if you were a "real" hippie this book's beginning will make you laugh outloud. when the action turns to the differece between the hippies and the Alaskan wilderness it lost me a little.It felt sad that the Love
children could let it all be lost because of one or two people.
there is a wonderful love story inside this book and because of that i gave it a 7. it is a good read but a little long
Set in 1970, this book is about a commune that relocates from CA to Alaska, only to find homesteaders already in residence. About the collision of the two communities--very funny in places. Gritty, entertaining. A real eye-opener if you (like me) don't know much about this time period in American culture.
National Book Award Finalist, and some purty-looking nekkid folk on the cover too (but face-down so it's not porno or anything!).
An excellent two-way look at the hippie world--from both the inside and the outside. Characters are fascinating and the story is quite suspenseful. A great read for anyone interested in this era.
Wow. What a great read. A hippie commune meets a hardcore back-woods Alasakan trapper, how much more far off the beaten path can you get? Boyle put each of his fascinating and compelling characters in whacked-out and unexpected (yet believable) pressure cooker situations, and I couldn't wait to find out what they'd do. I finished the book several months ago and still think about the characters and wonder how they're faring. Highly recommended.
This book I recommend if you were anywhere near the Summer of Love.The story itself was intriguing, and I hate to admit the cover lured me in.It's a real hoot at times but has some heavy undertones as well. All an all a fun ride. If you liked Tom Wolfe's Electric Kool Aid Acid Test you will probably like this.The liner has one review which says it's Jack London meets Ken Kesey!
Boyles is a good writer, this time the era is the hippie generation, the scene is a commune, idealism bumps up against reality.
An interesting book about people with different ideas and expectations of communal living
If you missed life in the 70's in a commune, this story brings it back to life
Fantastically funny, really took me back. :-)
I graduated from high school in 1968, the height of the free-love/summer-of-love/hippie movement. And living and growing up in Utah, I always thought that I had missed out on this. I didn't go to San Francisco and live the life-style in Haight Ashbury and Berkeley and no, I didn't make it to Woodstock. But after reading Boyle's superb novel, Drop City, I'm actually glad that I missed out on this misguided movement.
The novel takes place in 1970 and alternates between the tale of a California commune near the Russian River and a group of trappers and bushmen living and surviving at the farthest outreaches of Alaska. The group in California is living the life most of them always wanted, dropped out from society with no laws or rules, smoking pot and using LSD, and sleeping with most anyone willing. But then the leader of the group, Norm, who owns the ranch they are living on, runs into trouble with the local community when he is unable to pay his taxes. As a result, he comes up with a plan to move the entire group to Alaska where his uncle had a cabin used as a base for his trapping operation. Well, they make it to Alaska using an old school bus but do they have the stuff to survive? The group is mostly naive about the hardships there especially when it gets to 40 below zero in the winter.
The book is full of memorable characters including Sess Harder and his wife Pamela who have dropped out of society in Alaska but can achieve their existence through hard work. Sess and Pamela do make friends with some of the hippie group but conflicts with others still exist. The conditions of the commune in California and later in Alaska were pretty deplorable as described by Boyle. This included a lack of sewer facilities, meager food and subsistence, a lack of bathing by the group, and the inevitable conflicts that come up. As I said earlier, I'm glad I missed out on this experience! Overall though, this was an excellent novel full of emotions from humor to grief. High recommendation.
I really like Boyle - but I just couldn't get into this one