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The Drifters Mass Market Paperback – October 12, 1986


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Editorial Reviews

Review

“A blockbuster of a book . . . full of surprise, drama, and fascination.”—Philadelphia Bulletin
 
“Rings with authentic detail and clearly descriptive sights and smells . . . The Drifters is to the generation gap what The Source was to Israel.”Publishers Weekly
 
“[The Drifters] conveys a sense of a new time, a new generation.”Chicago Sun-Times
 
“Michener has slid open a window on the world of the dropout and has spared no effort to make the reader aware of this new world.”The Salt Lake Tribune

From the Inside Flap

In his triumphant best seller, James Michener unfolds a powerful and poignant drama of six young runaways adrift in a world they have created out of dreams, drugs, and dedication to pleasure. With the sure touch of a master, Michener pulls us into the dark center of their private world, whether it's in Spain, Marrakech, or Mozambique, and exposes the naked nerve ends with shocking candor and infinite compassion.
"A superior, picaresque novel...and a revealing mirror held up to contemporary society."
JOHN BARKHAM REVIEWS
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 768 pages
  • Publisher: Fawcett; Reissue edition (October 12, 1986)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0449213536
  • ISBN-13: 978-0449213537
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.1 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (140 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #190,379 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

I read this book so many years ago....and still remember it vividly.
Augusto L. Vidaurreta
In high school I had a favorite Spanish teacher who recommended this book as a good summer read.
Aiwa
Your will read about places you might never have heard of before or may never get to see.
Mick Jones

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

99 of 106 people found the following review helpful By Coyote Car Buyers on March 18, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This book changed my life. In 1986 I actually followed the characters travels through Europe. The goal of the trip was to find the Alamo bar in Torremolinos, Spain. Even though no one had heard of such a bar and it was not listed in any business or telephone directory I did what the characters did-I wandered through the city.
At the end of a small alley was a hand scrawled sign that read "Alamo Bar". I followed the arrow and came to a tiny hole in the wall bar that had an upside down horseshoe over the door and a sign that said "Alamo Bar, open 8 til late". It seems that the people who ran the Alamo moved into a larger bar called the Stagecoach. According to the bartender, I was the second person who had found them because of the book. The other guy was from Poland and actually kissed the floor when he arrived. My copy of the book is still behind the bar waiting for the third visitor.
Five years later I met a woman who had just come back from Europe and I asked her where she visited. She replied "Have you ever heard of a book called "The Drifters"? A year and a half later she became my wife.
Read this book at the risk of changing your life too.
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37 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Garrett Riley on January 31, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The Drifters is thought provoking and entertaining. If you are older you will feel nogstaltic for your younger days.
The first half of the book sets up the stories on all the main characters who are all very interesting. We see what drove them to wind up in Spain in the resort town of Torremolinos. Once everyone is situated, we follow the group throughout their journeys to Pamplona, Southern Africa, Morroco, and Portugal.
James Michener, who wrote this when he was about 60 or so, shows that he has a great understanding of the youth culture. Even though this takes place over 30 years ago, it did not seem dated as Michener captured youth's universal characteristics.
My advice to anyone who is travelling around Europe, order this book right now and take it with you in your backpack!
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Lauren Aguilar on March 17, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I am 21 years old, obviously far removed from the generation of the characters in this book. Even though it reads as dated at times, the themes are still relevant. The whole time reading it, one should stop to compare the issues of that era, the late 60's early 70's, to issues of today. The war, the situation in Israel, race relations in America. To see what these young people predicted and how they thought things should be and to see now how things are now, is fascinating. To see how things have changed or stayed the same. Despite the far out coincidences which hold the plot together & keep it moving, the act of travel and finding yourself overpowers any convenient plot twists.

I was upset to finish the book. I wanted to keep reading about these characters for as long as possible! My only gripe is the ending, it seemed too rushed. Other than that, essentially, if you have one ounce of wanderlust in your heart, you will enjoy this book.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By L. Baumgartner on December 20, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
My first Michner book was Hawaii, required reading in high school (the mid-sixties). After that i read whatever Michner book i could get my hands on. When i read The Drifters i was 18 years old and it blew me away. These characters were who i wanted to be; they did everything i wanted to do. I wanted to be them. But the further i read the more i realized i wanted to be anyone BUT them. It was a real education for a starry eyed, naive young girl. But this book is so timeless and applies to our young people perhaps even more today so i gave a copy to my 20 year old son. He's been having trouble with identity crisis and drugs and i think this gave him a new perspective. If not, it's not because of the powerful message within these pages.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By melisse on May 28, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I am not exaggerating when I say that The Drifters truely moved me, so much so that it changed the way I view life forever. I'm a lover of adventure and travel and the journey of life and this book gave me a new understanding of what life can be. Finally, through Michener I understand the hardships of the 60's and the effects that the Vietnam war had on the world. Before reading this book, it was hard to imagine those revolutionary times that my parents grew up in. I loved each of the six main characters in a different way. They were real and easy to relate to. And the way they became a family and took care of each other was so touching. I wanted the story to go on forever. This book is also very inspirational. It makes you want to spring forward and book a ticket on the next flight to anywhere. Someday I hope to make the journey of The Drifters.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 22, 1998
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Just as Dorothy had to travel far away from home to "find herself" (excuse the cliche)James Michener's very real characters travel to the beautiful coast of Torremolinos,Spain - to escape conventions and restrictions, to experiment with sex,drugs,love,friendship all in attempt to define and become themselves. Reminiscient of the romantic haze of the sixties - The Drifters speaks most directly to those of us who've been 'drifting' through life in search of that which lies at our very core. It chronicles our struggles, our obstacles, our hopes and narrates the story of that bumpy and incredible path on which we become ourselves - for better or for worse. An engrossing and awesome read - and a particularly good travel book! READ IT!
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