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Nothing that Addresses the Aftermath

Greg Wyss
Greg Wyss Author Interview

When Life Was like a Cucumber follows the odyssey of Jeffrey Hesse’s life through the 70’s. What served as your inspiration for this story?

My inspiration was personal. Having come of age during the 60s, I have always felt that an important part of my generation’s story has been overlooked in both literature and film. There is no shortage of books or movies covering those tumultuous times but virtually nothing that addresses the aftermath of the decade and its effect on those who lived through it. If the reader is transported back to the era and inside the confused minds of those who were there, then I achieved my goal.

Jeff is an intriguing and well developed character. What were some driving ideals behind his character development?

Jeff is a flawed individual and a product of small-town America in the 50s and 60s. It was important to portray him honestly, warts and all. He is insecure, experiments with drugs and is consumed by his sexual appetite. His story is not unique but is meant to be an accurate representation of the thousands, perhaps millions, of those his age who were trying to make sense of their lives at the time.

The novel was able to capture the human experience of living in a tumultuous time. Was there anything from your own life that you put into the story?

Authors write what they know but “When Life Was Like a Cucumber” is a work of fiction, not an autobiography. Jeff’s story mirrors some of my personal experiences and many of the characters in the novel are fictional and composite depictions of people that I crossed paths with during those years.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

I am in the early stages of developing a story that revolves around the wild, unregulated lifestyle of the early 80s in Houston and Texas. At the moment, I cannot project when the book will be completed and available. I will keep you posted.

Author Links: GoodReads | Website

It’s 1972 and the Sixties are over. Or are they?
When the house they are renting outside of Oneonta, New York, burns to the ground, twenty-four-year old Jeffrey Hesse and his wife, Jane, split up, launching Jeff on a wild journey of self-discovery and sexual awakening. Inspired by an angel calling herself Isadora Duncan, Jeff sets out to see the world and find his place in post Sixties America. His odyssey carries him to the Gulf Coast of Florida, the streets of Boston, the hash clubs in Amsterdam, and his ancestral home of Switzerland. He finds himself seated next to Jesus on an airplane and spends an idyllic summer on the island of Crete where he is befriended by a Greek Renaissance man. A delicious stew of Jack Kerouac and Cheech and Chong with a pinch of Forrest Gump added to the mix, When Life Was Like a Cucumber is both funny and sad. Set against the backdrop of the Watergate years, it examines the alienation and hope of a generation weaned on the drug culture, the sexual revolution, and the Vietnam War.
Hang on and enjoy the ride. When it’s over, you’ll have to agree that life is indeed like a cucumber.

When Life Was like a Cucumber

When Life Was like a Cucumber by [Greg Wyss]

At a young age, Jeffrey Hese was coming off a divorce and could not wait to explore his true self. At a time when the human race was getting introduced to the 70s after the tumultuous 60s, Jeffrey was in for a ride. He found himself thrust in different cultures and cities from Amsterdam to Boston. He goes through the paces of experiencing the underbelly of life with the help of Isadora. And how different it was from his apartment in Oneonta. So much to see. So much to do. So much to experience. His journey will be one of enlightenment and perhaps a second meeting with God.

Greg Wyss has crafted an engrossing tale of one man’s journey through life in the wake of the wild 60s. He has written a story so intriguing and appropriately sculpted that a reader of any age will relate and enjoy the book. The scenes are described in vivid detail leaving the reader thrust deep into the vortex of Jeffrey’s life at that time as well as the general lifestyle back then. The story teeters on the edge of humorous and poignant. It is a brilliant mix of serious and casual. With alternating moments of sympathy and loud belly laughs.

The characters in this book are well developed. Although the dimensions of character development may seem a bit foggy at times. This does not get in the way of recognition of common qualities. Jeffrey is doing something that many people would want to do before they are too old or too busy to do it. He is as new to this journey as most of us are. This may therefore either inspire you to go on your own journey of self-discovery. Or it may allow you to live vicariously through him. There is so much depth to this book. It will take the utmost attention and focus to peel through all the layers and get to the bottom of the true meaning of the story. Laden with thematic consistency and careful handling of the reader, this book is exactly what you need when you find yourself angling for an enjoyable escape. What better place to escape than a different time you may not have lived in? Those who did live in this era will enjoy the various references to music and popular behaviors of that time.

You will enjoy the plot. You will enjoy the characters. You will enjoy the flurry of activity. It may not be crass but this book will have you red-faced on occasion. Nothing like a good trip back in time.

Pages: 557 | ASIN: B07QN1VK36

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