Shapero unwisely uses the prologue of his debut novel to divulge the ending, so the remaining 300 pages do little more than track one man's tedious journey toward acid-induced madness. Drug dealer Sam Altman, an unhappy and lonely student at the University of California–Berkeley in the late 1960s, meets and falls in love with equally unhappy and lonely Lindy at an antiwar protest. Attempting to evade arrest for drug dealing, the couple flee to Washington State, where Sam's chronic use of LSD leads him to cut himself off from his friends, change his name to Ransom and yearn to become "a fur-covered shaman, a wild ram-man, chanting the liturgy of surrender." The pair end up in Alaska, where she waitresses to support him while he writes a novel, masquerades as a mountain ram and imagines he's being chased by a rout of wolves. Though Ransom's hallucinations worsen by the day, Lindy and his few remaining friends are too intimidated by his behavior and unhappy themselves to intervene, leaving him to his tragic and inevitable end (which, of course, has already been divulged). Shapero does have a talent for vivid imagery, but this is still just a sad tale of a man whose drug addiction drives him and everyone around him crazy.
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