Tiger in a Trance

Max Ludington

Calling all Dead tour-heads who know the hard-earned meaning of “a long strange trip”—this book is your On the Road. A first-time novelist, 35-year-old Max Ludington has crafted a remarkably observed and realistic debut novel about the traveling subculture of colorful hippies and dealers on the Dead tour scene during the mid-’80s. With deft, economical prose and a wonderful ear for dialogue that would make Hemingway proud, Ludington follows his protagonist Jason from selling T-shirts, to swinging acid sheets to the depths of heroin addiction with a clear, unapologetic eye that makes this more than your average “dark side of utopian excess” book. Romantic and cynical, Jason is strangely sympathetic because he knows all along the dead-end road he is traveling. Side note: There are several minor characters from Chico in the book (plus a big brown bus).