Lost and Found in the 60s by Paul Justison Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

A young man stuck in a conservative high school seeks a life of carefree aloofness and finds himself thrust into the center of the psychedelic movement of the 60s in author Paul Justison’s “Lost and Found in the 60s”. 

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The Synopsis

Holden Caulfield from Catcher in the Rye returns as Mark Stenrud to bring the psychedelic era vividly life in Lost and Found in the 60s. Alienated from a toxic mother, and in constant conflict at his conservative high school because of his radical politics, Mark Stenrud escapes for Haight-Ashbury, where he takes a job in the post office and settles into a carefree existence in the psychedelic center of the universe. LSD chemists notice his organizational skills and calmness in the face of danger and recruit him to join their enterprise. He accepts and has free time for romance, adventures, and street justice. After months of success, he loses his touch, leading to narrow escapes, bad decisions, and his own downfall. Along the way, he learns about loss, forgiveness, and the meaning of self-respect.

The Review

This was such an incredibly powerful and captivating historical fiction meets genre fiction read. The author does an amazing job of building the atmosphere and setting through some stunning uses of imagery in the writing. The way the author was able to layer in these deep themes of accountability, finding one’s place in the world, and the anti-war sentiments of the 60s, made this narrative feel alive on the page and did an incredible job of making the story capture the era so effortlessly. 

Yet for me, the novel itself was the perfect character study that truly did embrace the Holden Caulfield vibe of J.D. Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye. The breathtaking and emotional journey that Mark goes on in this novel showcases the highs and lows of the psychedelic era. The atmosphere of the decade and the setting itself (San Francisco) made the story perfectly set up the protagonist’s rise and fall and mirrored the events of the era seamlessly. 

The Verdict

Heartfelt, captivating, and engaging, author Paul Justison’s “Lost and Found in the 60s” is a must-read historical fiction and genre fiction read. The twists and turns in the character’s arc and the profoundly moving experiences the protagonist underwent that defined his character evolution kept me invested until the book’s final pages. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Paul Justison dropped out of high school in 1966 and fled to Haight-Ashbury, spending most of the next two years there and in Marin County engaging in all the pleasures and follies that magical time had to offer. After the sixties ended, he went to college, started a career, and raised a family. He has been published in The Rumpus, The Gambler Mag, Flash Fiction Magazine, and Fiction on the Web. Lost and Found in the 60s is his first novel.

https://www.pauljustison.com/

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