As I’ve previously posted, social critic Tom Wolfe was perplexed that the hippie era didn’t produce any great novels. He’s wrong, of course, starting with Norman Gurney’s deceptively modest Divine Right’s Trip.
Reactions to earlier Red Barn posts suggested that many of the most influential books were nonfiction, including Wolfe’s own Electric Acid Kool-Aid Test but extending to Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance and the Whole Earth Catalogs and a whole lot more.
But there was notable fiction, beginning with Edward Abbey, John Nichols, and Richard Brautigan.
More recently I’ve come across ebooks at Smashwords that attempt to reflect the wide variations in experiences of the era.
One, for instance, takes a hermit’s perspective in retreating to the mountains outside Los Angeles. Another, the trials of being an activist. Yet another, the life of sex and drugs. And then there’s the spiritual trip. We even have descriptions of living the life in the deep South. You get the picture. Hippies came (and still come) in many varieties. No one size fits all, and I doubt any one novel could cover the range.
Naturally, I have my own fiction entries yet to be considered.
To get a taste of what I’ve been reading, see the book reviews at my Jnana Hodson at Smashwords page.
Got any related books to recommend?