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Gates of Eden Kindle Edition

21 customer reviews

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Length: 376 pages Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled

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Editorial Reviews


Gates of Eden captures the Vietnam Era's war at home through the passionate drives and personal commitments of author Degelman's very real characters, alive in a world where danger, ingenuity, sex and drugs are a part of life, not a Hollywood fantasy. A wonderful, gutsy, uncompromising read. Buy it! - S.Weinstein, NotAnotherBookReview

Set amidst the turmoil of the Vietnam War at home, seven rebels unite with others dissatisfied with the government and begin to plot against it, daring to go as far as rebellion. With a personal story among each of them, Gates of Eden is a fine novel of the period, very much recommended. -- Midwest Book Review

Epic chapters in American history often inspire fiction. One of the latest epic entries is Gates of Eden, set in the 1960s by theater artist and political activist Charles Degelman. The anti-war movement is the canvass for his story, and - while his novel is not autobiographical - the author knows his subject well. - Danny Feingold, Frying Pan News

Product Details

  • File Size: 778 KB
  • Print Length: 376 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0983321639
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Harvard Square Editions (July 17, 2012)
  • Publication Date: July 17, 2012
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008MHBZQ6
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,428,923 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Charles Degelman is a writer, editor, and educator living in Los Angeles.

Gates of Eden, a '60s novel of resistance, rebellion, and love, garnered a silver medal from the 2012 Independent Publishers Book Awards. Published by Harvard Square Editions, 2012.

A Bowl Full of Nails, set in the counterculture of the 1970s, collected a Bronze Medal from the 2015 Independent Publishers Book Awards and was a finalist in the Bellwether Competition, sponsored by Barbara Kingsolver. Published by Harvard Square Editions, 2015.

Impressions of two trips to Cuba have been published in Cuba by Travelers Tales. Excerpts from his anthology, American Postcards, narrative snapshots of growing up absurd in the 1950s appear in Above Ground, an anthology of international fiction.

In 2010, Degelman edited A Voice From the Planet, a globe-trotting anthology of short fiction, published by Harvard Square Editions.

His first screenplay, "Fifty-Second Street," garnered an award from the Diane Thomas Competition, sponsored by Amblin Entertainment and the UCLA Writers Program. "No Deposit, No Return," a reinhabitory thriller, is wandering the labyrinths of Hollywood.

His latest screenplay, "The Red Car," was a finalist in the American Zoetrope competition, sponsored by Francis Ford Coppola.

He currently teaches writing and media studies at California State University, Los Angeles.

Facts of Life...

After graduating Harvard, Degelman left academia to become an antiwar activist, political theater artist, musician, communard, carpenter, hard-rock miner, and itinerant gypsy trucker.

When the dust settled, Degelman returned to his first love, writing. In the 1990s he was swept up by the film world and the burgeoning digital industry where he wrote and produced documentary and educational films for TNT, Churchill Films, Pyramid Films, Philips Interactive Media, and others. Titles include a feature-length biography of filmmaker John Huston for TNT and an award-winning biography of Mozart for Philips Interactive.

A longtime theater artist, Degelman co-founded Indecent Exposure, a Los Angeles-based theater company dedicated to creating original, high-quality, socially relevant work for the stage.

He polished his craft as writer and editor on staff at Constitutional Rights Foundation, a civic-education organization, while he produced original work for the stage and wrote fiction, screenplays, and political commentary.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Rhodes Hileman on August 31, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Last week I finished reading "Gates of Eden" by Charles Degelman, a historical novel set in the U.S. in the sixties. At first, upon hearing of the book's imminent release, I thought we did not need another account of this decade.

We did, and this is it.

The story is distinguished by the interaction of romance, or at least sex, and politics.

We were then reacting against the principle of property, which we saw at the root of so much that was wrong with the larger American society. Possessiveness in general was deprecated.

So we tried to share everything, including each other. The logical outcome was communes and "free love", and that's what we did. (An example of "silver bullet" thinking, a common American foible.)

Meanwhile, the Vietnam war machine was chewing through our youth, and our conscience. We could respond with nothing but rage. The oppression of Blacks in the South was another major violence demanding a response from those who were free of it. SDS and SNCC did respond, and some were killed in action.

Both of these stories, of 60s sex and 60s protests, have been well covered, but "Gates of Eden" shows how they wove together to produce a most volatile mix.

Remembering the decade, I am grateful for this account of it. No one else has come so close to bringing it all back home.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Laurie on September 12, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Many books analyze and appraise the 1960's, but few capture what they were really like to live in. Charles Degelman's Gates of Eden fills this gap. It follows the overlapping stories of five young adults, as they face the freedoms, challenges and angers of that time. With them, the reader experiences voter registration drives in the rural south, daily life in SDS and FBI offices, demonstrations in Chicago, and even a visit to Hanoi. The characters are each carefully drawn, enabling the reader to both care about them and to understand their internal logic and differing choices as they respond to escalating disappointments with American society and the federal government. Choices that may seem naive or misguided in retrospect, make deep sense in their own time, and can only be really understood by jumping into a time machine. This novel is that machine.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By D. E. Tingle on September 3, 2012
Format: Paperback
I'll say the good things I have to say about this book with little art and less cant: "Gates of Eden" kicks ass. Having lived through the time in which it's set, though providentially not, like the author, near the center of the action, I find this account as hair-raisingly fraught as I always imagined the real thing to be -- which is why I was careful not to be there.

Degelman's novel follows the evolution of a handful of young, very engaging characters through the social upheaval of the 1960s. It rings powerfully of the truth underlying the headlines of that period, when Americans at home came to blows over war and civil rights, and something called the sexual revolution played havoc with the generations' expectations of themselves and each other. "Gates of Eden" lets you share the excitement of those days without the attendant risk of having your head busted open by nervous agents of the status quo.

But for readers so inclined, that opportunity is not lost. History does repeat itself.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By morganjen on August 29, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I love how GATES OF EDEN is written - the way you get to know the characters and they start to feel like people you actually do know and have spent intense actual hours with, you are not just reading about them. I enjoy the lyricism of the fictional aspects but also the authenticity of non fiction...for me its especially potent since a lot of the events or circumstances I dimly remember as a child and teenager and it's like filling in the colors in a book that's been black and white for me for awhile.. esp the blowing up of the townhouse...which was a vivid memory of mine on the threshold of adulthood. Also quite sexy...and wryly humorous xx Been reading it in drips and drabs (the segments can work that way) thru the summer but want to find time to really sit with it under a tree and do the whole thing again in one fell a wonderful rich meal. Thanks for the journey!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Diane Haithman, author Dark Lady of Hollywood on August 26, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
"Gates of Eden" is a must-read for "millennials" too young for Vietnam but who need to know how the so-called hippie generation shaped the freedoms enjoyed by the youth culture of today. With a refreshing lack of cynicism, Charles Degelman's multi-layered characters and surprise-ending story personify the beating heart of the movement. If, like Degelman, you were part of it, buy his from-the-inside look at your own generation to read yourself and to share with your kids. Stop, hey, what's that sound, everybody look what's goin' down.

Diane Haithman, freelance journalist and co-author of "The Elder Wisdom Circle Guide for a Meaningful Life," Penguin/Plume.

The Elder Wisdom Circle Guide for a Meaningful Life: Seniors Across America Offer Advice to the Next Generations
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By John U. Zussman on September 4, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
As a boomer who was tear-gassed in campus demonstrations in the '60s and '70s, I found Gates of Eden a sweeping, faithful portrait of an era and a generation coming of age. Told through the eyes of multiple protagonists, each representing a different perspective on the war, the movement, and the counterculture, Degelman ultimately brings them together in a dramatic climax. The characters are sympathetic and the tension builds with the fear that not all their endings will be happy.

Gates of Eden is not simply a period piece. It resonates today, as another generation of young people tries to find their voice and a way to affect events -- this time economic -- that will echo through their lives. I wish them success.
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