2017 is coming to an end, and things are looking apocalyptic. Politics is like a surrealistic dystopian fantasy. News reports seem like deranged hallucinations. Some people are actually saying that the world is coming to an end.
The first is Witness to the Revolution: Radicals, Resisters, Vets, Hippies, and the Year America Lost its Mind and Found its Soul by Clara Bingham, a fascinating multi-viewpoint, multi-dimensional oral history, with occasional quotes and excerpts from the dead. It concentrates on the year between the summers of 1969 and 1970,but there’s some spillover, because history tends to be messy. And this was a messy time. A time I remember well.
They also provided the perfect state of mind for reading David Memmott’s new novel, Canned Tuna, in which we swing from the lives of two young American men, one in Vietnam and Boise, Idaho in 1969, the other in Oregon in 1963. Do you find that twisting of time sequence disturbing? Well, it’s typical of this novel.