David Thompson is a former Vietnam War conscientious objector in Paris on a quest to find himself in the early days of 1977. When he befriends an Iranian and an Afghan and is invited to return with them to their countries, his quest slowly becomes a descent into his own private hell.
On the road from Europe to the East he encounters Kurdish bandits in the eastern mountains of Turkey, becomes involved with an underground group opposed to the Shah in Iran, escapes to Afghanistan, passes through Pakistan during the uprising against the Bhutto regime, and suffers extreme sickness on the streets of Delhi and Calcutta. Although continually searching for the happiness and identity he could not find in the U.S., he cannot easily shed his American past. Throughout the journey he is hounded by the demons of memory, particularly that of his father, a World War II hero who disowned David and died while David was still in prison. The journey itself becomes a physical manifestation of his struggle to achieve reconciliation with his own conscience.
This picaresque novel is interspersed with a multitude of characters whose philosophical, political, and religious opinions influence David greatly in his search. It is rich with the fascination of adventure in countries not easily accessible anymore to Westerners, vibrant with its diversity of characters, and graphic in its descriptions of poverty, death, and disease. "Looking for the Summer" is a remarkable adventure story of a man about to lose his youth and find his true self in ancient lands.
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About the Author
Robert W. Norris was born and raised in Humboldt County, California, where he played basketball in high school and junior college. In 1969, he entered the Air Force, subsequently became a conscientious objector to the Vietnam War, and served time in a military prison for refusing to fight in the war. In his twenties, he roamed across the United States, went to Europe twice, and made one journey around the world. During that time, he worked as a millhand, construction laborer, stevedore, mailman, baker, saute cook, and oil rig steward.
Norris has lived and taught English in Japan since 1983. He has an M.A. in Teaching English as a Foreign Language from Newport University in Newport Beach, California. He is the author of "Looking for the Summer," the story of a Vietnam War conscientious objector's adventures and search for identity on the road from Paris to Calcutta in 1977; "Toraware," a novel about the obsessive relationship of three misfits from different cultural backgrounds in 1980s Kobe, Japan; "Autumn Shadows in August," an hallucinogenic mid-life crisis/adventure, and homage to Malcolm Lowry and Hermann Hesse; and "The Many Roads to Japan," a novella used as a textbook in Japanese universities. He has also written several articles on teaching English as a foreign language. He and his wife live near Fukuoka, Japan, where he is a professor at Fukuoka International University.