When Life Was Like a Cucumber
by Greg Wyss
Page Publishing

"The sad truth was that I had become nothing more than a derelict."

This work of historical fiction is written ostensibly as a memoir by its narrator, Jeffrey Hesse. But author Wyss does more than describe the life of a kid who comes of age in the 60s and 70s, an era full of curiosity, adventure, drugs, and free love. His writing is descriptive and fluid. "We were a sorry sight, three wild-haired East Coast hippies rising like filthy ghosts from a landscape of chocolate pudding," says Hesse, describing how he and his friends emerge unscathed but dirty from a car accident where the vehicle lands in a mud pit.

The book also creates a historical discography, chronicling where the narrator is during the release of some of the best music by Deep Purple, Pink Floyd, Frank Zappa, and other musical acts and artists of the period. The book goes beyond descriptions of sex, drugs, and rock and roll, as well. From memories of the lunar landing to Woodstock, the author, via Hesse, recalls it all. For example, Hesse describes the December 1969 draft lottery day, including how his friends gathered around a television. Those whose numbers were drawn early stood in stunned silence on one side of the room, while those whose birthdates were drawn much later partied with relief on the other side.

Any book that begins with "I only met God once" will undoubtedly grab its readers. This is a period piece, but it is also so much more. It doesn't matter if you were a child of the 60s, 70s, 80s, or beyond. There is something for everyone here because every reader of every adult age and background knows what it is like to be on life's odyssey of self-discovery.

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