Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Riding the Cyclone: Growing Up Feral In the '60s Paperback – December 2, 2011
|New from||Used from|
"Intimate and absorbing, Wiener's tale successfully captures the feelings of a spirited yet lost young child growing up in a tumultuous period in American history." -- Kirkus Reviews
"A beautiful and unusual coming of age story."
-- Alison Baker, author, Loving Wanda Beaver
About the Author
Lauren Ruth Wiener was born in New York City in the summer of 1953. Riding the Cyclone is the story of her first eighteen years. From 1971–75 she attended Reed College in Portland, Oregon. After graduating with that distinctive certificate of the screwed-up, a bachelor’s degree in psychology, she taught English as a second language in Japan, then pursued a master’s in linguistics, first at Brown University, and then the University of Pennsylvania. Proudly clutching her nearly useless degree, she moved back to Portland, Oregon, where she taught English to foreign students and took care of reptiles and lost all perspective at the thought of never moving again. And thereby hangs a tale. Next....
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
In writing this book Lauren enters her little girl self and speaks with a child's voice and then as adolescence rears it's confusing head the teen-aged girl speaks to us. This brings an immediacy to the story and draws us in. By the end we know this person and can only feel grateful that she survived intact and with the talent to share the story.
Alongside the personal story, the excitement and turbulence of the 60's comes alive, and it does so in great part through the music of the times. Each chapter is cleverly titled after a song that speaks to the theme of the chapter and if you grew up in those same years you will have a soundtrack in your head as you read. There is humor; there is pain. Indeed there were moments when I had to put the book down just to absorb what I'd just read.
On a personal note, I also went to The Putney School, the boarding school depicted in this book and I can vouch for the authenticity of that depiction. But I was two years ahead of Lauren and did not know her at all. As I read this book and saw the similarities of our stories I couldn't shake the image of two girls, lost in the woods, who could have shared so much and yet never even had one conversation. At the time I, quite naively, had no idea that there were other kids around me who were also growing up in the midst of a certain kind of hell. Would it have made a difference then? I don't know. But I do know that there is value in writing that puts our stories on the record. For some of us it affirms that we are not alone and for others it can be enlightening to learn more about the capacity of human beings to be cruel and neglectful and more importantly the capacity of people like Lauren to transcend the experience and become a survivor. There are lessons there for everyone.
And, I have an answer for the "Riddle of the Norwegians" (read the book): Her father trusted Norwegians because there was only one country in the entire world that actively protected its entire Jewish population from the Nazis. That was Norway. In a weird way, it almost makes Lauren's father comprehensible.
Ms. Wiener has a great writing style that keeps you wanting to keep turning the page. Her opinions and twist are riveting.
I encourage anyone who has had to struggle in their young lifee to read this book for inspiration, and find the inner strength change our lives and overcome obstacles.
Thank you for sharing your life with us.
You truly are an inspiration.
Well-written, gripping, full of intriguing turns of phrase and eye-opening perspectives.