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The Serial: A Year in the Life of Marin County Kindle Edition
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About the Author
- Publication date : November 21, 2012
- File size : 5483 KB
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 192 pages
- Publisher : Apostrophe Books (November 21, 2012)
- ASIN : B00ABLKAVC
- Language: : English
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #692,039 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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As a transplant from Southern California, I arrived in Marin in 1973. And it was a happening thing. The constant jibes at consciousness raising, environmental awareness and BEcoming were something integral to life in Marin.
McFadden uses much poetic license in describing the "interrelationships" scene of that time. The irony is in the core of truth behind her story. I watched my friends parents go through wild changes and never batted an eye.
At age 16, I enrolled in est, Erhard Seminar Training, for personal growth and because it was de riguer. Much fun is poked at the consciousness raising movement but it was deadly serious.
I thoroughly enjoyed McFadden's sense of humor and her attention to detail. Especially the walk down memory lane of historical places in Marin.
Ultimately, I had to reflect upon why, when I left California, people I encountered from the rest of the world thought I was such a fruit loop. A great read.
As a result men’s hairstyles went from being long and shaggy to razor cut and styled! Clothing became less about ragged denim jeans and vests and more about modish leisure suits, bell bottomed pants, and platform shoes. The discotheque phenomenon had a lot to do with the evolution in both clothing styles and personal grooming. The explicit lyrics of Donna Summer and the driving beat that characterized Disco music led to dancing styles that were energetic, visually stimulating, and sexy. The use of high fidelity recorded music; strobe lights and other psychedelic features together with the use of various stimulants (legal & otherwise) enhanced the experiences of many party-goers!
I read The Serial about 40 years ago and recalled it as being very funny and evocative of the 70's. It has aged well and brought back fond memories of those crazy times. One didn't have to live in Marin County to enjoy some of the fun of those years!
The reason I gave it 4 stars (and not 5), is because toward the end I feel like the satire dropped off and it became a happy ending. There were many concepts that were hinted at and then dropped off, and many story lines that didn't add up.
I believe as a historical document, this should be preserved. Even though it is a satire, it is a window into a place/time/lifestyle, that few are able to put succinctly onto paper.
It helps if your an American to understand this novel, but if your European you'll know the truth of what is said and the reality of those times.
Top reviews from other countries
These sentences, plucked more or less at random from this little book, provide a good illustration of its style and subject: if you don't find yourself snorting with laughter (or maybe just smirking) at them, then you won't like the rest of this satire of the West Coast mid-70's lifestyle of young marrieds (and not-so-marrieds). The story is centred on Kate and Harvey, who take a look at their marriage and attempt to "redefine the parameters of their interface", whilst they worry about "being put down" when they "dump on somebody" who doesn't "know where they're coming from". Along the way, they mix with their similarly-minded friends, who say things like "For sure [...] Do you know how busy I've been lately? I haven't even read the last three issues of Harper's. *That's* how busy I've been." [p17], and who aren't supportive of Kate when she says that "she'd like to take assertiveness training but was afraid Harvey wouldn't let her" [p16].
I read this for the first time - and thought it hilarious - a few years ago, and was pleased to be able to track down another copy last month. As other reviewers have noted, it's from the same mould as Diary of a Nobody in that the protagonists aren't aware that the author is laughing at them - but not necessarily in a malicious way: the humour is mostly gentle, and nothing bad happens to the characters. Recommended.
Cyra McFadden says that she was vilified by some of the types that she satirises, but in some ways, all of liberal western society would recognise bits of themselves in it, since we have all been affected by 60s and 70s Californian culture, like it or not, particularly in the use of certain language. Of course, language both reflects ways of thinking and behaviour, as well as driving it. Like, if you want to be a bit of a hippy (or anything else), then start talking like one, and you'll be half way there! It's also about growing older, and having a bit of a mid-life crisis, and having friends (or not...)
Some of the language and interchanges in this book have really stuck in my head, and come back to me over and over again.
Anyway, if you vaguely know what I am talking about, you'll appreciate this book. Personally I find it utterly hilarious, and often re-read it either in whole or part. And yes, more adults' books should have illustrations!