San Fran ’60s, Stories of San Francisco and the Birth of the Hippies

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This autobiographical tale follows a young man as he experiments with both love and drugs. Both show to have horrible side effects. Mark Jacobs recounts some of his adventures in the height of the Haight-Ashbury era. The book is done more like short stories with recurring characters rather than an large novel with a continuous plot. That was my favorite thing about the book. Each story was contained in its own universe and did not suffer from not knowing the other stories. It fits beautifully with the time period that Jacobs is describing. Some parts would start at the end of the tale and work its way backwards to the beginning. In the first story, we meet Ruth and Jacobs as lovers and then it fades back to when they first met. I think it is a brilliant way of storytelling.

This book is an honest look at the real San Francisco in the mid-Sixties. Admittedly, I wasn’t alive at that point, but after talking to people who were, while doing research for this book, I found similar narrations. The people in the book are well-illustrated with accent being spell phonetically (I personally loved that) and using the lingo from that decade. It took me a while to get used to cat meaning a person, not a house pet.

The book has an aura of entertainment, or simply put, it was fun to read. There are some great unforgettable stories stashed inside but there were also some demons in this book. Murder, burn schemes, and the occasional bad trip often take center stage to show that not everything in the sixties was carefree. The book is balanced well in that way, not too lighthearted and not too dark, but always with a roguish tone. In that way, the book separates from what is considered stereotypical and shows us the real counter culture. Mark Jacobs does a wonderful job showcasing the life he had and the people that made it so great.

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Star Count 5/5
Format Trade
Page Count 182 pages
Publisher Escallonia Press
Publish Date 07-Jul-2010
ISBN 9781453758663 Buy this Book
Issue May 2012
Category Biographies & Memoirs


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