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Publisher's Summary

Fred Haefele has reached midlife with many wrecks behind him: a divorce, and tortured relationships with his father, son, and daughter. He has failed to sell his first novel, and a baby daughter is on the way. In a daring - maybe desperate - gesture, he buys the remains of a 1941 Indian Chief motorcycle and begins to rebuild it. Gradually the project becomes the story of a man's rebuilding his life. Funny, streetwise, honest, and joyous, Rebuilding the Indian reveals a man bent on the heroic task of taking a new chance on life.
Copyright ©1998 by Fred Haefele; Recording (P)1998 by Audio Literature

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  • Overall
  • Jerry
  • McLean, VA, USA
  • 08-25-03

Enjoyable read

If anyone has ever considered rebuilding a vintage motorcycle, definitely read this book. The author provides an honest, often humorous account of what is involved. I came away with a new appreciation of custom bike projects and Indian motorcycles.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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For Riders Only

The author is actually not a very likable guy. He seems to realize that he's been a bit of a loser as a husband and a father though, and he's making attempts at correcting his life although with no real recognition that he's been self-centered and immature. He sleeps with his buddy's wife, winds up getting a divorce, and blames it on the Vietnam war that he was witnessing through tv news and protest marches. No great moments of catharsis, just a lot of shifting of blame. HIs high strung wife, that damn war, his "hippie-baiting, conservative in-laws." What was a guy to do but bed down his best friend's wife, and throw his family to the wind?!

The biker image doesn't seem to be proper fit for him either. He's a failed English teacher, struggling writer hanging out with some low-rent types he perceives as the edge of the 1%er crowd in an attempt at immersing himself into his subject matter. Kind of a wannabe Kerouac and Barger without being either of course.

Having said all of that, if you ride, and you have an airplane to catch or a similar stretch of time to kill it is still worth listening.