No Alternative by William Dickerson

No Alternative

NO ALTERNATIVE is a coming-of-age drama that drills a hole into the world of suburban American teenagers in the early 90's. Thomas Harrison is determined to start his own alternative band, an obsession that blinds him to what's either the mental collapse, or the eruption of musical genius, of his little sister, Bridget. Bridget boldly rejects her brother's music, and the music of an entire generation of slackers, by taking on the persona of an X-...

Details No Alternative

TitleNo Alternative
Release DateApr 5th, 2012
PublisherKettle of Letters Press
GenreYoung Adult, Fiction, Music, Family

Reviews No Alternative

  • Greg
    This book has been a pain in my ass to review. I've been trying to write it every Sunday night for the past month. I've written tons and tons of shit, most of it stuff I just don't feel like sharing. I'm starting over from scratch. No Alternative, is the name of the book. It's also the name of a Patti Smith produced benefit compilation from I think 1993. It was a good compilation of Alternative bands at the time and it had some interesting other-...
  • Lanie Malone
    From the first sentence, to the very last, this book pulled at a part of me that has long been buried and forgotten. It is an incredibly powerful narrative on teen suicide in the 90’s, a time when suicide was reaching nearly epidemic proportions for Generation X. I don’t know if anyone my age, anywhere in the country, made it out of high school without knowing at least one person (however loose the association may have been) who committed sui...
  • Andrew
    In an article Stewart wrote for his college music zine, The Note, he didn’t quite suggest that Cobain was a surrealist, but he did imply that his mere existence, and its place in history, may in fact be surreal. His music brought rock and roll back from the dead. Literally. Rock and roll up until that point was dominated by schlocky, vampiric hair-bands, who for all intents and purposes, resembled the featured extras in a homoerotic remake of N...
  • Melanie
    Being born in the mid 80's, I wasn't quite old enough in 1994 to mourn the loss of Kurt Cobain or appreciate the debut album of Green Day. Admittedly, I did spend quite a bit of time in the later 90's being a punk/alternative/wanna be grunge kid so I can relate to some of the social aspects of this book in a way that made me cringe and laugh at the same time. I wasn't a fan of the writing style of the book. The introductions of characters and imp...
  • Anderson O'Donnell
    A stunning “must-read,” Dickerson’s NO ALTERNATIVE captures—brilliantly—what it meant to be a teenager at the end of the American Century. Dickerson uses the music and culture of the early 90s to explore some of the most delicate aspects of the human experience—innocence, love, death, family, and rebellion. Lots of novels use music as a story-telling vehicle, but Dickerson’s passion for the grunge-era, and his devotion to its variou...
  • Victoria Hamel
    Coming into the story with no preconceived ideas, only knowing that Kurt Cobain's suicide would feature prominently, I was curious and hesitant. Suicide is such an enormously verboten topic, I don't know that many of us like to poke a stick at it, much less read about it. So I took a deep breath and dove into the story and read and waited for the inevitable shoe to drop. And it did, and with the darkness of that death, came awakening. No Alternat...
  • Angie ~aka Reading Machine~
    I've read many books over the reads yet none have touch on before, during, and after affects of suicide on a whole family. This is what presented in No Alternative from the beginning to the end of the book was poignant process of the affects and effects all together. The family showcased thru out the book is the Harrison family. They're a well to do family living thru 1990's generation. I remember most of this time period as a young adult just af...
  • Matt
    When asked to review Dickerson's book, I was unsure what I would get. The author approached me directly, asking for a "fair" review, which I interpreted to mean "tell me what you think, not what looks best on Goodreads," for anyone can candy-coat to help sales figures. And so, I chose to undertake this task and hoped for the best.Let me preface the review by saying that I usually pre-select my books (admittedly NYT authors, or those who write sto...
  • Rich D.
    "No Alternative" is the debut novel from William Dickerson and it is a very good one. The novel focuses primarily on the lives of siblings Thomas and Bridget Harrison and their experiences as teenagers during the 90s. Thomas is a grunge fan inspired by Kurt Cobain and his love for music to start a band called The Latterday Saints with his friends while his sister Bridget is an artist and decides to start her own music career as a male gangster ra...
  • Chris Mendius
    William Dickerson's haunting debut novel "No Alternative" takes place in and around Yonkers, New York shortly after Kurt Cobain shot himself in 1994. Though it isn't necessarily spelled out in the early part of the narrative, a highly insightful and daring introduction indicates that suicide will play a central part in the story and the themes driving it. And if taking your own life is something you ever considered, even if only as a fleeting tho...
  • Kate
    I finished this on the plane, complete with tears and snot. This is the story of my generation and something future generations I think will be able relate to as well. Generations X, Y, Z - unknown, lost, full of loss, and anger. Still angry to this day, indeed. Sex, drugs, rock n roll, and suicide are prevelant themes through out this story.The narrative is told in third person, which is a challenging format to write in, but for this story it ac...
  • Susie
    Rob, an IB contributor, gave this book 5/5 stars on A copy was provided by the author.Review excerpt:"Music is only a vehicle for this book. It is far less about grunge or punk or rap than it is about why this music bubbles to the surface of society the way it does, why it takes hold of you as a teen and becomes a way of life. It isn’t about the music itself, it’s about why we listen to it, how it makes us all feel a ...
  • Jayne M.
    This impressive novel takes place in the 90s, right after Kurt Cobain died.As the title indicates and the times would predict, the central theme of the book centers around suicide. As haunting as the, it is never morbid or depressing. Through the story of Thomas and Bridget and their friends and contemporaries, No Alternative provides a window into real understanding of the circumstances in which suicide can be seen as a rational choice for these...
  • Catherine Townsend-Lyon
    An Exceptional Ride In This Book!A very well written and memorable piece of 90's History!I could tell by reading this book, that the author was very smitten of the 90's. I grew up in the late 70's and 80's and still really enjoyed this book. WHY? Because when written words can impact you and make your "feel" all the emotions while reading?THAT'S a good book! And that is what I found in "No Alternative."I cried, laughed, and was surprised. It is v...
  • Marybeth
    No Alternative takes place in the early 90's around the time of Kurt Cobain's suicide. Now if you don't know who he was ... he was the lead vocalist for the grunge band Nirvana. This is a story about a brother and sister, one who is starting an Indie/Grunge band and the other who is into gangsta rapping. Although William Dickerson is spot on for all the events that unfold in the 90's. This book goes much deeper than that ... it's about family, lo...
  • Jasmin
    The story that was presented in this book was very deep and emotional. It's written excellently diving into the lives and thoughts of all the characters that make you connect and understand their lives. This story will definitely leave a deep impression on the reader and is sure to become a favorite.I won this book through Goodreads First Reads.
  • Shannon
    I enjoyed this book! Great read!
  •  Mandy - Lace Vintage ♥
    I was given this book in exchange for an honest review, so here goes.....~2.5~ Suicide is unbiased, non-partisan. It transcends gender, perhaps even species. In a biological sense, it’s pure. Page 9. Chapter 1. I've never been a fan of "grunge" it always seem like some lame try hard rich kids bitching  & dressing like hobo's while making pretty lame try hard music....hmmfff.....give me punk, horror punk, Screamo, Psychobilly, Dark cabaret, a...
  • Rachel
    I’ll start off by declaring that I was (and still am) obsessed with the grunge-era. I was one of those teenagers who spent 6 months—make that years—mourning the death of Nirvana front man, Kurt Cobain. April 5, 1994. The day the music died in my little corner of the world. Suffice to say, I instantly found myself connecting with the teen protagonists in this book. I WAS one of those teens. Thomas, one half of the brother-sister team of prot...
  • Merredith
    The author emailed me and asked me to review this book if he sent it to me and i said, sure! Who doesn't like getting a book? This book takes place in the 90s, right after Kurt Cobain died and is about two siblings, one who was slightly older than I was at the time, and one who was slightly younger. when i was in high school, i wore the plaid shirts, but only hand me downs from my dad and brother, because we didn't have enough money to buy me new...
  • Nate
    So somewhere around the mid 90s the whole Generation X thing got to be just a huge marketing tool. People loved to brand this whole "slacker generation" as Generation X. Now twenty years later it feels like William Dickerson is trying to contrive up nostalgia for this whole time and generation that got overbranded. I didn't buy into the self consciously and meticulously slacker persona that Thomas was donning. I didn't buy into the suicide. I did...
  • C.V. Hunt
    I was approached by the author to review No Alternative after he read my review of Kurt Cobain’s Journals. Anyone who knows me well, or has read some of my books, knows I’m a big nirvana fan. After I read the description I thought I’d be an idiot to not take a crack at reading it. After all, this book had a history I’d lived through, and an insightful approach to my generation.The story starts in October of 1994, shortly after the death o...
  • MJ
    This book took me awhile to get through and this review has been about a year in coming due to a very busy schedule. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and found it to be a very realistic and relatable interpretation of what it meant to be a teenager back in 90s (although as a teenager I can say it is entirely relatable to the experience today's youth face). I thought the plot was interesting, and while the plot points that occur later in the book we...
  • Charity
    I tried to find something redeeming about this read, but came up with nothing. It is so poorly written. Between the clunky sentence structure, the over use of words, and the inability of a thought/scene/dialogue to be delivered in an interesting/compelling way, I just wanted to take a pen to the text and edit it myself like I would have in the fiction writing classes I took in college.
  • Jessica Krahe
    only read very little and I had to force myself to read that far.It just lagged on and on. too boring for me to continue on even after skimming forward for a bit.