Reviews of San Fran ’60s

“It’s fun, with a quirky style… There’s plenty of colour evoked and the language has a brisk and bold rhythm. There’s an authenticity, an authority…” Simon Warner, PhD, author of Text, Drugs, and Rock’n’Roll, published by Bloomsbury, and Lecturer, Popular Music Studies, University of Leeds, United Kingdom

“In San Fran ‘60s, Mark Jacobs brings the counter-culture of the San Francisco in the 1960s to life through a sharply drawn collection of stories, which are frequently disturbing and surprising. Jacobs creates a montage of images and moments that capture the beat, sound and smell of the streets. Many of his characters are in search of truth or love—or at least release from the world around them–whether it’s dodging the draft, coping with drug addiction, treading the fine line between madness and mysticism, or finding the last barber on Haight Street. This is an engaging half-forgotten world of couch nomads, hipsters and the dispossessed in search of something that they themselves can’t articulate … I really loved this collection.” Douglas Field, Phd, lecturer in 20th Century American Literature at Manchester University, United Kingdom. He is the editor of American Cold War Culture (2005) and the author of James Baldwin (2011). He is also a regular contributor to the Times Literary Supplement.

“It is a very good portrait of a period.” Richard Olafson, editor of Pacific Rim Review

“Here’s a book of tales … from a guy who was there …  he’s tellin’ stories like they happened yesterday. Some of ’em are totally unbelievable, and some are totally, like, “That could happen to me,” ya know? The stories are written with lots of dialogue, which makes the characters jump off the page … Good stuff, man.—Nicholas Grizzle, North Bay Bohemian Oct 17 – 23, 2012, Vol. 34, No. 23

“A peek behind the idea of a hippy urban idyll. All very personal … All very deeply personal. And it is very honest. There is no attempt to dress up the period. These are a ragbag of characters … An encounter with William Burroughs, a fleeting meeting with Janis Joplin, a collision with murderous rednecks in a diner north of San Francisco … At times America resembles a police state.”  Dawn Swoop, Beat Scene #69 (25 year old glossy UK-based magazine dedicated to all things Beat Generation)

“I found the stories colourful, evocative, beguilingly simple, and imbued throughout with a sense of the authority of witness. The portrayal of the seedier, more disturbing aspects of life in Haight-Ashbury during the 1960s (‘The First Murder’, ‘Strangers in a Dark Room’) was particularly compelling.” Rona Cran, President of the English Graduate Society at University College London, and editor of the journal, Moveable Type

“This book does an unbelievably good job of capturing the feel of the 60s. The pace is perfect. The rhythm is perfect… And some of the images are searing – they stick with you for days after you read them.” Phil Kain, Phd, author of Nietzsche and the Horror of Existence (2009), Professor of Philosophy, Santa Clara University

“It’s entertaining to read. It condenses a complex reality into a fictional landscape that captures some of the rosy and bitter flavors of a time that continues to be mythologized.” Nadya Zimmerman, author of Counterculture Kaleidoscope: Musical and Cultural Perspectives on Late Sixties San Francisco, teaches at Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle.

“I… found it very readable. It certainly brings back the era with an inside look. I think it could find readers in Germany.” Juergen Ploog, “Germany’s last beatnik poet,“ novelist, author of Facts of Fiction. Essays on Contemporary Literature. Here is his wiki page:

“Captures a particular time and place and youth very well.” Jennie Skerl, retired as Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at West Chester University, and author of William S. Burroughs (Twayne, 1985) and Reconstructing the Beats (Palgrave Macmillan, 2004).She is a founding board member and former President of the Beat Studies Association (USA).

“Jacobs captures a series of lost moments, a fleeting glimpse into a gossamer universe, a soundtrack to a film that had yet to become a a replay.Take a trip to the plastic-fantastic past…. ” –Davis Schneiderman, William Burroughs scholar, and author of the novels Drain (Northwestern) and BLANK (Jaded Ibis).

“Mark Jacobs’ writing flashes me back to the same, far-out, magical San Franciso spiritual smorgasbord that blew my mind and changed my life.” Melvyn Stiriss, author of Voluntary Peasants.


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