Thursday, April 21, 2011

Altamont Augie
by Richard Barager

With Vietnam looming like a scythe over an entire generation, University of Minnesota sophomore David Noble bolts from an anti-war teach-in his girlfriend coaxes him to and enlists in the marines. Her pride wounded by his rush to war, Jackie Lundquist ignores David's letters from Vietnam, where he serves out his enlistment burrowed into the blood-red clay of Khe Sanh, surviving a brutal siege before returning home to find Jackie immersed in a counterculture world of drugs and militancy.

To Jackie, the faltering war in Vietnam is a failure of national conscience; to David it is a failure of national honor. But neither her rise to fame as the growing anti-war movement's alluring Radical Queen nor David's defiant counter-protest activities in support of the war can extinguist their passion for one another. Both their tumultuous affair and the Age of Aquarius itself cartwheel into the decade's last great rock festival: Altamont, the death rattle of the Sixties, where shame and honor collide, and tragedy awaits redemption.

To me, this book got a little boring at times. It started off a little slow, but gradually hooked me into the love story between two of the characters. I feel that the author goes into too much detail about racial issues in the book and at times uses words that have to be looked up in a dictionary to understand what is being said. The chapters about the Vietnam War were interesting, but I was disappointed in the book as a whole.



Anonymous said...

Oh child of comfort, please understand that one's abilty to think is directly proportional to the tools available for the task. Words and their meanings are the basic tools in the task of thinking. Looking them up in the dictionary is how we learn new ones. Deal with it if you care to gain in intellectual ability and perhaps even transcend your boredom when reading weightier material.

Having lived through the 60s, I found this book to be a very interesting and informative story. The racial aspects then, as now, were seething just below the surface and often broke through into unpleasantness which is still a looming threat.

The seeds sown in the 60s are still producing results that are no less important today than the activities then. A book like this can help us understand and encourages us to dwell upon those important times. I found it anything but boring.

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