Saturday, May 29, 2010

The Quartzsite Trip -- William Hogan

A friend of mine recommended this book to me. I'd never heard of it, but it seems to be a cult favorite. I'm glad I found about about it and got a chance to read it because I found it to be an enjoyable change of pace.

Every year P. J. Cooper, an English teacher in Los Angeles, takes 30 of his senior students on a trip to Quartzsite, Arizona. No one knows how or why Cooper chooses the ones who get to go, but everyone considers it an honor to be included. This book tells the story of the trip in 1962, "the last good year."

There's a lot going on. It's a coming-of-age novel, a road novel, a nostalgia trip (first published in 1980, and even more nostalgic now), and more. If you're around the right age, you'll find a lot to remember and identify with. It's written in an unusual style, with the kind of repetition of certain words and phrases that will either grow on you or put you off. I thought it was quite effective. It's hilarious and touching. Highly recommended.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Frankly, I never heard of it. But it sounds good and my library has a copy, so I'll check it out.

Jeff

Unknown said...

Be sure to let me know what you think. I can see that some people would hate it, but I liked it a lot.

Kent Morgan said...

I remember reading this book when it first came out and enjoying it very much. Think it's another book that is "lost" in a box in my garage. Oh, for more shelf space.

Tom McCaffrey said...

I read it years ago. And re-read it a few times. And had my daughter, her best friend, my niece, my best friend,& a young employee of mine read it. I consider it one of the best books I've ever read & felt it was a great gift to let them enjoy. Tom McCaffrey

pearl said...

Is author, William Hogan, still alive? Has he written any other books?

Unknown said...

I don't know. Never found much info on him.

Anonymous said...

This book made the circuit of all my friends in college (mid-1980s). Everyone loved it, and it's still a favorite of mine. Hogan is listed in the Library of Congress as having been born in 1937 (see here https://lccn.loc.gov/n80003738) and the book blurb says he was also a television executive, and has degrees in English, philosophy, and theology.