The big chill comes to Berkeley, California, in this too-cool novel that chronicles a day in the life of film critic and New Leftover, Martin Pepper. Krich (A Totally Free Man, Music in Every Room) here frequently flashes back to that era of groovy vibes and revolutionary fervor--the 60's--and celebrates those years without apology. On Bastille Day, 1969, the members of the Big Mac collective--a short-lived radical commune named after the hamburger--went to a Bay Area demonstration and landed in a small-town jail. Every subsequent July 14th reunites these college friends, and this year's ""return of the Fortuna County four,"" deep into the Age of Reagan, forces the disillusioned Pepper to measure just how far all the members of the collective have come since that mescaline-crazed night. What he sees only bums him out. His best friend and former roommate at tiny Steffens College, Dana, who once repudiated his upper-class background in the name of Mao, now works for a brokerage firm. Missy, his first great love and charter member of Women for Armed Revolution, lives in tacky domestic bliss with her Greek immigrant husband not far from the California town more or less owned by her family. Annie, an earth-mother type from Texas, now designs clothes and is something of a spiritual swinger, up on every New Age fad. Her ex-significant other, Ayer, hasn't been heard from since the gang broke up. His sudden appearance this year proves he's an artist--he don't look back. Darlinda, Iowa farm gift turned radical feminist, now works in an Oakland hospital and would have made this year's reunion if she hadn't been raped by a patient. In headier times, they all shared one big bedroom while trying to change the world and themselves. Now they merely remind Pepper that it's time to stop ""hiding behind the group."" From yippy to yuppy: Krich's Time magazine version of the last three decades. And that's about it.