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Ute City, Colorado (read Boulder) is a ""model-railroad village suspended in childhood imagination"" that attracted skiers in the Sixties, the ""leisure tribes"" in the Seventies. A psychiatrist runs nude ""Pre-Ski Therapy"" workshops. There's a denim recycling plant. Ham Haig, the hipper-than-thou local D.A., wears a ""heap-shouldered man-mountain rugged raw greatskin hunkawooly ranch vest, with buttons of crude and primeval bone."" There's a drive-in Mantra bank. By way of contrast, 20 miles away sits Puckersville--""the town that lived to die again""--which is conversely filled with hippies on a less affluent scale: they scare the government for unemployment insurance and welfare; they lift names off childrens' gravestones to collect an extra social-security number and one more check. Then some funny business starts up in Ute City: the Mantra bank is robbed of cash, a horde of collared peccaries (wild pigs) runs tusking and trampling down the main street, and--crime of crimes--Ham Haig's vest is lifted. So the sleek folks from Ute naturally come down heavy on the Puckersville scruffs, creating real inter-city tension. And only a final ""Colorado Mr. Dropout"" race between the D.A. and the hippie leader will be sufficient to decide the contest of will, involving as it does hiking, climbing, kayak-ing, skiing, fishing, cooking, and being the first one to bring his old lady to orgasm. Huth runs everything briskly by--his wicked eye for detail can stand comparison with Tom Wolfe--so if this satire is about as weighty as an organic taco shell, it's still quite entertaining.

Pub Date: June 15th, 1979
Publisher: Delacorte