A lonely, chain-smoking office lady in Tokyo falls for her teacher when she decides to take English lessons. When her teacher disappears, she sets out on a journey to find him.
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Battle-scarred and disillusioned by the war, Corporal Chris Merrimette is put in charge of a unit whose next mission is to resupply a remote outpost on the edge of Taliban-controlled territory. While driving through the hostile Helmand province, a Navy SEAL flags down their convoy and enlists the unit on an operation of international importance: they must help an Afghan woman famous for her defiance of the Taliban escape the country. Without tanks or air support, Merrimette and his team will need all the courage and firepower they can muster to fight their way across the war-torn country and shepherd the woman to safety.
A bored wife, who is planning to run away from her minister husband, is taken hostage in a bank robbery. However, she sees the thrill in being involved in the chase and becomes an accomplice to helping the younger robber escape his pursuers. As things progress, she learns he pulled the robbery to get enough money to help his pregnant girlfriend leave a home for unwed mothers. The two have a brief flirtation, but it is clear the housewife just needs something to enliven her life.
After moving to a new town, troublemaking teen Jim Stark is supposed to have a clean slate, although being the new kid in town brings its own problems. While searching for some stability, Stark forms a bond with a disturbed classmate, Plato, and falls for local girl Judy. However, Judy is the girlfriend of neighborhood tough, Buzz. When Buzz violently confronts Jim and challenges him to a drag race, the new kid’s real troubles begin.
Harvey Cheyne, Jr., second richest person in the world, orphaned and spoiled rotten, encounters a cigar and the sea on his way to England for boarding school. Seasick, over the rail for real, rescued by Dan Troop of a Gloucester fishing sailboat. Three months at sea, under a firm but fair Captain Troop (fair wages of $10.50 a month, if you don’t work you don’t eat). A hard life and a dangerous one, and a lot of growing up to do through hardship and tragedy.
After a botched heist, Eddie a murderous crime boss, hunts down the seductive thief Karen who failed him. In order to win back Eddie’s trust, Karen recruits her ex-lover and premier thief Jack to steal a cargo of rare precious gems. But when the job goes down, allegiances are betrayed and lines are crossed as Jack, Karen, and Eddie face off in a fateful showdown.
A sweeping multigenerational story set against the backdrop of the raw, roaring New York City of the late 1980s; adoption, teen pregnancy, drugs, hardcore punk rock, the unbridled optimism and reckless stupidity of the young—and old—are all major elements in this heart-aching tale of the son of diehard hippies and his strange odyssey through the extremes of late 20th century youth culture.