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Sex, drugs and rock and roll. What more does a novel need?

Be prepared to take a trip when reading When Life Was Like a Cucumber by Greg Wyss. This trip will be unlike any one you have ever taken before. That is unless you were in your 20s, living in the late 1960s and early 1970s on the East coast, USA....read more 

  
 
 
Book By Author:  Greg Wyss

When Life Was Like a Cucumber
 
 When Life Was Like a Cucumber
 
 History
 
  9781644621660
 
 Page Publishing
 
 

Thought-provoking, humorous and occasionally surreal novel steeped in the history and atmosphere of the early 1970's in Europe and America, it tells the story of a young man, inspired by an angel calling herself Isadora Duncan, looking to find his place in the world after the halcyon days of free love, the drug culture and rock and roll have passed. His odyssey begins in Upstate New York and journeys to the streets of Boston and the Gulf Coast of Florida before he finds himself seated next to Jesus on an airplane on its way over the Atlantic Ocean to Luxembourg. He experiences the lifestyle of Amsterdam, explores his ancestral home of Switzerland and spends an idyllic summer on the island of Crete where he is befriended by a Greek Renaissance man. Poignant and unpredictable, it examines the confusion, alienation and hope of a generation weaned on drugs, the sexual revolution and the Vietnam War.

 
Date Reviewed:   

15-07-2020

 
Tagline:   

Sex, drugs and rock and roll. What more does a novel need?

 
 

Be prepared to take a trip when reading When Life Was Like a Cucumber by Greg Wyss. This trip will be unlike any one you have ever taken before. That is unless you were in your 20’s, living in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s on the East coast, USA. You also would have had to be a young male university graduate with no sense of direction moving from one job to another or to have no job at all. Your name would have been Jeff and you would possess two things that kept you going, drugs and the pursuit of women. As Jeff, you would realize those two things were more of an addiction later on. You were always looking to get high or get laid. Luckily, as Jeff, you knew you had the ability to make friends easily, was good looking and had a moral compass to guide you down this trip. That moral compass would keep you out of trouble more times than you could count on. Will you, as Jeff, get caught in a dead-end job, in a relationship you detest or will you be a free spirit and run off with your girlfriend in hand?

Greg Wyss writes an entertaining tale with the main character, Jeff, and his trek to find himself during the tumultuous early 1970’s. Vietnam, Tricky Dicky and racial tensions filled the news and soul of America at that time. Free love was waning and young people took to the roads hitchhiking in hopes of finding anything to dull the pain of mediocrity. Wyss, the author, paints a realistic America and Europe following Jeff and his endless run-ins with flatmates, family and girlfriends. Wyss uses Jeff’s exploits to show how mixed up America was in that time period. It’s like looking into a time capsule. He uses humor, lots of it, and savvy story telling to show what is was like to exist and survive on the road and travel oversees with little or no money. It is quite the trip.

I looked at this novel as not just a work of fiction. I looked at it as a snap shot of the youth of North America trying to find themselves. For myself, my time came ten years after Jeff in the start of the 1980’s. I related to his exploits of hitchhiking across a nation, traveling to Europe, making friends along the way, always looking for that next joint and next love. It was a special time in history we can reflect on in from a unique perspective thanks to Wyss’s When Life Was Like a Cucumber.

 
 



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Greg Wyss Author:  Greg Wyss

Bio:
  

Author, entrepreneur and businessman, Greg Wyss was well-known on the small press scene in the 1970's where his poems and stories appeared in dozens of literary publications. A collection of his work "Sit Down Have a Beer" was published in 1977 by Realities Library in San Diego, California. A graduate of Northeastern University in Boston, Greg retired in 2015 to resume his writing after the wireless communications company he co-founded was purchased by a competitor. Greg and his wife Barbara live in Houston, Texas. This is Greg's first novel.

Website:

 www.gregwyss.com