BN.com Gift Guide
Customer Reviews for

Been Down So Long It Looks Like Up to Me

Average Rating 4
( 7 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(4)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(2)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously
Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
Page 1 of 1
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2003

    Farina's Timeless Classic: A Reflection in a Crystal Dream

    Richard Farina was a consummate songerwriter, poet and hopeful novelist, until his first and only novel burst onto the scene. Although a later book was released that was a compilation of some short stories, poems, and articles about him, this was the only book he had to stretch toward the literary heavens with. And it was indeed a smash! Unfortunately, Farina, who was married to Joan Baez' younger sister Mimi, with whom he had forged a folk duo that played and recorded some of his wonderful poetry put to music, never lived to experience his own wild success, as he fell off the back of a motorcycle on the way home from the publication party for this book, and was killed instantly. But the book lives, indeed it flourishes, and the paperback version has never been out of print in all this time, which is ample testimony to its continuing power, verve, and its timeless message, as well as to its beautifully written story. This is a wonderful book, one that has grown in reputation and stature over the intervening decades, and as another, much younger reviewer commented, it is one for everyone, not just for us greying babyboomers who were lucky enough to have discovered and experienced Richard in his prime. For all of us who have read his work, or listened to his music, or experienced his poetry, or for those of us who were lucky enough to see Mimi and Richard perform at the Newport Folk Festival, one can still hear the faint echoes of their haunting guitar harmonies and vocals, and we truly know that he is still with us. We know that he has truly left us a present, his evocative 'reflections in a crystal dream'. Although set in a time before the changes of the sixties started to roar, one soon recognizes teh signs and spirit of the times in his words and the storyline. Enter Gnossos, soul of the road, keeper of the eternal flame, and a pilgrim on an endless search for the holy grail of cool, and the college town of Athene (read Ithaca, NY, home of Cornell) will never be the same. Nor will you after digesting this wild, extremely readable parable. So, friend, don't hesitate; buy it, read it, but do so slllllloooooowwwwwllllly, savoring every gorgeous moment of it. It's all we have left of him, the only legacy of an incredible talent and a wonderful spokesperson for the otherwise indescribable sixties.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 6, 2013

    For those who were there in the Sixties but don't remember much.

    Been Down So Long... is a prologue to Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Farina's protagonist, Gnossos Pappadopoulis, has a lot in common with Thompson's "Raoul Duke" but thanks to Ralph Steadman, Thompson's images are more vivid. Both Pappadopoulis and Duke indulge in alcohol and a variety of illegal drugs as they run wild through crowds of straight people without suffering any consequences for their illegal acts. As Chapter 2 comes to a close, Farina describes Pappadopoulis raping a woman he has met earlier in the day but, in the landscape of the 60's he isn't raping her (despite her protestations) he's just getting a little action. He tells her he has a condom but that turns out to be a lie. Gnossos lies constantly to himself as well as all the others in his world.

    But, as Thomas Pynchon points out in his introduction to the book, Farina was a gifted writer at least in the sense of being able to put words together cleverly. Whether or not the story was worth telling is something each reader will have to decide.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2010

    Not impressed

    This is a kind of college story, about Gnossos Pappadopoulis, a student only loosely involved with his studies, but much with campus life, becoming involved with a group of weird characters who plot for a campus revolution, which is ultimately successful in replacing the president, which, however, does not pay off for Gnossos. Thomas Pynchon praises it, because he was with Richard Farina at Cornell, and admired Farina in his student days; Pynchon writes that the novel is based on events at Cornell in 1958. The book is less interesting for those who are not of that generation. Gnossos Pappadopoulis is certainly not `down', he enjoys his student life, sex, drugs, and intellectual pretentiousness, very much; he apparently never has to work.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 10, 2001

    Read this before The Big U

    I notice several people who have bought this book have also bought Cryptonomicon. Me too. But if you're thinking about what to read after Cryptonomicon, don't read The Big U -- read THIS. Stephenson's Big U was a huge disappointment, but I suspect because I kept comparing it to this, the ultimate campus send-up of all time, the Go Big Red Fan to end all Go Big Red Fans (Farina's novel is set, loosely, at Cornell -- erstwhile home of Go Big Red this and Go Big Red that, and plenty of Go Big Red Fans, OK?).

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 26, 2000

    Read this Book!!

    I was skeptical of this book at first and read it only based on a friend's recommendation. It is an entirely new and different world of language and expression. I only wish Richard Farina had lived long enough to write more, this book left me so hungry, I've never read anything remotely like it before. To me it exemplified what most books dream of being: cool, heartful, real, honest, hilarious, disturbing, and intensely smart

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 23, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 23, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
Page 1 of 1