Welcome to the first of the posts where we introduce a new author to the bookstore. Gary Gautier with his latest release Hippies and his other books.
By 1970, the hippie scene was faltering, a victim of both inner contradictions and external forces. The Vietnam war resistance, psychedelic drugs, sexual openness, the freedom of the commune – it seemed that everything about the 1960s could be incredibly liberating or wildly destructive. Against this backdrop, Jazmine, Ziggy, Ragman and a coterie of hippies discover an LSD-spinoff drug that triggers past life regressions and sweeps them toward a dramatic climax. This is the epic tale of hippiedom we’ve been waiting for, intimate in the lives of its characters but panoramic in its coverage of the sights, sounds, and ideals of the Age of Aquarius.
Two of the reviews for Hippies
I recently read Walden, a book that is considered a influencer on the hippie movement from de 1960’s. Following its track, my next reading on this topic ought to be about the hippies and their impact on society. Then I found this book Hippies (Gary Gautier), which I have just finished reading. A very entertaining and well written novel about the hippies and their lifestyle, living in a hippie post-Woodstock community in New Orleans (the author was born there). The dream of simple life, no prejudices, no races, no limits, living just for today, no consumism, their music, much love and a lot of acid and other drugs mind trips. The negative impacts of drug addiction, particularly LSD addiction and its mind damages, is very richly and vividly described, it almost makes the reader tripping together with the book characters. Last chapters are devoted to how it all ends, hippies back to “normal” society but living by their dreams. I liked the book a lot, I would undoubtedly recommend it.
After running from her neglectful and abusive family, Jazmine has made a new life for herself living in a co-op with a handful of hippie wanderers. It’s 1960-something and she’s still just trying to figure it all out, man. But for the first time in a long while (maybe ever), she’s happy and at peace. As she’s earnestly and innocently finding her way, however, there are certain harsh realities she’s still going to have to face. Most difficult of all will be the realization that some of her free-loving friends aren’t exactly who they say they are. And, unfortunately, their idealistic and (mostly) well-meaning actions will have some serious and lasting consequences.
This isn’t a book I would normally gravitate toward. It’s fiction, yes, but there are a lot of (drug-induced) flashbacks that make the book read almost like fantasy/mystery. I still enjoyed it, though. The storyline is unique and well-developed, and the whole hippie angle is interesting.
Even though there are moments when the discussions between characters go on too long (to the point that I felt preached at), I still could appreciate the balance of cultural perspective. It’s a good mix of “all you need is love” vs. “no justice, no peace.” And the characters do discuss a wide range of interesting cultural topics: war, sex, women’s rights, civil disobedience, drugs, and the list goes on. Even the ending feels balanced. Plus, the story doesn’t end where I expected it to, and that is always refreshing.
Overall, Hippies is a solid, enjoyable story. I think people who came of age in the 60s will especially enjoy it.
Read all the reviews and buy the book: https://www.amazon.com/Hippies-Gary-Gautier-ebook/dp/B01MTGGWZV
Also by Gary Gautier
Read all the reviews and buy the books: https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B001HPUGGU
Read more reviews and follow Gary on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/759874.Gary_Gautier
About Gary Gautier
Gary has taught writing, literature, and humanities at the University of Colorado, Louisiana State University, and the University of New Orleans. He has published most anything you can publish and not make money at — children’s and scholarly books, articles in peer-reviewed journals, poetry and novels, book reviews in literary magazines, technical manuals, last-minute journalistic pieces for a Catholic newsletter, and such sea-spawn and sea-wrack of no consequence.
His novels include Hippies, which traces the fate of a small group of hippies through comic and poignant moments as they struggle through the end of the 1960s (adult situations and language), and Mr. Robert’s Bones, a ghost story in which kids and old people join forces to save a New Orleans neighborhood from its own past (family friendly). His poetry includes the 2017 chapbook, Year of the Butterfly, and the colorful hard-bound verse book, Spaghetti and Peas, for ages 2-8.
Gary was born in New Orleans, has hitchhiked through 40 states and 8 countries, bartended in 3 states, run two marathons, and once, due to a series of misadventures, spent six months as the chef at a French restaurant.
Connect to Gary Gautier
Thanks for dropping in today and it would be great if you could share Gary’s books.. thanks Sally