Counter-culture Journals (文革)

Counter-culture Journals (文革)

Saturday, January 07, 2006

High Across The Prairie: Book Rewiew

Steve Otto's latest novel takes an honest look at 1970's Kansas.

Memoirs Of A Drugged-up, Sex-crazed Yippie ---Tales from the 70's Counterculture: Drugs, Sex, Politics and Rock and Roll.

By Steve Otto
Authorhouse Press/2005

Reviewed by Tim Pouncey

Kansas in the late 1970's was so different from today; the Sunflower State might as well have been located in Holland.Remember what it was like to share drugs with close friends and complete strangers? Remember when casual sex was so casual you didn't even know your partners name? Remember when the political climate of Kansas came down squarely on the side of tolerance? Remember when your personal philosophy of life was defined by rock lyrics and not a mission statement?
You don't?
Well, Steve Otto does. In his latest semi-fictional novel, Memoirs Of A Drugged-Up, Sex-Crazed Yippie (Authorhouse Press/2005), Otto excavates 1970's counterculture like an archeologist loving dusting off a Mastodon tusk. In a brisk 349 pages, Otto gives us a lucid look at a Kansas few people remember --- or can't remember due to a plentiful supply of "controlled substances" that were constantly and cheaply available. Characters romp through Wichita, Lawrence and even Sedalia Missouri when a cheap thrill was worth what you paid for it and pleasure was just the flipside of danger.But to dismiss this book as just another nostalgic stoner reminiscing about the last days of the counter-culture would be a major mistake. Although there is a certain "back-in-the-day" wistfulness about the time before political correctness was a mantra, Otto tempers his dreamy history lesson with brutal honesty.
The narrator of the story --- a composite of just about every old druggie you ever met --- may graphically describe the bliss of mainlining MDA, he also reminds us that brief moment of pleasure most often occurred in a squalid apartment at broken kitchen table next to sink full of dirty dishes.Like all good storytellers, Otto takes the reader places they've never been before. Like William Burroughs and Charles Bukowsky, Otto sometimes takes you to places you've never really wanted to visit. Yet, Otto makes it worth the trip by including generous portions of political discourse, Cyrenaic philosophy, post-adolescent lust and near-suicidal thrill seeking to keep the narrative moving along like a junkie careening through a police roadblock.
Otto's work is always provocative and this book will undoubtedly draw the wrath of both solid conservatives and neo-feminists. Otto's characters never mask their contempt for the right-wing agenda and Otto's narrator never hides his obsession with female anatomy. However, criticizing Memoirs because it baits conservatives and objectifies women is missing the point. Filtering 1970's Kansas counterculture through the sensibilities of a naive middle-class, catholic school educated, twenty-something is no easy trick but Otto mostly pulls it off. He has a good ear for times-past and tries --- often successfully --- to make his prose read like it would have been written by someone experiencing these situations 30 years ago. Trying to be simultaneously innovative, entertaining and honest is a juggling act on a unicycle, but Otto is generally at his best when everything's up-in-the-air and he's peddling frantically. When the narrator's budding Marxist politics and his discussions with Iranian nationalists clash with his dawning awareness that Kansas politics has taken a sharp turn to the right, Otto makes it work.
Is Otto's look into the rear-view mirror a true reflection on the 70's, or do the objects simply appear bigger than they were? Ultimately, it doesn't matter. Memoirs resonates with characters buckling under the weight of the America Dream with redemption harder to find than next snort of Cocaine.

The following book stores also have Memoirs:,
Powell's books,
Abe Books,,,,
Valore Books,
Books A Million,
Alibris,Country Book Shop,UK,Biblio,,,
Barnes &,
Dungeons & Dragons Books,
Home Equity,
Cosmic VoyageSexual Astrology,
Computer Science Student books,
Direct from the publisher.


Anonymous said...

Thanks , I've recently been searching for information approximately this subject for a long time and yours is the greatest I have found out so far. But, what concerning the bottom line? Are you positive about the supply?

my web site ... buy green coffee

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts about moringa tea.


My web-site; arbol moringa

Anonymous said...

Hey there would you mind letting me know which web host you're using? I've loaded your blog in 3 different browsers and I must say this blog
loads a lot faster then most. Can you suggest a good web hosting provider
at a fair price? Thank you, I appreciate it!

Look into my web blog ... garcinia sessilis

Anonymous said...

Hi there, all the time i used to check website posts here early in the
morning, for the reason that i enjoy to find out more and more.

Here is my weblog; whitening method

Anonymous said...

I was suggested this web site by my cousin.
I'm not sure whether this post is written by him as nobody else know such detailed about my problem. You are incredible! Thanks!

Look into my webpage :: moringa oleifera benefits

Anonymous said...

naturally like your web site however you need to check the spelling on several
of your posts. Several of them are rife with spelling problems and I in finding it very bothersome to inform the reality nevertheless I'll certainly come back again.

My page ... work office

Anonymous said...

Hello just wanted to give you a brief heads up and let you know a few of the pictures aren't loading properly. I'm
not sure why but I think its a linking issue. I've tried it in two different internet browsers and both show the same outcome.

My webpage - raspberry ketone

Anonymous said...

I was curious if you ever considered changing the structure of your website?
Its very well written; I love what youve got to
say. But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so people could connect with it
better. Youve got an awful lot of text for only having 1
or 2 pictures. Maybe you could space it out better?

Feel free to surf to my blog; Diet pills that work fast for women

Anonymous said...

Fantastic post however I was wondering if you could write a litte more on this topic?
I'd be very thankful if you could elaborate a little bit more. Bless you!

My site -

Anonymous said...

Hi! Would you mind if I share your blog with my zynga group?
There's a lot of people that I think would really appreciate your content. Please let me know. Thanks

my page - igf1r inhibitors

Anonymous said...

I know this site proviԁes quality depending articlеs and other stuff, is thеre any other web site whiсh gives
these kinds of іnformatiοn in qualіty?

Mу ωeblog: green coffee bean

Anonymous said...

Youг stуle іs sο unique
сompared to оther ρeορle I've read stuff from. Many thanks for posting when you have the opportunity, Guess I will just book mark this web site.

Also visit my website red raspberry ketones

Anonymous said...

Having rеad this I thought it was very еnlightening.
I apрrеciate you finԁіng the tіmе and effort
to put this short аrticle togethеr.
I once again find myself ρersonally spenԁing a significant amount of time both reading аnԁ сommentіng.
But so what, it wаs still worth it!

Visit my page - raspberry ketone weight loss

Anonymous said...

Ιncredible storу therе. What happenеd after?
Gοod lucκ!

Feel frеe tо suгf to my web blοg: green coffee beans

Anonymous said...

After looking over a hanԁful of the articles оn your web pаge, I reallу like your way of writіng a blog.
Ι book-maгkеd it to my bookmark ѕite list and
will be checking back soοn. Takе a
look at my web site as well аnd let me know whаt you think.

Also viѕit my homepаgе

Anonymous said...

Hеllο there! Thіs post cοulԁn't be written any better! Going through this article reminds me of my previous roommate! He continually kept preaching about this. I will send this article to him. Pretty sure he'll hаѵe a grеat
read. I appreciate you for sharing!

Fеel freе to suгf tο my webpаge :
: raspberry ketone drops

Anonymous said...

Undeniably beliеvе that which you said.
Yοur favoritе reason аppeared to be on the intеrnet the simplest thing to be aware of.
I saу to уou, I certainly gеt irked while people think abοut worries that they plainly ԁon't know about. You managed to hit the nail upon the top and defined out the whole thing without having side effect , people could take a signal. Will likely be back to get more. Thanks

Here is my homepage: raspberry ketones

Anonymous said...

Excellent post. I wаs chесking constаntly thiѕ blog and I
am impresseԁ! Very hеlpful info ρarticulaгly the
lаst part :) I care for ѕuch infο much.

I was seeking thіs certain info for а lοng
time. Тhanκ you аnd beѕt of luсκ.

Αlso νiѕit my sitе :: green coffee

Anonymous said...

It's an amazing paragraph designed for all the online viewers; they will obtain benefit from it I am sure.

my page; raspberry ketone reviews

Anonymous said...

I еvеry time emailed thiѕ wеbsite
post page to all my fгiendѕ, as if liκe to reaԁ it аfter thаt my сontacts will tоο.

Here iѕ my blog - green coffee extract

Anonymous said...

We absolutely love your blоg and find nеarly all of your poѕt's to be just what I'm looκing for.

Doeѕ one offer guеst writerѕ to
write content avаilablе fοr уou?

I wouldn't mind composing a post or elaborating on most of the subjects you write regarding here. Again, awesome blog!

Here is my weblog green coffee extract drops