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Digging Deeper: A Memoir of the Seventies
By Peter Weissman
At first, Peter Weissman's new memoir about the 1970s, Digging Deeper, can be a frustrating reading experience; apparently a sequel to a memoir about the '60s he wrote much sooner after the real events, which dealt mostly with a drug-induced mental illness he went through, this newest volume picks up right afterwards, and starts in the same kind of badly meandering, confused tone that I suspect the entire first volume was written in. Once he settles into his groove, though, Weissman finds a nicely anecdotal, quietly slow tone to it all, one that befits its setting among '70s intellectuals and former hippie burnouts now all living in various leftist meccas in the pre-Reagan years. (If you think of the deliberately languid pace of character-heavy cinema from these years, Weissman's book has much of the same feel.) Plus, although a running theme is his frustration over this memoir taking so long to write, it must be said that Weissman really benefits from the extended period of time between these events and now; it allows him to approach his retelling with a much more balanced attitude, be able to make critical comments about his own youthful behavior, and benefit from getting to foreshadow the cartoonishly conservative swing the country would take right afterwards. You'll need to be a certain type to really appreciate this unhurried story; but those who like the same kind of flowing literature that this '70s memoir talks about will be sure to love this as well.
Out of 10: 8.4