San Francisco was Ground Zero for the emergence of the hippie movement, and this is one participant's experience at street level. In this fictionalized autobiography, Jacobs captures the underpinning of drifting and despair and cuts through the mass-media stereotypes, which he deftly critiques. Here, Haight Street can be the last resort when looking to fill an open day. And from the outset, there are the zombies and burnouts, boredom and paranoia, and a host of uptight realities. Not everyone gets laid regularly, either, but there is plenty of drug dealing and usage. Something definitely intense is driving these refugees from the suburbs and points beyond. It's not all peace and love, either.
Any storyline tangles once the chapters start jumping away from chronology and, at times, from Haight-Ashbury. Characters who were written out of the story suddenly reappear, while others are added willy-nilly.
The mobi formatting keeps shifting between two typeface sizes, and I found that as annoying as the grammatical errors and storytelling redundancies. There are also continuity issues, such as the sudden assumption the reader already knows about ex-lover Amy when she's first mentioned and then vanishes.
Caught mostly in 1966-'67, the book is an important acknowledgement of the grim underbelly of a counterculture beginning to spread across the rest of the nation – excepting, as we're repeatedly told, the South and other redneck enclaves.
(reviewed 12 days after purchase)