Mark's Reviews > Tiger in a Trance: A Novel

Tiger in a Trance by Max Ludington
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's review
Feb 04, 2012

did not like it

Supposedly I should like this, since it's "Dead related" and comes somewhat from the author's experiences. Well Max, I was paying to see Garcia when you were yet but a babe in swaddlings, so I suppose the experience you have had (worth fictionalizing) come through a completely different frame of reference- in my day they weren't ever "the Boys"- there was a woman amongst them. And pretty much before Garcia got into junk... which I hope you were NOT writing about from your own experiences, but fear you were. So pity and bully on you, dummy. The book was actually worth identifying with until then...
I never understood why some Dead Heads were OK with Garcia's junk use to the point they needed to have it as baggage for themselves. Stupid, stupid, stupid, and I'm sure he knows it now(too). So... uno estrella. Better luck next time.

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Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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message 1: by Bob (new) - rated it 5 stars

Bob D. Mark, I'm glad you apparently led a wise, well-informed and error-free life at 18, but I didn't. I think most of us who were drawn to the Dead scene at that age were, like the protagonist in this novel, searching for something we couldn't always readily define, and we made plenty of mistakes in the process. I was at many of the venues and shows described in this book and thought it captured the dark side of the scene with vivid, if sad, accuracy. I am also not sure why the occasional reference to "the boys" you find to signify some horrific insult to the sporadic contributions of Donna Godchaux (who was in the band years before the novel takes place). As an older deadhead, I'd think you'd reserve your wrath for the hordes of pretenders who overtook the shows beginning in the 1990s, ruining the experience for not only deadheads, but for any true music lovers. I greatly enjoyed this extremely well written and authentic novel, and recommend it highly.

message 2: by Mark (new) - rated it 1 star

Mark Well Bob, it is JUST my opinion. Other people have their own takes. I feel sorry for a lot of the folks who came on to hero-worship Garcia in the end when he was really beginning to stumble personally. I come and go with the Godchauxs', basically. Musically, too. I have had to defend Mrs. Godcahux vs almost every Dead Head friend I ever had, by virtue of her problems hearing herself at times in the band. Knowing she had been a background singer in her previous life, I had a different take on things. It added to the feeling that the GD were not some boy's club even if they were. Right. Stumbling drunks do not belong at a Dead show. Now everybody go read it and get your own ideas about this book.

message 3: by Bob (new) - rated it 5 stars

Bob D. "I feel sorry for a lot of the folks who came on to hero-worship Garcia in the end when he was really beginning to stumble personally."

Ditto, and well said. I saw my first show in 1979 and the disparity between that Jerry and end-stage Jerry was shocking.

"Stumbling drunks do not belong at a Dead show."

Agree, and seeing the scene degrade from a near-magic, communal bonding experience to a magnet for rowdy drunks with no appreciation for the music still saddens me to this day. I started enjoying the shows less and less starting in 1990, but knew with positivity that it was all over, regardless of Jerry's fate, when a crowd of idiots without tickets pushed down the fence at Deer Creek in IN and people *cheered.* If I had extra tickets I gave them away as "miracle tickets" to familiar faces whenever I could afford to do so, and when I didn't have a ticket just happily enjoyed the scene in the parking lot. So, I definitely did not understand this behavior.

"Now everybody go read it and get your own ideas about this book."

Exactly! :-)

Stephen Holcomb Obviously you have overlooked how well written the book is. Prose so beautiful I had to stop and read some passages over twice. Also this is the story of one kids journey and does not purport to be the actual history of GD. I understand it was not your experience of the Dead but none the less it's a great book

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