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Any Day Now

3.33  ·  Rating details ·  162 ratings  ·  35 reviews
It is a poignant excursion into the last days of the Beats and the emerging radicalized culture of the sixties from Kentucky to New York City and daringly unique. This road movie of a novel, which begins as a fifties coming-of-age story and ends in an isolated hippy commune under threat of revolution, provides a transcendent commentary on America then and now.
Hardcover, 287 pages
Published March 1st 2012 by Harry N. Abrams
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Average rating 3.33  · 
Rating details
 ·  162 ratings  ·  35 reviews


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Nick
Mar 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
I picked this up at the library, and was intrigued by the cover blurbs and the fact that it is about the sixties. Did not realize the book was also in the alternate history genre--a genre that I theoretically should like, being a history nut, but one that so far I have not enjoyed reading. So, one of the best things about the book was that I gradually found out that the writer was playing with history. At first I thought the author was just making mistakes (Miles Davis was killed in a crash in ...more
Alan
Apr 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Holyboys, madmen, rainbows and guppys
Recommended to Alan by: Previous work
"My aunt once said the world would never find peace until men fell at their women's feet and asked for forgiveness." (Jack Kerouac, in On the Road)
Terry Bisson's episodic novel—the longest thing I've seen from him in years—feels like a diary of a time so far gone by that its true history has been erased, only to be rewritten by strangers. I myself know... well, not its starting place exactly (Owensboro, Kentucky, over near the Indiana border), nor precisely the time (the Fifties, which is when
...more
Samuel
So. I loved this book, but I'm not sure yet whether I can call it a "great" book or add it to my all-time favorites list; but that's not exactly damning with faint praise or a backhanded compliment. The novel is a joy to read, full of language and time and humanity and mess and poetry and music and love and cars and war and politics and more humanity on top, presented in (sometimes very) short scenes. Read this book! But there are some sections I might need to re-read, or at least think about -- ...more
Florence
Mar 26, 2012 rated it liked it
Clay, a young man from Kentucky, who sometimes writes poems, seems to exist somewhere on the periphery of whatever radical changes are taking place at the time. From the streets of New York City with the Beat generation, to the Weathermen, to a hippie commune in Southern Colorado, he is always on the scene. The prose is sparse. All forward movement of the story is told in short vignettes. I found it difficult to perceive when Clay was in love or just taking advantage of a sexual opportunity. As ...more
Zach
Mar 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Representative sentence: "The world got flat and wide until it was a table under the sky."

Imagines an America in the 60s if RFK and King had survived. But is so much more than that. Chabon and Lethem blurbs. Just go read it. I was lucky enough to have noticed it at my library, or I would never have bothered with it.
Mary
Nov 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Wild and crazy. Fun read.
Lisa Eckstein
Jan 08, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2013
At its core, this is a coming-of-age story about living in a particular time and a particular subculture. Clay grows up in 1950s Kentucky and develops an interest in the beat poets. After a short attempt at college, he moves to New York City, where he briefly encounters Allen Ginsberg and Andy Warhol. He does a bit of demonstrating against the Vietnam War, but it's Clay's friends who are more immersed in the various youth movements of the 1960s. Eventually Clay winds up living in a hippie ...more
Jamie Henderson
Jan 15, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: kindle
I'm having a hard time saying whether I enjoyed this book or not. At the beginning of the book, I found the writing style somewhat distracting. It was too similar to some of Asimov's coming of age type writing, but not quite there. Yet, I thought it was a great style for what Bisson was doing. As Bisson seemed to settle into the writing and the subject matter, things went smoother. By about a quarter of the way into the book, I felt I was somewhat into it and interested in what was happening and ...more
Tuck
Aug 20, 2012 rated it really liked it
really compelling and readable new novel by bisson, that turns into an alternative history of the 1960's. rfk , well, ok, i'm going to stop right here on that thread, but authorial voice changes over time from little hillbilly kid, to kentucky beat, to nyc beat, to on-the-road broken hearted poet, to commune hideaway with world weary-but-willing hippie type dude, to righteous warrior fighting the dark side. bisson's book perhaps is one of the best of recent (not discounting what i heard was THE ...more
Bob Nolin
Jun 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I don't typically read alternate histories, but this one was fabulous. Couldn't put it down, read it in a day. I chose it because I'd read some of Bisson's short work and really liked it, and saw that this was about the Sixties. As much as I loved Arcadia by Lauren Groff, I wanted to read a book written by someone who was old enough to have lived through that time, as I had. Groff's book suffers a bit from psychic distance from the period: you can sort of tell she hadn't lived through it. ...more
John
Nov 18, 2012 rated it liked it
Perhaps I shouldn't have read this so soon after Super Sad True Love Story, another alter-history story (and one I liked a little better). I never had much of a feeling for Clay. Maybe his name is supposed to suggest his malleability, but I thought him more just grey and bland as properties. He never reached the Everyman status, because he is just an observer, rarely a participant. A fixer for others' vehicles.

I liked the first half quite a bit, until the Weather changes. [spoiler alert] I
...more
Lynn
Apr 10, 2012 rated it it was ok
To be fair, I picked this up on a whim, thinking it was a novel about the 60s. I not only didn't realize it was an alternative history tale, I didn't know there was such a genre! Clay, a naive young man from Kentucky is impressed with new friends he considers to be beatniks. He decides not to apply to college and to follow them to New York City. Then things take a turn for the odd. I did enjoy the beginning of the book but when it morphed into revolution and mayhem, and picked up more characters ...more
Joshua
Jul 03, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: america, fiction, the60s, nyc
This novel starts off as an account of a boy who comes of age in the 1950s and 1960s, moving from Indiana to New York City during the radical period of 1960s. Then it peels off from reality into a counter-history, in which RFK and Martin Luther King survive assassination attempts and run as a joint ticket for president. The guy ends up in a commune in the Western desert as the shit hits the fan. The style of writing is arresting, and the plot is clever. I found myself limping across the finish ...more
Keith Rosson
Oct 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Bisson deftly juggles approximately seven trillion characters here, while never losing any momentum in the novel's prose or the audacity of its plot and worldview. Excellent dialogue, velocity, sentence-by-sentence craft. Had no idea who this guy was when I picked this book up, and by the time I finished it, Any Day Now had become one of my favorite books of the past few years. Straight up amazing work.
Cynthia
Jun 20, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2013, sff
An alternate history of the sixties, most particularly 1968 as seen through the eyes of Clay and his friends living on nearby communes. Rather disappointing overall with the historical changes feeling very arbitrary and not always completely in character from what I remember of that time. The commune life as well as individual radicalization from that time has been done so many times and I needed a better why and how for the historical changes.
JT
Sep 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
Sneaky alt history. I did not think I was going to like this book. The Beats did nothing for me, and a lead character getting into Kerouac doesn't bode well, but while this is happening, things in the background start diverging from history. Little things. Subtly. And so it builds to a real rip-snorter, but mostly offscreen. All in all a lot of fun and more than a little scarey.
Keith Gerlach
Jul 19, 2014 rated it liked it
The Beat generation. The Hippie movement! An alternate 1968 with all sorts of strange and different things. Bobby Kennedy, HHH, MLK, Alexander Haig all with different roles not of our time frame. The ending was kind of flat or it might be 3 1/2 stars.
Robert
Aug 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
Alternate history with numerous minor changes occurring through the 1950s and then finally boiling over in 1968. Others have noted a couple historical differences on page 24, occurring in 1955, but there is an earlier on page 14 that occurs in 1953.
Ken
Jun 23, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A quirky coming of age story from the VietNam era with a detour (slight) into alternative history. Might be my age but the counter culture felt authentic and many wishful thoughts (e.g., a world where Allende and Martin Luther King survived) felt almost too comfortable.
Nancy
May 08, 2013 rated it did not like it
I didn't read this whole book. I read 1/2 and it was so boring that I skipped to the last few pages and it was just as boring. It was about some boys during the Vietnam War and the different paths they took, but it was not very good.
Geoff
Aug 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Dreamy and ethereal alternate history that is as engaging as its protagonist is disengaged.
Fran
Mar 15, 2016 rated it did not like it
It started out good. Then it got strange. The ending was just so unrealistic. I can't believe I read the whole thing!
Lee
Aug 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
I think reading this was a mind-expanding experience.
Teresa
Jul 11, 2013 rated it did not like it
Read it because I thought eventually something would happen. Not very interesting characters. Sorry I read it.
Michelle
May 01, 2012 marked it as to-read
The 60s re-imagined where MLK, Bobby, and John live? Count me in...
Joanne
Jun 07, 2013 rated it it was ok
I liked the first half a lot, but was not enchanted with the fantasyStyled second half. It morphed from a coming-of-age book to an allegory, and I wasn't keen on that.
Terry
Nov 09, 2013 rated it liked it
Characters became hard to keep track of after the move west.
John Day
Apr 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Couldn't put it down. A coming of age story set in a very different 1968-1970.
Kathleen
Mar 07, 2012 rated it it was ok
Occasionally brilliant, but not worth the slog.
Vicki
Oct 18, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
I enjoyed the first part of the book that focused on Clay and his choices, but once it got into this alternate reality of a 1960s civil war, the writing wasn't as compelling and interesting to me.
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Terry Ballantine Bisson is an American science fiction and fantasy author best known for his short stories, including "Bears Discover Fire" (1990), which which won both the Hugo and Nebula awards, as well as They're Made Out of Meat (1991), which has been adapted for video often.

Adapted from Wikipedia.
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