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I Just Hitched in from the Coast: The Ed McClanahan Reader Paperback – October 11, 2011

4.6 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

McClanahan’s name isn’t widely known, but those who are familiar with him know that he is a master of comic fiction and humorous essays. This new collection of previously published writing collects some of each. Among the highlights are McClanahan’s 2002 memoir, “Fondelle; or, The Whore with a Heart of Gold”; the short stories“Juanita and the Frog Prince” (in which the author writes in the voice of the prince: “now she’s went and got herself pragnent”) and “The Essentials of Western Fiction” (with characters including college president August L. Shitemeister, young Dr. Toddle, and Dr. Nelson R. Peckler, head of the history department); and the author’s tribute to his good friend, Ken Kesey, called “Ken Kesey, Jean Genet, the Revolution, et Moi.” Readers familiar with Kesey and Jack Kerouac will be on solid ground here—though McClanahan’s writing isn’t quite so aggressively stream-of-consciousness. Counterculture icons are a vanishing breed, so it’s good to find one of them still going strong and thoroughly crazy after all these years. --David Pitt

About the Author

Ed McClanahan is the author of several books, and his writing has appeared in Esquire, Rolling Stone, and Playboy. McClanahan has taught English and creative writing at Oregon State University, Stanford University, the University of Montana, and the University of Kentucky. He and his wife live in Lexington, Kentucky.
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Product Details

  • Series: Ed Mcclanahan Reader
  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Counterpoint (October 11, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1582437580
  • ISBN-13: 978-1582437583
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 0.8 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,871,709 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
First, screw Don McNay and his self-serving advertisement. Second, Buy this tome from a legendary writer of distinguished merit and vast experience living life meaningfully if not always well. His is a great charm and a template of existence worthwhile. Even if you don't buy this book, send Ed your money
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Format: Paperback
While I was reading one of the short stories in this book, it was clear to me that the author's style is easy to read, rolling along like a jalopy on one crooked wheel through all the complex twists and turns, dodging the possums and mud ruts all the way, all the while giving the reader a familiarity they didn't know they had with the rough-sawn characters. For the most part, it has plenty of charm and will no doubt be quite enjoyable to most who undertake to read it.

From here, I will confess that I do hope the author is indeed writing from his imagination when it comes to the family of "Skirvins" who are described in one story as poorhouse vagrants. Being a Kentucky historian, it called up one of my memories of old research I'd done about Absolom Skirvin, who was the first Sheriff of Grant County, Kentucky. He built their first log jail too. A little digging (with the help of my ever insatiable curiosity) turned up a Joel Skirvin who was murdered on August 15, 1864 for being on the "wrong side" during the Civil War. What side was the "wrong side?" Well, let's just say that even the clergy weren't exempt from being forced to choose a side. It was a war that drove people and even families apart. There's a roadside marker put up by the state that reads in part: "Geo. W. Wainscott, Wm. Lingenfeltger and John W. Lingenfelter executed at Williamstown, Grant co., by order of Gen. Burbridge - in retaliation for the murder of Joel Skirvin and Andrew Simpson, by guerrillas." It seems there was no less than thirteen Skirvins who served in the Civil War, all of them blood related, but not all on the same side of the conflict. The more I look into this stuff for this review, the more curious I have become.
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I usually get my reading material from the Chicago public library as it's right up the street. This is where I got Ed's latest. I liked it so much I went to Amazon ("Hurry only three left") and paid full retail so I could keep a copy here at the house. This is a great read from start to finish. Epater le bourgeois indeed.
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wonderful McClanahan
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Format: Paperback
All across the nation, there is a new vibration in the air.
There's a new generation, with a new explanation
So if you go to San Francisco, be sure to wear some flowers in your hair.

-Scott McKenzie

Before there was an Occupy Wall Street, or the 1967 Summer of Love, there was the Merry Prankster, a group of hipsters and writers surrounded by writer Ken Kesey.

The Pranksters had an important historic role as they were considered the bridge between the beatnik movement and the hippie movement. Their exploits were chronicled in many great book's including Tom Wolfe's great book, The Electric Kool Aid Acid Test.

There is a lesson that Occupy Wall Street can take from the Flower Power movement: The Flower power people won. The war ended.

The hippie movement was a catalyst for bringing an end to the Vietnam war. They also created a cultural, fashion, literary and musical changes, many that have held up for the 44 years since the Summer of Love.

It also seems preordained that the great Merry Prankster, Ed McClanahan, just released his new book, I Just Hitched In From The Coast, at the same time the Occupy Wall Street movement arose.

McClanahan noted that he was more of a lover than a fighter. In separate, humorous chapters about how he almost burned his draft card but backed out and a day when Ken Kesey invited some radical black panthers to visit, McClanahan showed that he was not one to duke it out.

He wasn't punching police but scoring points for society in his own easy-going, friendly way.
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