Saturday, June 5, 2010

Divine Right's Trip

This was NOT a book I'd finish on my own, but I am so glad I did.

First off, Gurney Norman was (maybe still is) friends with Stewart Brand. If you don't know who Stewart Brand is, well there's a fairly good change that 50% of my audience will dismiss him as an aging liberal hippie and the other half really should check him out. I learned about him through SALT (Seminars about Long-term Thinking) podcasts. He runs the Long Now Foundation, and really just wants people to think about the big picture--what our actions do to effect the world 5 years from now, 50 years, 500 years, 5,000 years. And I think he's totally awesome for it. Evidently he's been quite controversial--as hippies in the 60s tended to be. I wish I had talked to Mr. Norman after his keynote instead of being shy and introverted.

Now Divine Right's Trip. So it opens with a lot of reckless behavior--hitch-hiking, drug taking (hint" "trip" is a double entendre), driving late at night, sneaking into camp sites. Lots of stuff my parents would (still) kill me for doing. Divine Right (aka D.R. or David Ray) is driving cross country with his girlfriend Estelle to go some money from a guy in St. Louis, but that guy dies so they have to go Cincinnati. That's the first part of the book, actually that the first 3 parts of the book. I'm reading this; it has some interesting parts; mostly I'm just allowing this to prep me for Jack Kerouac.

Then D.R. heads home to the hills of Kentucky. And the story changes from this physical journeying to spiritual journeying and D.R. finds some purpose and peace and it just becomes kind of amazing. Seriously, it blossoms. And it's really gorgeous to see something that I'd generally turn away from become so pleasant and satisfying. And again like with his short stories it's authentic. The way D.R. finds his center is just so patently D.R. that it makes sense and you really feel like things are going to go somewhere.

Bonus: the prologue from the POV of the VW Microbus they tool around in is hilarious! I wish the bus got an epilogue too.

1 comment:

mantmarble said...

I'm kind of amazed to find your blog post about Divine Right's Trip, a book that has fascinated me for many years. It might interest you to know that the author based the character Estelle upon a woman he met who is still active as a nightclub singer. Dicey Stewart is now in a duo with Paprika LaRue and their shows are pretty wild. Here's a link to a video I found:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HKHE26NkqU0