2 out of 5 stars
Share This Review
I was drawn to this book because I like the sign that the hitchhiker is holding. It represents freedom, adventure, and courage. The blurb forThumbing It promised it would have tales of the late sixties. I like that the author stated that the stories "are true, or should have been." While reading this memoir, I frequently wondered which scenes were enhanced by the addition of poetic license.
My favorite part of the book occurs on the first hitchhiking adventure that Luke took with his friend Chuck to a music festival in Monterey Park, California. The names of the bands performing and snatches of the lyrics from the songs that they heard evoked pleasant memories for me. This musical journey was repeated with blues in Mississippi and jazz in New Orleans later in the book.
My least favorite part of the book is that I was unprepared for the descriptive heterosexual and homosexual occurrences that began in New York City and ended after the traveling youths split up, and Luke left for Canada. The erotic content was not addressed in any summary that I came across before choosing the book. The recommended grade level is 11-12 on Amazon, so I was surprised.
The author is listed as David Done. The genre is listed as autobiographical, but the narrator of the story is referred to as Luke. The discrepancy did not hinder my reading, but an explanation would have been nice. Done's journalistic style held my interest. I have been to many of the locations and was able to relate due to the familiarity. The situations the hitchhikers encountered were humorous, terrifying, and realistic. The author's dialogue was authentic. It is a quick, easy read.
Something that did hinder my reading enjoyment was trying to ignore the lack of editing. There were over fifteen errors in the first chapter. There were two chapter fours. Phrases and words were repeated such as passages in chapter eleven about chess-playing and about Luke deciding to go with Chuck. Erroneous information such as Lenny being a character in The Grapes of Wrath was also annoying. My rating is two out of five due to the lack of editing and unannounced sexual content.
The premise of the book warrants a read, but it comes with a warning. The adventures are enjoyable to read. The information provided about the historic places they visited is educational. The philosophical message about the importance of living life to the fullest is wonderfully presented. If readers are prepared to ignore the poor editing, skip over the erotica, and focus on the tale of two young boys hitchhiking across America in the hippie era, then I recommend this book to them. Just as many drivers passed up the chance to stop and give these boys a lift when they saw them holding their sign beside the highway, readers with less tolerance should pass on this one. Look at the cover again. Would you pick him up? You might be looking at a missed opportunity.
View: on Bookshelves | on Amazon