Altamont Augie: Left, Right, or Undeclared?

May 25, 2011 | Categories: Uncategorized | Comments: None Yet - Post a Comment

Any serious novel about the 1960s will more than likely explore the volatile politics of the day. My debut novel Altamont Augie is no exception. The back cover matter describes the two main characters as “…fighting on opposite sides of the defining issue of their time, the New Left and New Right battling for a generation’s political soul…”

So does the author—that would be me—take sides in the epic political struggle between the Left and Right that is described in the story? I hope not; it was my intention to frame the debate in story-form and let readers decide for themselves which side they come down on. One way of gauging if an author has succeeded at keeping art removed from–and, in my opinion, above–politics is reader feedback. Here are comments from two recent reviewers that I found revealing on this matter.

First from John R. Clark, who reviews novels for a literary blog and manages a public library in Maine:

“This book had me hooked from the opening sentence. I was active in the anti-war movement of the 1960s, was at Woodstock and devoured the music of the era. This book was in many ways, like reliving many of my most memorable experiences between 1966 and 1970…This is a work of fiction that will not only appeal to ‘Children of the ’60ʹ′s’, but anyone looking for a fine historical read and an understanding of the times.”

And then from David Spiegel, in his fine customer review posted on Amazon:

“Though the bias is conservative, Barager is charitable, analytical, and informed as he dissects the issues that divided the country and seduced its youth.”

So there you have it. A self-described antiwar librarian vicariously reliving his antiwar activities through the novel, and another reviewer who thinks the novel’s bias is conservative. What do you think?

Is Altamont Augie a novel of the Left, the Right, or Undeclared?



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