Fox's Reviews > Altamont Augie

Altamont Augie by Richard Barager
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's review
Jun 29, 12

bookshelves: first-reads, fiction, history, own, 2012
Read on June 29, 2012 — I own a copy

I was incredibly fortunate to receive this book through the Goodreads First-Reads program. First, I wish to say that the first-reads program is a truly amazing thing. Altamont Augie is not something that I would have sought out, nor is a book that I feel I would have ever happened to hear about were it not for first-reads. Another reviewer has said that it is rare to give five stars to a first time author... I was surprised to see so many good reviews.

Well, I shall be joining the chorus of wonderful reviews.

Altamont Augie is a masterpiece. I do not tend to read historical fiction, nor do I tend to read about any wars, let alone Vietnam. I don't tend towards political thrillers either. Altamont Augie is historical fiction, deeply steeped within the conflicting politics of liberalism and conservatism that fades into a more libertarian stance. The tension in the book is the horrors of war, mixed with the domestic terrorism that came to characterize the sixties. I couldn't put the book down, and by the time I got to the ending, I was crying.

To say the book is well written is an understatement. I wanted to write the review criticizing the framing story initially, but by the end any criticisms I had had melted away. I wanted to state that I disagreed with Richard Barager's characterization of Jackie and feminism in general... and then had those criticisms torn away as I realized how vital and telling her attraction to David and what he did to her was. Whatever happened in the novel that drew my ire wound up having a point, and a strong one.

Altamont Augie presents a vision of the sixties that is rarely seen. The book showcases the folly of the idealism, while simultaneously wishing that there was more substance within it. The futility is highlighted, while the bitterness of cynicism is also present. Altamont Augie created a very fair assessment of what went on, all the while showcasing the best and the worse in human behavior. Best of all, the book praises what truly matters:

Honor, identity, and integrity at all costs.

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Reading Progress

06/29/2012 page 131
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