[amazon_link id="0983066108" target="_blank" ]Altamont Augie[/amazon_link]
by Richard Barager
Publication Date: June 1, 2011
Publisher: Interloper Press
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Reading Group Guide
About the Book
After being assigned to cut a trailer for the 30th anniversary re-release of the 1969 rock documentary Gimme Shelter, Los Angeles trailer editor CALEB LEVY becomes obsessed with an obscure fatality that occurred at Altamont, the notorious concert profiled in the film. His quest to identify a John Doe who drowned in an irrigation canal an hour into the concert leads to a stunning discovery: Caleb’s own mother was at Altamont, and knew the man in question. When confronted, she tells a story that forever changes Caleb’s life.
It is the story of DAVID NOBLE and JACKIE LUNDQUIST, college lovers who clash when he joins the marines to fight a war she opposes. Her pride wounded by his rush to war, Jackie ignores David’s letters from Vietnam, where he survives the blood-red clay of Khe Sahn before returning home to find Jackie a prominent campus radical. To her, the faltering war in Vietnam is a failure of national conscience; to David it is a failure of national honor. But neither Jackie’s rise to fame as the alluring Radical Queen nor David’s counter-protest activities in support of the war can extinguish their passion for one another. Their love endures, even while fighting on opposite sides of the defining issue of their time, the New Left and New Right battling for a generation’s political soul—a battle that rages still. Both their tumultuous affair and the Age of Aquarius itself cartwheel into the decade’s last great rock festival: Altamont, the metaphoric Death of the Sixties, where shame is ascendant and honor will wait thirty years for its due.
About the Author
Richard R. Barager, MD, FACP, is a nephrologist in private practice in San Diego’s North County. Dr. Barager, who has twice received a San Diego County Medical Society “Top Doctor” award for distinguished care in his specialty, is a champion of the healing power of literature, and from time to time “prescribes” specific novels to receptive patients and families to help them cope with their burden of illness.
He has engaged the medical community at large in this endeavor via The Literary Doctor, a blog category devoted to the use of literary fiction to help patients and physicians alike explore the meaning of human illness in a way scientific method cannot. A disease can be understood through the process of empiric research and publication; understanding illness—the fully expressed human response to disease, manifested by its emotional, spiritual, financial, as well as physical aspects—requires a different paradigm. Illness is best understood in story form, i.e. selected works of literary fiction.
Dr. Barager has long believed the two finest callings in life are doctor and writer, the one ministering to the human condition, the other illuminating it, both—when performed with compassion and knowledge—capable of transforming it. His novel Altamont Augie, a tale of the late 1960s, is due for publication in June, 2011.
Dr. Barager earned BA and MD degrees at the University of Minnesota, and did postgraduate training at Emory University in Atlanta and the University of California at San Diego. He has published a chapter in a medical textbook, is past chief of staff at a large district hospital, and is fluent in Spanish, in order to better serve his area’s substantial Hispanic population.
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I have 5 copies of this book to give away to lucky readers in the USA or Canada!
Starts: July 29, 2011 9:00am EST
Ends: August 6, 2011 12:01am EST
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