hitchhiking, writer, 60's, 70s, beer, Vietnam Era, protest

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Beercans on the Side of the Road: The Story of Henry the Hitchhiker


Beercans on the Side of the Road: The Story of Henry the Hitchhiker is the seventies' coming of age, on the road, cult classic adventure of a young college dropout hitchhiker in search of the perfect flow and what it means to be a writer.

Henry Freedman is the hero of the story. Born in the middle-class Jewish suburbs at the tail end of the post-World War II baby boom, Henry missed the excitement and the turmoil that swept college campuses during the late sixties-early seventies. He watched the war on TV, but only if he had his homework done. He wanted to become an activist but the Movement was history by the time he graduated.

If Henry had had his way, he would have quit school after graduation so he could spend all his time writing stories instead of studying subjects that didn't interest him—but he went to college straight out of high school because that was the next step up the ladder of success, and he was expected to climb high during his lifetime.

In Beercans on the Side of the Road: The Story of Henry the Hitchhiker, Henry takes a test ride in a car he is thinking of buying, from Lansing, Michigan, to Austin, Texas, meets veterans of the Movement, drops out of college, goes to Heaven in a Vega, almost digs himself into a hole in the donut shop, meets the Old Zen Thing and gives up, joins the N.A.Z.I. (Nutty And Zany Idiots) Party, tries to unionize mechanics at a car dealership in Austin (and fails when they discover he's a "Jew draft dodger"), earns some bucks working within the system and then bucks the system, gets busted for pot while hitchhiking through Houston, loses his rubber but finds treasure at rock bottom, gets laid at Cousin Temmy's commune in Coconut Grove, bums out in Bar Harbor, and confronts the suburbs while trying to find himself, mid-seventies style.

Author and zen phony Ken Wachsberger is one of the country's foremost experts on intranational hitchhiking in the seventies.

"I think Tom Robbins and Richard Brautigan suck. They, no doubt, think I eat it."—Cleveland, Ohio, literature professor who also hated Beercans on the Side of the Road

"America needs this book, just as it once needed Look Homeward Angel and On the Road."—Reed Baird, Professor, American Thought and Language, Michigan State University. From Foreword

"Good luck, but our list is not flexible enough to include a wild work like this. We wish you the best."— Overlook Press

"Few acrobats can write well with their hands; why should you expect to write well with your penis?—Atlantic Monthly Press

"…intriguing….really too experimental to do well here….I certainly wish you every success with it."—Charles Scribner's Sons Publishers

"This time, even though I find your style funny, charming, and the beginning of your story intriguing, I really must pass. Beercans is not something I could conceivably do in the current Dell list, though I do wish I could. Thank you for letting me have a taste."—Dell Publishing

"So very few people can write with humor, but you obviously can. I know you write and re-write before a section is completed, but you make it seem like you just sat down and wrote it. Your dialogue is funny and you have the ability to observe."—Andrea Heiss, Professor of Propaganda Analysis, Iowa State University


Price: $10.00 ISBN: 0-945531-00-1

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