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Peter Weissman

Forfatter af I Think, Therefore Who Am I?

4 Works 152 Members 43 Reviews 8 Favorited

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Includes the name: Peter Weissman

Værker af Peter Weissman

I Think, Therefore Who Am I? (2006) 96 eksemplarer
Club Manhattan 2 eksemplarer

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Found the following Itailan review for the italian version of the author's book. Since it;s a translation, it reads a bit funkily, yet nevertheless captures the book's strengths:

Some fabulous eras, such as the one that saw the birth of the hippie movement at the end of the sixties, seem strangely alive even in those who for personal reasons have never lived them. Maybe that's why "I think, so who am I?" it has been welcomed in the United States with enthusiasm by readers of several generations, and appreciated above all for its ability to make the vitality and contradictions of a year that became part of history: 1967, out of every cliché. Weissman's writing, supported from an out of the ordinary visual memory, it creates a unique effect, making the facts narrated at the same time precise and distant, alive in an unattainable past: wandering the streets of New York, surreal and involuntarily comic dialogues with the companions of " trip ", the initial hopes and the failure of the municipality, the Summer of Love in San Francisco. These "Memoirs of a psychedelic year" are the result of an elaboration lasting thirty years: it took so long to purify the odyssey of experiences from all forms of mythology, to make it alive and tinge it with irony. And finally leave room only for the doubts evoked in the title: I Think, Therefore Who Am I?… (mere)
megazena | 28 andre anmeldelser | Jan 28, 2020 |
Book #23 [Getting Real, Drifting into Middle Age] by Peter Weissman

[Getting Real] is the third installment in Peter Weissman’s series of memoirs, picking up his story as he drifts into the middle years. The previous books, [I Think, Therefore Who Am I?] and [Digging Deeper], followed him from his early psychedelic years to adulthood. With this new chapter in life, more than the others, Weissman establishes himself as the ultimate everyman.

We find Peter back in the Manhattan of his early years, licking the wounds from a failed marriage and an attempt to assimilate into work-a-day life on the West Coast. The world has moved on in surprising ways from the psychedelic days of his youth. There is a feeling that everyone has jettisoned what stitched together the collective fabric of his generation. Having checked out for a decade while everyone else moved on, Peter is adrift trying to re-establish a foothold in his old circles and family. Along the way, he finds another cause to champion at a weekly labor publication. When he uses his new voice to challenge corrupt racketeering practices, he loses that job as well. And like his previous life phases, he falls into a new life – backing into a new marriage after answering a personal advertisement and into a new career as a freelance editor.

[Getting Real] is the weakest of Weissman’s three memoirs from a structural and technical standpoint. The story doesn’t really take hold until about a third of the way into the book – when he finally shakes off the tattered remains of his previous life in New York. But this book is the one that most concretely establishes him as the perfect everyman. Peter’s haphazard path, though life is peppered with such sincere self-immolation and doubt that it’s imminently recognizable as a type for everyone’s meandering and fragile path through life.

Bottom Line: Peter Weissman is the ultimate every-man.
4 bones!!!!!
… (mere)
1 stem
blackdogbooks | 2 andre anmeldelser | Nov 28, 2017 |
Weissmans novel has got some rave reviews on Librarything and as an evocation of the life of a two bit drug dealer and user in New York then it would seem to be both accurate and insightful. However by choosing to write this as an autobiographical novel he is putting himself (His younger self) in the spotlight. The young Peter Weissman comes from a middle class family, a college boy who is in no danger from the Vietnam draft. He questions his parents cultural values and drops out of college. He is fortunate to find himself dropping out at a time when a lively counter culture movement is in existence and he dabbles in the protest movement, not it appears from any great conviction to change the world but because others are doing similar things. He discovers drugs then freely available to a middle class boy with change in his pockets and soon gets sucked in to the drug culture. He becomes alienated from non drug users and embraces the world of looking for the next high, which is the real meaning of life for a self absorbed perhaps susceptible addictive personality.

The sixties counter culture was a time of tremendous energy especially in the arts, and in the protest movements, but it was also a time of burgeoning consumerism and drugs were very much part of it. For Peter Weissman and his associates the energy and excitement of making new things happen passed them by, as they sink into a drug induced torpor. (Hell they could not get off their backsides to change an LP when it got stuck). Peter would have been one of those people that you would go out of your way to avoid, boring, rambling completely lost in their own space. He soon becomes a dealer in drugs very much at the street level, but he never stops to think about the harm he may do to others, his only thought is getting enough money to score. He would have the reader believe that he is a good natured “regular Joe” who finds himself struggling to survive in a world of high powered drug dealers and petty thieves. Well maybe.

For readers who lived during those heady years of the late 1960’s, and were into the youth/counter culture, Weissman’s book brings back memories. The realism is gripping even if that realism is seen through the prism of mind altering drugs. I immediately became absorbed in his book, but it goes on too long. As a document about getting it together until the next score it is spot on, but following Peter from one crash pad to another is like reliving too many afternoons in Notting Hill Gate. There is an afterword written probably in 2006 in which Peter reflects on possible sitings of characters he knew in 1967 and his book ends with thoughts about Artie who he may have seen in South Carolina and he wonders if he was gay, as he sees him with an older man, Peter wishes him happy but says “I moved up the street without a backward glance”. Without a backward glance seems typical of the man, whose younger uncaring self has overtones of misogyny and racism. I think the book could have done with a few backward glances.

Peters book is very well written with some memorable descriptive writing. A document of his times, which seems to be painfully honest. There are plenty of novelists who use their own life experiences as subject matter for their novels, but Peter Weissman chooses to make himself the subject of his novel. You need to be pretty much up your own arse to write in this way and this is what I did not like about the book, so an ungenerous 3.5 stars from me.
… (mere)
3 stem
baswood | 28 andre anmeldelser | Oct 30, 2016 |
In Getting Real, author Peter Weissman recounts various experiences from his life from the late seventies up through the nineties. Each chapter presents a self-contained episode -- sometimes comical, sometimes bittersweet, but always thoughtful -- which ultimately fit together to paint a picture of both the era and the author.

Some of my favorite chapters cover Weissman’s time as an editor for a labor oriented weekly. The stories of pulling all-nighters to finish putting a newspaper together before deadline are fascinating to me. I have spent some time myself writing for various media outlets, and while modern technological advances have certainly made things easier for writers today, I can’t help but romanticize the days of physically setting page layouts. I would be plenty happy just reading about that, but the newsroom setting is just the backdrop for an even more intriguing story. Eventually Weissman learns that there are some shady things going on behind the scenes with the paper, and after he upsets the upper management, he decides to goes out in a blaze of glory. One cannot help but cheer for the author throughout.

It was perhaps a given that I would enjoy the anecdotes about newspapers and copyediting, considering my own background as a writer. What was more surprising was how much the other parts of the book resonated with me as well. Peter Weissman comes from a very different world than I do. We grew up in different eras, on different coasts, and come from fairly different backgrounds. Despite that, my mind kept returning to a part early on in the book where, while discussing favorite authors in a Manhattan bar, a friend of Weissman’s remarks: “Life doesn’t change much. The same things we experience now, they experienced then.”

I found this sentiment to be equally true with Getting Real. While the stories contained within are uniquely Weissman’s, and filtered through his own personal lens, the feelings and topics are universal. Things like finding love, starting a family, and making a home. How relationships change as you get older, or how people that were once close friends begin to drift away as you grow apart. And of course, how with time we are reminded more and more of our own mortality, as family members and loved ones pass on, leaving us to consider our own legacy.

The very end of the book tells the story of a family friend's final year, and ultimately his funeral. Weissman notes that the funeral -- largely organized by the deceased before his passing -- covers many of the man's accomplishments but makes no mention of the man as a father or husband. This bothers the author at first, but he ultimately decides that is okay if his friend chose to be remembered in his best possible light.

That this is the book's final thought paints an interesting contrast to the fact that the book chronicles many of Weissman's own struggles as a husband and father. For all of the interesting tales Weissman shares with the reader, not once does he go out of his way to paint himself in a positive light -- you never get the sense that he is twisting stories or changing details to make himself look better. Rather it seems Weissman is only interested in presenting himself on the page simply as he is, for better or for worse.

It is that sincerity that makes Weissman’s writing such a pleasure to read. I highly recommend this book.
… (mere)
3 stem
thejoetoknow | 2 andre anmeldelser | Sep 15, 2016 |


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½ 4.5

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