Friday, May 8, 2009

I Think Therefore Who Am I? by Peter Weissman (46/81)

Category: Retro - Beats, Hippies, 1960s and Counterculture

I was not born in the 1960s, but have always had a fascination with this period; the music, the fashions and the politics, and I've had a sense of having missed out on something special. But Peter Weissman's memoir of his experiences in 1967 put some of my yearning into perspective.
The author's memories do not portray the time as a golden age, but at the same time he doesn't renounce it or downplay its personal significance.

My overall impression of this book is of the honesty of the author in description himself and his experiences. He unflinchingly describes his younger self as shy, naive and unsuccessful with women at the start of the book, and then as he begins to change through his LSD experiences, he is still portrayed as often foolish and not quite as worldy as he would like to think.

And of LSD taking, here is another of the writer's strengths as he avoids the pitfalls of over-glamorising or over-dramatising the experiences. Again the best way to describe his approach is honest.

'I think therefore who am I?' is essentially a coming of age story and although some of the specifics relate to that time and place, much of it struck a chord with me despite having been born a couple of decades later.

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