Jade caked in blood. The novel may never be read in college as a literature assignment, but it could be read in some universities, by any chance.

So go on out and see if you can purchase a copy of the Scott Spencer novel "Endless Love". Just as the story changed the life of David Axelrod forever, it will change your life forever as well.

>>By Paul Spencer   (Monday, 27 Jan 2003 08:40)

I read Secret Anniversaries after meeting the author's father in Chicago a few years ago. The book was absolute trash, as was The Rich Man's Table, which was as boring as a semi-historical novel about the life of Bob Dylan should be.

>>By Declan   (Saturday, 1 Mar 2003 04:48)

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