- Mass Market Paperback: 768 pages
- Publisher: Fawcett; Reissue edition (Oct. 12 1986)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0449213536
- ISBN-13: 978-0449213537
- Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 2.8 x 17.4 cm
- Shipping Weight: 363 g
- Average Customer Review: 37 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #389,594 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Drifters Mass Market Paperback – Oct 12 1986
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“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
phant 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
Top customer reviews
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The narrator is a 61 year old man, Fairbanks, who feels close to six young people who travel through Spain, Portugal, Morocco and Mozambique during the Vietnam Nam era. There are three female 'drifters': one an American university student who worked on Eugene McCarthy's presidential campaign and then supported Bobby Kennedy, another from a Central African Republic where her father had been a British government official, and a girl from northern Norway craving summer climes.
The three men were an American draft dodger, a young black American man, and a 17 year man of dual Israel/American citizenship who fought in the Israel war against Egypt. All were wandering for different reasons explained in the first part of the book. They are disillusioned with government and rebelling against parents and are in search of truth, drugs and pleasure.
Fairbanks,age 61, frequently drops in on the six young people, often accompanied by another older man, Hunt. Their conversation and arguments from both sides of the generation gap. Is a plot device which gives us some insight into the ideas of the time. The older men give advice, mostly ignored or ridiculed. They try to understand the youths' morality, music, drug taking and their individual beliefs. This plot device gives us much insight while they argue into much which was going on in the counter culture of the late 1960's and early 1970's. This seems like a relic of a time very long ago.
My greatest enjoyment was realizing how much the world has changed for better and worse, and not in the ways
predicted by the characters in the book..
The young black American expresses that change and power will only come for his people through their conversion to Islam and armed rebellion with the help of the Jews. A South African Boer official plans to make apartheid even more stringent and to work to keep South Africans of British descent out of any political power. South African blacks discuss the need for armed revolt. A Rhodesian couple predict that the white settlers will control the country for at least a hundred more years. In a world before El Qaida and ISIS it seemed the greatest danger in Arab countries was death by heroin overdose, or a drug addled young girl going off with several native men for sex and being sold into white slavery.
I was aware of these ideas, events and philosophy at the time, but had only a minimal part in that era. I probably envied my contemporaries who could travel the world so freely until I read about these experiences and the futility for most, as expressed by Fairbanks. As the saying goes, "those who remember the 60's were never a part of it."
This is a long 720 page book, but very readable.
Each of us are made up of all or some of his six main characters to some degree. A story for all of you who crave to see the World and discover ourselves in the process. Through Micheners words you will come to know the protagonists as your friends. You will grow to love, occasionally get frustrated with, and be all the wiser after you live their journey.
To me Micheners death at 91, means I wil never get to meet this worldly and intelligent man. p.s check out "Micheners Miscellany" for the train rides to work, or "Chesapeake" for a winters reading that will open your mind to history.
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