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Click on the headlines below to read the full review of "Hippies."

  • Hippie Hippie Shaken
  • Hippies author offers first-person perspective
  • "Hippies' brings the past alive with tale of the Vietnam War
  • 'Hippies' tells familiar tale

    Hippie Hippie Shaken
    By Christopher Amott
    The Advocate
    New Haven, Connecticut
    January 17, 2002

    Hippies (Creative Arts Book Co.) is a disarming novel about peaceful, fun loving 1960s college kids who go to anti-war rallies the way that their parents went to pep rallies. There’s a bleak undercurrent to this bright-eyed coming-of-age yarn because you’re certain that some of the protagonists will never come of age. The location’s the tip-off: Kent State.

    Author Peter Jedick, who attended the school at the time when the National Guard triggered one of the greatest tragedies of the love generation, keeps you in suspense right up to Hippies’ final pages. Until that militaristic denouement, Hippies is a pleasant series of youth-culture escapades, from beer bashes to road trips to rekindled romances and too many roommates.

    Despite belaboring its characters’ innocence and relative political apathy (the point being that anti-authority demonstrations were de rigeur in this culture, not unshakable beliefs that would sustain these students through the rigors of impending adulthood), Hippies is a rich and rewarding view of the lusts and wanderlusts of a soon-to-be lost generation.

    Jedick, who is still an Ohio native and works as a firefighter, will be in Connecticut on Jan. 19 at 2 p.m. signing copies of Hippies at the Yale Bookstore.

    Hippies author offers first-person perspective
    On college life in Ohio during tumultuous times
    By Ben Grabow
    The Post
    Ohio University
    January 9, 2002

    Late mornings, empty pizza boxes, shower-hogging roommates and an uphill hike to class. Sound familiar?

    Peter Jedick’s novel, Hippies, is a first person account of life at Kent State University toward the end of the decade of love, written by a man who experienced it all.

    This book is a year in the life of a college senior at a lesser-known Ohio college. Like life here at OU, it’s been split into quarters, and it begins with Matt (Jedick’s seeming alter-ego) Kubik’s last first day at school.

    As readers are introduced to the cast of characters, they’re also introduced to Jedick’s interesting style. Girls bounce down the stairs like kittens and roommates come burping and scratching their way to life on every page. Steeped in pop-culture similes, Hippies reaches back into the recesses of classic television and music to bring the environment of Kent State to life. The book’s “soundtrack” ranges from The Moody Blues and The Rascals to Carol King and Donovan.

    From the beginning, Hippies is a quick read—playful, innocent and funny, it moves at a pace that will keep the reader engaged. So it’s hard to believe that Jedick is working his way toward a monster at the end of this book.

    This is more than a school year at Kent State. This is **the** year at Kent State, when American soldiers gunned down four innocent students. (The book is, in fact, dedicated to the four who fell that day.)

    May 4, 1970 looms like a distant storm in the early chapters, foreshadowed by bomb threats and a strange feeling on campus. It’s coming and the reader knows it’s coming. But it will all be a terrible surprise to Matt and his classmates.

    Hippies is a simple, amusing collection of college stories that leads up to a sobering finish. Road trips and tray sledding are juxtaposed with senseless tragedy, a theme which, sadly, we all can identify.

    So far as historical accuracy, this reviewer couldn’t begin to know, let alone understand, the campus of Kent State 30 years ago. But it certainly seems more likely than the preconceived “peace and love” notions of time and place. Hippies isn’t preaching anything, and it’s not a sociological commentary. It’s human. It’s college. Better yet, it’s Ohio.

    Ohio University, which was closed in the weeks following the Kent State shootings, should understand and welcome Jedick and his book. It’s a little closer to home than any textbook account.

    By no means groundbreaking or particularly outstanding, Hippies still is moving in a simple, real way. As a collection of quick-reading, funny college stories moving inevitably towards a sobering, inescapable ending, it’s certainly worth the read.

    "Hippies' brings the past alive with tale of the Vietnam War
    by Chris Newmarker
    The Lantern
    Ohio State University

    The Ohio National Guard shot four students protesting the Vietnam War at Kent State University and the story became part of our national memory.

    "Four dead in Ohio!" Neil Young sang, and yet the words hardly even begin to tell the story of May 4, 1970. Even today, the pictures of the riots possess an eerie quality. Documentaries can help, but it's hard to imagine what it was like to be a student during those days.

    A novel by an eyewitness of a historical event, however, can bring the story to life. Peter Jedick's novel "Hippies" attempts to bring the past alive.

    A senior at Kent State in 1970, he has done a great service in bringing not just Kent State but the entire 1960's to life.

    "The novel is about the craziness of the times," Jedick said.

    "Hippies" is the story of four guys living together in a house on Depeyster Street in Kent, Ohio during the 1969-70 school year. Jedick describes the book as semi-autobiographical. The story of the main character, Matt, is Jedick's story.

    Whether the story is true or not, it rings true, and that is what counts. There are secrets in this book that only a college student can know, stuff like the best place to store a beer keg during a party.

    What is so startling in Jedick's book is not how different his characters are from us, but how similar they are. The guys living at Depeyster Street look forward mostly to a good party and the hope of getting laid. They experience hilarious adventures. The police raid their house. Matt worries about giving blood to help pay for a court fine.

    "I felt sorry for whoever received those red corpuscles," Jedick writes. "They probably got an instant high. I just hoped they could handle it."

    What makes life different for the students in "Hippies" is the threat of war. When Matt, a senior, receives a low number in the Draft Lottery, which determined a young person's chances of being drafted, he is extremely worried. All of his options seem bad.

    "I was one of the honored ones, the brave, the few, the freaks," Jedick writes. "I immediately decided I'd never get another haircut."

    The Vietnam War made students such as Matt politically active, for their lives were at stake.

    Young people are young people,' Jedick said. "It was the times that radicalized us."

    Matt doesn't want to get himself killed in a war that he doesn't believe in. The events that ensue on campus, however, seem almost unreal.

    The great thing about "Hippies" is not that it describes a strange and distant world but that it shows a college campus much like our own where special circumstances lead to tragic events.

    The book is a looking glass and the faces of those young people back then are not the faces of our middle-aged parents. They are our own faces and they express worries which we could very much understand. That is why "Hippies" is such a good book for someone seeking to learn about the recent past.

    "Hippies" can be purchased online at www.amazon.com and www.barnesandnoble.com.

    This book review was published in The Lantern, Ohio State University's student newspaper on March 10, 1999.

    'Hippies' tells familiar tale
    by Don Delco
    The BG News
    Bowling Green State University

    People have always been interested in hippie culture, as evidenced by its prevalence today.

    From the bell bottoms that are back in style to the music of our parents' generation that's still alive and well, hippies were and are to many people so damn cool.

    In his first-ever novel, author Peter Jedick has captured what it was like to be attending college and also practicing the hippie lifestyle during the turbulent late 60s in his new book titled, oddly enough, "Hippies."

    What makes this book even more intriguing is the fact that it is set during the school year of 1969-70 at another MAC school, Kent State University. Jedick takes you through the entire school year, quarter by quarter, through the eyes of senior Matt Kubik up to that fateful Monday afternoon. On May 4, 1970, at 12:22 p.m. on the campus of KSU in Kent, Ohio, the Ohio National Guard shot and killed four college students: Sandy Scheuer, Allison Krause, William Schroeder and Jeff Miller. Jedick dedicates this book to these unfortunate four.

    The main character, Kubik, goes through many ups and downs during his senior year. Kubik lives at an off-campus residence with his three buddies, Paul Spalding, Dave Early and their eccentric buddy they just call the Murph. These four go through some interesting situations that would be typical of a college student during the late sixties.

    For instance, during their spring break, three of the roommates--Spalding, Early and Matt-decided to go to New York. With $60 in their pockets and a backpack full of clothes, off they went trying to hitchhike their way to the Big Apple. It failed by the time they got to the Ohio Turnpike because no one would pick them up but also because Kubik found a brick of weed on the side of the road. The trio decided to bag the spring break trip and head back home with their new discovery.

    Throughout the book, Jedick describes vividly the thoughts and feelings of a college student and how they dealt with the situations that were presented to them.

    The four got busted for marijuana possession, go through the agonizing lottery put in place by the U.S. government to draft men for the Vietnam conflict according to birth dates, and of course their trials and tribulations with women. It makes for an entertaining yet very realistic feeling of how a college student lived during such a wild era.

    Jedick, born in Los Angeles, grew up in Cleveland and attended Kent State. He graduated in 1971, a year after four students were shot by the Ohio National Guard. He majored in Liberal Arts, graduated cum laude and with University honors, and wrote and directed a one-act play for his senior honors thesis.


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