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The Quartzsite Trip
William Hogan
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The Quartzsite Trip

4.21  ·  Rating details ·  112 ratings  ·  22 reviews
In 1962, Jack Parr resigned from "The Tonight Show," Richard Nixon gave his last press conference, and Johnny Mathis sang "Misty." And in 1962, English teacher P.J. Cooper led thirty-six high school seniors on a spring vacation jaunt from Los Angeles to the desert near Quartzsite, Arizona. No student could earn the privilege of going on the Quartzsite Trip; it was given, a ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published June 28th 1981 by Avon Books (first published 1980)
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Jul 07, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of my top 5 favorite novels of all time. Next to The Catcher in the Rye, it's a classic coming of age story. I worked in a Waldenbooks for many years and the Avon (paperback publisher) rep recommended this novel to one of my employees. After he read it, he recommended it to the rest of the staff and we all loved it. Yes, it's repetitious and yes, the ending is a bit out there, but this novel (and the great character of Deeter Moss) has stuck with me for the last 25 years or more. I u ...more
Aug 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Such an obscure book, but so good. It was in my junior high library, and we all read it for the dirty parts. But it stuck with me in so many ways - besides the sex, there is a very rich story. I read it several times in school, and found a copy in a used bookstore in the 90s. This was the first time I picked it up in a long time, but it has certainly held up. And now, thanks to the internet, I can look up things like tadpole shrimp, and I can use Google Maps to see what the town of Quartzsite re ...more
This made the rounds of every one of my college friends; at our 20th college reunion in October 2007 people were *still* talking about it. One of the best coming-of-age teenage-angst books ever ever ever.
Wendy Lugo
Apr 26, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Coming of age book, published in the early 80's. At the time it was very popular. I had multiple copies, all got passed out, then they got passed out again, and I rarely, if ever, had them returned.

What was special about the books was how accurately the author portrayed the awkwardness of being a teenager. Especially for the kids who don't quite "fit." One of his characters, I believe her name was "Margaret" was unforgettable.

The basic premise is that a charismatic teacher takes a group of kids
Oct 02, 2009 rated it really liked it
Unusual but intriguing. There was a point I was debating whether to finish it due to all the repetition, but the repetition helps the reader to keep things straight since there are so many characters and details. It also creates a somber, almost journalistic experience, which I'm sure was intentional due to the content and purpose of the book. The last few pages of the book made it all worthwhile.
Richard Downey
Feb 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one on my favorite books to read. It's a magical "coming of age" story in the best sense of that term. It explores the stereotypes of high school hierarchy and social expectations and how they dissolve when the students are placed into a totally foreign environment. That sounded very stuffy for a book that is a delight from cover to cover. But that is as it should be because the Great Equalizer knows the rerasons why.
Jun 09, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: the-best
Just finished re-reading this book, which I probably have not done since high school. I'm glad to report that it still stands up wonderfully. I picked up on a lot more things this time as well. Just love Deeter Moss. I feel silly that I didn't see the ending at P.J's fate coming from a mile away. It was so obvious this time around. The repetition is sort of annoying, but the rest of the book's wonderfulness makes up for it.
Dewayne Clark
Oct 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I'm right up there with most of the reviews on this book. I read it in high school (around 1982 I think) and have reread it several times, and have recommended and loaned multiple copies out to friends and never got them back. I actually liked the repetition; it was the first time I'd read anything written quite like that. It's a novel that I'd like to see made into a movie some time, although I'm not so sure it could be adapted quite right.
Gregory Orr
Mar 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I read this book in high school, the same age as the kids in the story. This story has stayed with me for 28 years. A high school teacher takes about 25 kids on a weekend trip that changes and awakens all of them. This book has been out of print for over 20 years. Im really happy to buy a copy for my bookshelf today. Reading this again will be a reunion. Wish they made it on Kindle.
Nov 13, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My Father used to bring me home books by the box from estate sales and this was one of the better finds. I read and re-read this coming of age tale many times during my high school years even though I found the teacher who picked the kids for the trip to be totally insufferable even back then.
Mary Kay
Jul 29, 2009 rated it it was amazing
I've read and reread this wonder - I purchased my own copy through E-Bay after fussing about to get a copy to read again. This is the my favorite coming-of-age story, about a high school camping trip pre-1963.
Cristina Becker
Dec 01, 2009 added it
Recommends it for: Teenagers and Adults
I read this as a 12 year old and an adult. Great character development and good job of showing how people's connections and relationships change when they are no longer in their normal environment.
Hollie Rose
Jun 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: best-loved, fiction
I loved this book and remember it as a surprising favorite, found more than 20 years after it came out. I LOVED the effect of the repetition. I found it mesmerizing and avantgarde like Beat Poetry. (Which, I'll admit, can be annoying sometimes.) I remembered the style so fondly that 10 years after reading it, when, for my Toastmaster's Club I had to do a 'reading' as a speech project, I picked this. My evaluator hated it and told me that "at least for this reading" I should have removed the repe ...more
Terry Cornell
Nov 24, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
A hard book to classify in a genre. Basically, a coming of age story set in Southern California and the Arizona Desert in 1962. Really, I'd give this book a two and a half star rating. I couldn't quite give it a three star, because I found the author's writing style annoying at times. I loved the nostalgia of Southern California in the early '60s, as well as all the teenage angst. I also enjoyed the descriptions of Quartzite, and Blythe having traveled through both. A couple of twists and turns ...more
Jul 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I think this is the book The Catcher in the Rye wanted to be.

It's really wonderful. I read it when it first came out, and return to it every decade or so. It never gets old and there are new wonders each time.

I can only agree with the person who asked, who is William Hogan? I'd love to know more about him.
Deborah Beckmann Kotzubei
Dec 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing
One of my favorite books of all time. Hilarious and sweet. I have given copies of this book to my kids, my parents, and numerous friends. Each recipient has loved it and names it as one of their favorites of all time. Such a joy to read. Set in 1962 but timeless - high school students as they were and as they are.
Feb 14, 2009 rated it it was ok
I read this book because I saw it listed in a book on writing as a good example of using multiple viewpoints to tell a story. Most of the reviews I read gave the book five stars and called it "hilarious" and wonderful. I'm afraid I wasn't that taken with it.

I found the style--the constant repetitions and arch tone--to be emotionally distancing and even annoying. Because the author takes you in and out of characters' heads, there wasn't a character I liked well enough to care about. The events o
Feb 22, 2015 rated it liked it
In 2015,if goodreads had half stars, this book would get a rating of 3.5. In 2015, goodreads only has whole stars, so this is getting downgraded to a 3. In 2015, one would think that a site such as goodreads, founded by Stanford grads, would figure out how to add a half star. In 2015, another option, if goodreads did not want to deal with half stars, would be to make the scale 1-10, adding a little more detail to the ratings. In 2015, if goodreads had a scale of 1-10, I would give this book a 7. ...more
Jan 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
An old friend recommended and loaned this book to my high school senior daughter who also enjoyed it. I also liked it but not quite as much as the two of them. I found the style to be interesting and creative but ultimately distracting - sort of like a science experiment that didn't quite work. The plot reminded me a bit of The Breakfast Club (but cruder) and A Prayer for Owen Meany. Perhaps this earlier work influenced them. If that one meaningful teacher in your past was the cool teacher who a ...more
Jun 02, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I was 12 and curious, interestingly enough I was living in a Nabokov field and given this book by my lascivious Humbert. It marks a point in my life where, yes, I was sexually awakened but the book brought more to me than that of its heightened sexuality. It was a marked read in my life. The tale introduced me to creative style and increased my reading maturity. Back and fourth from 1st person to 3rd person narrative. That is what happens on The Quartzsite Trip. Consider this your invitation.
Trixie Fontaine
Mar 26, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Read in high school and LOVED it; a whole lot of masturbation fodder for me, but much more than that, too.
Carlos Pedraza
Jan 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
A refreshing young adult novel that holds up well 30 years after it was written and 50 years after it was set.
Jennifer Maselli
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Mar 24, 2014
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May 05, 2020
Jason Waldron
rated it it was amazing
Mar 13, 2009
Esther Greenwood
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Feb 02, 2012
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Mar 28, 2009
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Jun 11, 2015
rated it it was amazing
Aug 02, 2012
Dean Taylor
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Jan 30, 2018
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William Hogan was a columnist and drama, film, and finally for 27 years literary editor for the San Francisco Chronicle until his retirement in 1982.

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