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This is a books a good number of people consider a classic and others don't know about at all. It's the story of a pothead who lives in New York's East Village in the sixties, and it kept me laughing out loud throughout. The Fan Man careens about the streets, stopping to press his ear to streetlights to listen to the music of machines beneath the ground (probably passing subways), his short attention span a slapstick riot.
Together with another book on the period I read recently, I Think, Therefore Who Am I? (Memoir of a Psychedelic Year), the Fan Man triggered nostalgia for an era I only know of secondhand, having been too young to have been there then; I got a taste of it in the seventies. That's another selling point of Kotzwinkle's book: the resurrection of a time (and place) that looms as an almost mythical period of both carefree and serious hedonism and self-discovery. I'm sure I'll read it again, when I'm feeling down and/or tired of the state of the humourless world we seem to live in now.
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