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Jimi Hendrix Turns Eighty Paperback – Bargain Price, January 2, 2008

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Though Jimi doesn't make an appearance in this near-future satire, Sandlin (Skipped Parts; Sorrow Floats) has fun with his surviving fans. The year is 2022 (the year Jimi would've turned 80), and strait-laced retiree Guy Fontaine, at his daughter's behest, moves into the Mission Pescadero nursing home, where aged hippies, former radicals and random California nutjobs refuse to give up their sex, drugs and rock and roll. Guy is stricken with an acute case of culture shock, but gets over it with the help of a few friendly residents who aren't living in a perpetual summer of love. But just as Guy is getting into the scene, the residents take control of the facility to protest the lack of respect they receive from their families, doctors and the home's administrators. Though not all of the humor works across generations (chants of "Ho, Ho, Ho Chi Minh. AARP is gonna win"), most does, and the action, thankfully, is far from bingo night and crafts hour. (Jan.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

After crafting uproarious tales about fatherhood (Social Blunders, 1995) and Washington sleaze (Honey Don't, 2003), Sandlin asks, What will the age of assisted living be like for boomers who longed for the Age of Aquarius? It's 2022, and Guy Fontaine, a widower from Oklahoma, finds himself committed to a California old-folks facility where the flamboyant residents have reverted to the pursuits of their glory days, the late 1960s. Pot smoking, group sex, a rock band called Acid Reflux, cliques formed according to where you were during the Summer of Love, and the motto "don't trust anyone under sixty" all make for a wild, sometimes grotesque milieu overseen by a bitchy director who treats the oldsters like idiot children and a staff doctor who overmedicates them. When Guy inadvertently jump-starts an insurrection, the old hippies, old hands at civil disobedience, take over the compound. Hilarious in the fine-tuned details and rapid-fire dialogue, Sandlin's antic yet precision-aimed and unfailingly entertaining novel is a mordantly witty, covertly poignant, and genuinely insightful dissection of our fear and loathing of old age. Donna Seaman
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Riverhead Trade; Reprint edition (January 2, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594482837
  • ASIN: B001A5Q3VY
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.2 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,862,439 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

This is the scariest funny book I've ever read.
T. S. Irelan
Tim is one of those rare authors that makes me have feelings that are almost identical to those I've had in actual life situations, kind of like a karmic deja vu.
Curt R. Pasisz
If you have experienced assisted living or retirement facilities you will immediately recognize the situation.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Curt R. Pasisz on January 18, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Tim Sandlin's new novel, Jimi Hendrix Turns Eighty, makes you scared senseless of growing old while looking forward to it at the same time. He states that sometime in the future, librarians will move this book from fiction to non-fiction, and I have every inclination to believe him. No matter how bizarre some of the turns in this book; it's not hard to think that this could be real, right down to Drew Barrymore as Governor of California.

Imagine hippies and boomers, who started a whole new counter culture, getting so old that their children think they can't take care of themselves anymore. An assisted living facility is just what these people have rebelled against their whole lives: the establishment. Here they are, older, wiser (most of the time) and with much more worldly experience than the ones taking care of them. Now they are part of a booming business, with their children all too eager to drop them off, take their money and discard them once and for all.

Thrown right into the middle of all this is Guy Fontaine. Unlike the other residents, he was never a hippie, never did drugs or protested, and wasn't at Woodstock. He's from Oklahoma after all. But one trait they all share is that they know for sure, yet refuse to believe that they are getting old before their time. When a resident's cat is confiscated, and the crap hits the fan at Mission Pescadero, Guy finds himself as the unlikely leader of the aging bunch, who prove that they still have plenty to offer, with mostly hilarious and sometimes tragic results.

Throw in Viagra, LSD, pot, orgies, protests, rock concerts, dementia, Alzheimer's, catheters and more outrageous characters than any other Sandlin book, and you've got a novel destined to bridge the gap between generations.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Richard L. Goldfarb on March 7, 2007
Format: Hardcover
It's 2022, Jenna Bush is President, Gulf War VI is going on, and Gen Xers are warehousing their aging boomer parents in "assisted living" communities and taking control of their money under false pretenses.

Guy Fontaine, a retired sportswriter from Oklahoma, has moved in with his daughter, Claudia, in California after the death of beloved wife Lily. But when he has a senior moment--he hallucinates and drives a golf cart onto the freeway--he is locked up in Mission Pescadero, an assisted living community that encapsulates the frightening world Sandlin posits for our future. An evil administrator runs the place with all the humanity of the worst lunch lady in the boomers' past, peopling it with patients brought in on the flimsiest diagnoses of dementia, with residents going "through the tunnel" to the nursing wing on even flimsier diagnoses by her corrupt doctor/near lover, where they are drugged comatose and quiet.

The Mission's population is mainly leaders of the leftist movements of the Sixties, who have created a hierarchy based on when and what they did in the decade that you're only supposed to have been there if you've forgotten it. Guy, straight, drug-free and monogamous all his life, finds himself struggling to adjust with the proponents of free love and drug use in the golden years. But when the administrator discovers one patient has--shudder--a cat in his room, Guy is driven to violence to defend someone who had befriended him, setting off a revolt to liberate the Mission.

Sandlin carries this absurd yet realistic situation with aplomb, showing real understanding of the concerns and difficulties faced by old people, as well as the trends of society that, if left unchecked, could lead to a world like the one he imagines here.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Charles Sikkenga on February 11, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Tim Sandlin finds himself back near the top of his game in this, his seventh novel. This is his second foray into third-person narrative and it works much better than the hit-or-miss Honey Don't. The plot revolves around an insurrection by a group of aging baby boomers who attempt to stage a takeover of their California assisted-living facility. This gives Sandlin plenty of room for high comedy as well as simultaneously poking fun at and showing heartfelt admiration for the 60's generation.

In the end, it turns out to be a classic mix of Sandlin's best elements--a great plot, hilarious comic turns all backed up by a heart of gold and some truly touching moments.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Clare Wilcox on February 1, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I am always eager for a new read from Tim Sandlin, so when I finally had this book in hand I had to do a little happy dance before settling down to the business of reading. I shouldn't say the business of reading, because with a Sandlin book, it is always a pleasure. The true joy in this book, and all of Sandlin's work, is in the dialogue and details. It is rare that you meet senior citizens in fiction who don't exist merely to dole out sage advice and provide younger characters a chance to be pensive. The seniors in this novel, like real people, are still learning how to cope with life and the lessons of life that continue until death. Some readers may be startled to imagine old people using drugs and having sex, but by breaking the rote image of old age in this manner, Sandlin teaches his readers an important lesson. Old people aren't just dozing in death's waiting room-- they are still humans, with all the lapses in judgement and dips in self-esteem and occasional bursts of shining courage that we expect to find in younger generations. There are plenty of reviews available to tell you about the plot of this book, but all you really need to know is that this is a novel with heart, and it is worth your time and money. It deserves a spot on your bookshelf.
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