Dealing or The Berkeley-to-Boston Forty-Brick Lost-Bag Blues by "Michael Douglas" (Hardcover 1971)
"Take the 'High' road with Peter Harkness as he travels the Berkeley-to-Boston trade route for marijuana. Peter takes the money and comes back with tidy packages of little bricks of dope soakd in Coke (to diguise the smell). There's plenty of action and then plenty of hassle when Peter's lady gets busted for holding forty bricks (or eighty pounds) of marijuana. Suddenly, everything becomes very heavy for a formerly straight college student named Peter Harkness." - from the text on the backcover of the paperback edition of 'Dealing' by the mysteriously nome de plume'd author of this unusual novel 'Michael Douglas'. This is actually an pair of brothers writing their first novel together in the late sixties as a team, Michael and Douglas by first names. One of which would soon begin his stock and trade as a novelist that would redefine the American writing, movie, and television industries with his detailed eye for the scientific state-of-the-art world with the everyday working man's 9-to-5 culture interwoven successfully with such famed works as 'The Andromeda Strain', 'The Eaters of Men', 'Jurassic Park', 'Disclosure' , and the televsion series 'ER' to his credit. You probably have guessed by now that the edler brother is none other than modern science fiction's own Michael Crichton.
Here are a few of the humorous remarks made by readers on the Amazon site review list :
"Love this book. It is NOT Crichton's usual, that's for sure. It tells more truth about drug culture in the 60's than most scholarly tomes." - J. Shawn Sullivan, Massachusettes.
"I find myself quoting a line from the book repeatedly. There is a scene where the main character goes to his friends room and the girlfriend wearing only a robe, crosses her legs giving him a long slow shot. "Nothing offered," the character says, "just letting you know it's all there." - Catfish, MS.
"Wow! I didn't know Crichton was such a druggie. I wonder what his mother thinks of this. " - A. Customer, USA. "This book is one of those rare ones that I've reread many times over the years, for its madcap descriptions that capture a period and place that I was on the edge of -- but close enough to smell the authenticity of the writing. Of course, the plot isn't quite real, but just enough to keep you on the edge. Another thing I like about this is that it's so different from Michael Crichton's later work, very fresh and genuine, yet still wise and slightly self-mocking..."
This is definately a must read for the avid Crichton fans, yet this book has a immortalized itself as it is little known despite it's wide audience subject matter and is now infamous because it is dated with slang and cultural history of the fast burnout of the sixties from the satire of two young adolescent boys who actually were living it...more or less. It is a story full of humor and angst for about as long as the buzz takes to wear off - but the real fun of the book is the nostalgic avenues that it conjures up for us to relive without the politically correct sanctioned revisionist history stamping itself in the writing like a charcoal swastika into the forehead of a future Manson bride.
This is a young writer without shame or inhibition, writing his first out cries onto the blank page, without press releases, retainers, contracts, publishers, fans, editors, publicists, or anything more than a typewritter and a sibling collaborator, white out, and a spare ink ribbon on hand. Pure and uncensored as the first spoken haiku, Michael Crichton today could hardly have known that lengthy career about to lay itself before him from the beginning of the 70s until the closing of the first decade 2K.
So please, give this one a ready sometime. There is a movie version on DVD - which I am not going to recommend as highly, but it is also worth a watching in retrospective. If you are not looking for Cheech and Chong or George Carlin to approach you with the acid tripper story type used in the post flower child era scripts. And although quite humorous in its delivery, Dealing is a quick read with no real message or moral lessons in the end. But almost anyone who has read it, knows that is part of what makes it live on with a legacy, not hippocracy as so many hippie influenced manifestos gone by the wayside, with the fall of the Abbey's, the Leary's, and the Ginsburg's into an empire of second hand smokers gone to rehab assed out, only to dry hump the next two decades with dogmatic doublespeak and political campaigns needy for contributions from the baby boomers. No nukes, no war, no jobs, no money, and no where - the revolution ends with a whimper, utopia cut short by color televsion and methamphetamines.
Michael and Douglas Crichton seem to have missed the fall or the Haight, the Grateful Dead, and Kent State. Yet found the teenage equivalent of temporary earthbound nirvana - selling and smoking marijana for fun and profit. Simple, sensible, and super for a summer job to pad the college fund, and support your girlfriends' habit. Teenage Wasteland in real time...
Sorry for the rant, in short - disco arrives just in time to glitter up all the jive talking junkies and sketch artist tree huggers that would flood the USA with post Woodstock propoganda literature until Y2K was long past.
Be you a head, or a narc, a campus up-and-comer or a hipster chick...remember the first words of the first page from 'Dealing' - "All names , characters, and events in this book are fictional, and any resemblance to real persons is either coincidental or the result of stoned paranoia."
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