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3.79  ·  Rating Details  ·  590 Ratings  ·  31 Reviews
"This epic story is fueled with intense commitment and sensuousness."
Vida was their star--the beautiful, charismatic radical from the pages of LIFE magazine--the symbol of the passionate rebellion of the sixties. Now, ten years later, the shouting is over, but Vida is still on the run. Staying in Network hideouts, traveling disguised, fearing e
Paperback, 480 pages
Published February 12th 1985 by Fawcett (first published 1979)
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Best Books of the Decade: 1970's
248th out of 961 books — 1,017 voters
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 899)
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Meghan Fidler
Aug 18, 2012 Meghan Fidler rated it it was amazing
I adored this book. Marge Piercy has captured the lives of those involved with politics in the sixties, including tough dialogs which confront the ideology of "free love" and "community" in practice.

"'But he's miserable,' Jimmy had said. 'Under it all, it hurts him. Why can't you make it up?'
'No!' she had said to Jimmy. 'I don't want him that way.'
'For the group,' Jimmy Pleaded.
'I am not a thing to be given to him to keep him happy. I will not fuck him for political reasons.' Her bluntness
Allan Dyen-Shapiro
Apr 27, 2012 Allan Dyen-Shapiro rated it it was amazing
Prior to reading this, I had read mostly Piercy's science fiction, which is excellent. This is a story set in the 70s of a 60s radical on the run. Her politics. her lovers both male and female. Her struggles. Her hopes. Her running from the law. An adrenaline high that pauses every once in a while for hot sex. A feminist statement. A radical tribute to those who fought authority. Very sympathetic characters. Good stuff.
Maybe it's because I didn't choose the life of a radical revolutionary that I often find myself fascinated by narratives with such figures--particularly women who not only think "fuck the man" but make bombs. Which is not to say that I have or ever wanted to make bombs.

If you allow yourself to go deep enough into Piercy's narrative about Vida, you can certainly become just as paranoid as Vida about who may be listening to or watching you. In fact, Vida's family, friends and lovers must remember
Apr 12, 2008 Dottie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sep 01, 2013 Jenny rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not one of my favourite Piercy novels, but a good read nonetheless. Two things I didn't really like: all the characters speak the same way, if I don't pay close attention to who is supposed to be talking then I wouldn't be able to guess from their manner of speaking, as there are almost no characteristic quirks or mannerisms (except for Natalie's occasional 'shvesterlein'); and I didn't buy Vida's love for Joel. Maybe it's because I found it thoroughly incomprehensible why a strong, sensible wom ...more
Claire S
Read this long long ago, the tension and seriousness in it was more than even I liked. .. Curious now again though.

And though, thinking back, I think one conclusion I drew from this regarding my own life is that I didn't want to be politically active in these ways to these extents, with these results. I certainly wouldn't want to try and raise a kid with having had all of that.. tails unmanageable. So in that way, it was a good life-choice-exploration book for me. Now, this is still without havi
Barbwire Sugarbeet
Have you ever read a book that shows you how fragile your identity is? Not in a way that it takes your precise experience and lets you know how hard things really are for you, not in a way that it takes your privilege and sells it to you as if you’re somehow more oppressed than others, not like that. Instead a book gives you a character who comes from very similar circumstances as yourself, who makes decisions that you very easily sympathize with, decisions you know yourself very capable of, the ...more
Nicola Pierce
Jan 25, 2015 Nicola Pierce rated it really liked it
I found this book in a second-hand bookshop and read it over four or five days, most of the time unsure as to why I kept reading it. But that is probably why I have given it four stars - whatever I felt about the character and her story it did absorb me and I had to finish the book.

Possibly my biggest problem was ... actually I'm not sure. I was going to say that I disliked the character but perhaps I just couldn't relate to the seriousness of her politics and priorities.

Also I have to blame th
Oct 10, 2013 wombat rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. It was an emotional rollercoaster and the Marxism-Leninism and misogyny of many of the characters was infuriating and it was such an intense picture of life in clandestinity. Goddamn this book is so good.
Daniel Burton-Rose
Jan 12, 2012 Daniel Burton-Rose rated it really liked it
Shelves: guerrillas, 60s70s
With M.F. Beal's Amazon One, this is the best account of women in the Weather Underground produced while the group was still active. I'm glad PM's getting it back in circulation.
Karen Groves
Sep 30, 2008 Karen Groves rated it did not like it
I didn't finish this one as I got super bored with the whole 60's activist thing.
Nancy Jacoby
Oct 06, 2015 Nancy Jacoby rated it it was amazing
Five stars for compelling writing and a good story that moves quickly while giving readers plenty to consider about resistance and revolution, love and living. Life changes in an instant for Vida, and although such an abrupt turn was always a possibility she understood and was committed to, its consequences are serious and become a controlling force in her life. The characters are fully developed and interesting, and the nurturing relationship that develops and persists between Vida and her sist ...more
Jul 11, 2008 Elaine rated it really liked it
I read this book in spurts over the past 6 or 8 months and really liked it a lot. Marge Piercy is an incredibly talented writer. In this book she demonstrates this by blending a deep knowledge of anti-war organizing in the late 1960s/early 1970s. The parallels to organizing today are incredible. On many pages I thought you could simply remove names from decades ago with names from today's context and the story would read very similarly.

In a nutshell, this book is about a woman named Vida who pro
Dec 01, 2014 Jade rated it really liked it
I love love love Marge Piercy. She is one of my all-time favourite writers and I have read Gone to Soldiers and Braided Lives more times than I can count. I enjoyed reading Vida, loved the plot and the background, I just had a lot of trouble actually liking the character of Vida. This surprised me as I usually, if not immediately, end up liking Piercy's female leads.
Interesting novel about a woman who has been living underground for years to avoid the attention of the authorities after being identified as a member of a radical terrorist group. Captures a sense of the struggles, not only of people trying to make a difference politically, but of fugitives from justice and the homeless. Clearly based to some extent on the plight of the fugitive Weathermen.
London Girl
The version I read (published 2012) has a lot of mistakes in it, extra words which shouldn't be there and disrupt the flow of a sentence. I don't mind the odd mistake in a book but there were so many in this that it became really annoying.

I was interested in the plot, which kept me reading but overall a bit disappointed with the outcome.
Apr 29, 2012 Pip rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Vida, is a gritty,realistic and claustrophobic book about Vida, an anti war/anti capitalist activist turned fugitive. You learn in the course of the book about the actions that have led to her being a fugitive and the heavy price that she pays. You meet The Network, a group activists,whose personalities and politics have resulted in the decline of what they all once stood for. Replaced by in fighting and personal disagreements this book tracks how they formed and it's eventual decline. It's a go ...more
Margy Levine Young
Nov 10, 2015 Margy Levine Young rated it really liked it
A 60s revolutionary struggles to make a life underground. Better than Piercy’s latest novel, IMHO.
Tara Kyrios
Dec 21, 2014 Tara Kyrios rated it really liked it
Interesting book. It grew on me as I was reading. The beginning is slow because the it starts in the middle of her story and moves through her life a bit haphazardly.
Dec 10, 2014 HeavyReader rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, feminist
I enjoyed reading this book. The story about a woman living underground because of her political actions in the past kept me turning the pages, wondering what would happen next. This book was not a relaxing read, as I spent every page wondering if the main character would be caught and if so, when.

Of course, Piercy gives the reader strong, feminist female characters.

This book was also a lesson in how technology has changed since the 70s/80s. What's a pay phone, Mommy?
Brian Howald
Apr 03, 2012 Brian Howald rated it it was ok
"You don`t need to be a Weatherman to know which way the wind blows". Ms. Piercy`s account of an SDS radical gone underground is an aquired taste. But I found it a mite too long and pretentious. The concept is intriguing but the main character seemed rather dull. There should have been more emotion. Even some more BANG-BANG would have helped. ...more
Jahan Sagafi
Jun 15, 2010 Jahan Sagafi rated it really liked it
great study tale of former Weather Underground (?) activist on the run from the authorities, trying to keep the revolutionary spirit going, around 1972 or so. paints a compelling picture of the culture wars of the day, and the counter-culture's efforts to undermine the military-industrial complex (Vietnam War + corporate hegemony).
Jun 10, 2009 Steve rated it did not like it
I found the relentless circling of who's-shagging-who and the thickly applied layers of dissociated political 'analysis' too strange a contrast and, ultimately, pretty boring.
Kerki Marc
Sep 29, 2010 Kerki Marc rated it it was amazing
Mijn kennismaking met de auteur waarvan ik op korte tijd veel meer ben gaan lezen. Een beschrijving van een linkse periode in het kapitalistische Amerika.
Victoria Law
Jan 15, 2012 Victoria Law rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Just after I read this, I read this:
Jan 07, 2011 Sheryl rated it it was ok
Of all of Marge Piercy's books, this one was the least likable, although somewhat interesting, anyway.
Feb 23, 2008 Famous rated it really liked it
This one reads just like a Harlequen romance for activists. Pulpy and fast to read. So much fun!
Sep 22, 2007 Karen rated it it was amazing
This book got me obsessed with reading about fugitive Vietnam war protesters.
Nov 28, 2010 Lynn rated it really liked it
I enjoy 6o's activism historical fiction.
Jul 29, 2011 Christine rated it liked it
Shelves: novels, dark-radicals
Being a fugitive can be tedious.
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Marge Piercy (born March 31, 1936) is an American poet, novelist, and social activist. She is the author of the New York Times bestseller Gone to Soldiers, a sweeping historical novel set during World War II.

Piercy was born in Detroit, Michigan, to a family deeply affected by the Great Depression. She was the first in her family to attend college, studying at the University of Michigan. Winning a
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“Don't be ridiculous! You waste less time than anyone I know.'
'You don't know, sweetie. For years I've had down days. Days I just can't cope. Can't get on with anything. Can't get up and out or at it or whatever.'
'Not enough to keep you from being invaluable politically.”
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