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Not Fade Away


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About the Author

Jim Dodge is the author of three novels - Fup, Not Fade Away and Stone Junction - and a collection so poetry and short prose, Rain on the River. He lives on an isolated ranch in western Sonoma County and has been by turns an apple picker, a carpet layer, a teacher, a professional gambler, a shepherd for five years and a woodcutter. He currently works as an environmental restorer - primarily tree planting, log-jam removal and erosion control.


In early Sixties San Francisco, George Gaskin, tow-truck driver and seeker of higher truth, becomes intrigued by the story behind a car he is to demolish in an insurance fraud schemea mint-condition `59 Cadillac intended as a gift from an eccentric old woman to an early rock star, the Big Bopper, and never delivered because of his untimely death. Gaskin decides symbolically to complete the delivery and perhaps find something of himself along the way. What ensues is a drug-drenched pilgrimage through the Southwest in search of the Bopper's grave, a series of alternately comic and nightmarish adventures involving a motley group of dreamers and con men. Animated by Gaskin's manic energy and rich vernacular, this hallucinatory, foot-to-the-floor journey through the lost soul of a nation is a wild ride, but one well worth taking. Lawrence Rungren, Bedford Free P.L., Mass.

In his second novel, the author of Fup relives an era that spanned the Beat Generation and the beginnings of the '60s. We accompany the mysterious yet amiable George Gastin in a stolen 59 Caddy as he travels across America to Big Bopper's grave, where he wants to deliver a ``heartfelt crazy gift meant to celebrate music and the possibilities of human love.'' Hallucinogenic drugs offer fantastic diversions, and roadstops result in both comedy and poignancy. The sad and strange Mira Whitman is particulary memorableshe decides against suicide because she was ``so terrified nobody was there inside her to die,'' and only after George hears Mira's ``warm, full-throated, belly-rich laughter'' does he resume his quest. Dodge's wonderful imagination, eye for detail and command of language along with a delightful backdrop of rock-and-roll make a somewhat absurd plot flow with grace and rhythm. (August)

* rock'n'roll The Times * The best road novel never to be adapted for the big screen - Vanishing Point with a point, Easy Rider with no hippies and a sense of historical depth. The Guardian * expect your brain cells to be frazzled by the funk and fervour of his prose. The Herald * Man, we're on the road again! Big fun! Time Out

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