Lucy in the Sky is a coming-of-age tale set in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, in 1969. Not precisely niched in young adult fiction, Lucy lightly touches on such weighty issues as the meaning of life and the existence of God. For those interested in answers to The Big Questions or just keen to revisit a simpler time, Lucy in the Sky promises a fun and compelling trip – and that means "trip" in every sense of the word.
Gene Steen is an earnest, intelligent, truth-seeking teen stuck in the cultural wasteland of his suburban home. He wants to be a hippie in the worst way, but hippies are scarce on the ground in the forlorn Midwest of Gene’s 15th year.
Then, propitiously on the Summer Solstice, his life is turned upside down by the arrival of his lively, lovely, long-lost cousin Lucy. She’s hip beyond Gene’s wildest dreams and immediately takes him under her wing. Lucy teaches Gene that being a hippie isn’t about love beads and peace signs, but about making a choice and taking a stand. Yet for all her airy insights into religion, philosophy, and “the is-ness of it all”, Lucy harbors dark secrets – secrets that will soon put her on the run, with Gene by her side.
©2012 John Vorhaus (P)2012 Spoken Word Inc.
Special thanks to Sasha, Stacy and Stef for sharing the Audible experience with me and being the best of company during my recovery.
This was a fantastic coming of age/ adventure story set in 1969 that tells the tale of the very unfortunately named Gene Steen and his cousin Lucy. Fifteen year old Gene lives with his parents in Milwaukee; surely the least hip place on Earth he's sure. Lucy on the other hand is surely the coolest person on the planet and totally hot too; too bad she's his cousin but at least he's learning some things he never expected to.
Then the story goes from young adult coming of age narrative to an adventure when she tells him a few of her secrets and the two of them take to the road.
If not for an overly detailed acid trip description this is a poignant, intelligent, mature story set in a time that I remember quite well. Highly recommended.
Vorhaus is a clever writer. His charactors converse with a witty banter that is both believable and entertaining. This story does an excellent job of capturing both the mood of the country and the mindset of young adults in the late 60s. Although the fast paced story line holds your attention, it is the insight of the charactors that makes it an enjoyable story. Well worth the effort as either a read...or a listen!
LUCY IN THE SKY WITH DIAMONDS is one of the most astounding novels I have ever read!
First of all, I was born in 1970. I had a complicated childhood, so I really didn't start becoming Me until 1979 or 1980. And yet, Vorhaus's novel somehow manages to jet me back to my own adolescence, that first Perfect Girl who introduces me to the world outside TV and comics and movies! All that made her perfection to me, Vorhaus captured her here, right here in this book! I had forgotten about her, but here she is, forever preserved for me.
Then, there's the DEPTH! Fiction doesn't deal with spirituality. But why doesn't it? I mean, Horror can deal with spirituality, but that's always the same old formula: Religious girl, atheist guy, agnostic who is the first to realize the ancient demonic curse is actually real...none of it's REAL. We ARE our worldview, it colors every perception of our every day...so why can't fiction deal with real spirituality? We're all asking the same questions, why can't writers write about it?
John Vorhaus does. He weaves it right into his story, makes it a part of his characters!
But most of all -- to me, at least -- this book is FUN!!! Like everything Vorhaus writes -- fiction or non-fiction -- this novel is written with his inspired sense of play (and love of language)!
And this novel is HONEST. There's a moment where Gene sees that Lucy automatically checks the payphone change slot for stray coins and wonders "She does that, too? Does everyone?" I like to think that's Mr. Vorhaus winking at us, assuring us that, yes, we ALL think like this, we're not alone.
If you've read the blurbs and think you will enjoy this book, YOU WILL! If you've never read Kerouac, Ginsberg, or Burroughs, your mind will be blown! But if you have, you'll be reminded why you dug their work so much: So much TRUTH behind these fantasies, these artificial worlds that reveal Reality!
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