What It Was Like

What It Was Like

by Peter Seth


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“It’s really a very simple story. What happened was this: I met this girl and did a very stupid thing. I fell in love. Hard. I know that to some people that makes me an idiot and a loser. What can I say? They’re right. I did some extremely foolish things; I’m the first to say it. And they’ve left me in jail and alone.”So begins one of the most compelling, emotionally charged, and affecting novels you are likely to read this year.It is the summer of 1968 and a young man takes a job at a camp in upstate New York before starting his first semester at Columbia University. There, he meets Rachel Price, a fellow counselor who is as beautiful as she is haunted. Their romance will burn with a passion neither of them has ever known before…a passion with the power to destroy.In the tradition of Endless Love and Gone Girl, What it was Like is an intimate, raw, and revealing journey through the landscape of all-consuming love. It announces the debut of a remarkable storyteller.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781611881905
Publisher: Story Plant
Publication date: 09/02/2014
Pages: 464
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.30(d)

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What It Was Like 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
Belva26 More than 1 year ago
All of us have had a first love: a passionate, heartbreaking first love which we carry around in our heart's pocket. It is  easy to access those feelings and memories once you begin reading WHAT IT WAS LIKE. This is a story of first love with a terrible ending. We know from the very beginning this love affair is doomed and much like the movies Double Indemnity and Sunset Boulevard, we know the narrator  is in trouble. In fact, we know on the first page he is in jail, but we follow his journey breathlessly and we identify with him all along the way until the  surprising end.  Written in an easy style as though the narrator takes one big breath and then tells his story, WHAT IT WAS LIKE is a thrill ride  set in 1968, a heartbreaking story of ill-fated love and a portrait of a young man's struggle from being a kid to becoming an adult. Reading Seth's novel is like eating ice cream- very easy, very fast and Very satisfying.  Couldn't put it down once I started it. Loved it!  Recommending it to my book club.
MarkWatt More than 1 year ago
WE WERE ON THIS WILD, REAL-LIFE AMUSEMENT PARK RIDE -- PART HOUSE OF HORRORS, PART TUNNEL OF LOVE -- AND WE COULDN'T STOP NOW. That sentence from Peter Seth's first novel WHAT IT WAS LIKE perfectly captures one of the most compulsively thrilling books I've read in years. A pitch-perfect portrayal of the zeitgeist of the late '60s, the book moves easily and organically from genre to genre. It starts out as an innocent love story and reminiscence of youth at a summer camp, then gradually becomes a riveting story of emotional addiction between our two young lovers, Rachel and her obsessed boyfriend, who appear to have everyone aligned against them. Always wishing them the worst are Rachel's mother and sleazy step-dad, living in pampered decadence in their mansion and trying to control Rachel's every move. But Rachel's boyfriend is about to snap...and the novel turns into a breathless, fugitive thriller with its lovers on the run from the police and, it seems, the whole world! Along the way are provocative detours into a kinky card game and intimations of bisexuality. What else can I say? Although I found this to be perfect summer reading, I'd wager this book is impossible to stop reading in ANY season. WHAT IT WAS LIKE is suitable for readers of all ages between young adults to Boomers because it captures the idyllic days of summer camp AND the 1960s as accurately as any time capsule. Peter Seth is a born writer and has knocked it out of the park in his first book. Stay tuned because I bet he's got a highly promising career ahead of him as a novelist. BRAVO!
cindymt More than 1 year ago
Well, this was a surprising little story.  This is supposedly an account of actions and inactions written by a convict for his lawyer.  Of course, you know something bad happened or he wouldn’t be a convict but … it’s not what you think.  Even after you reach that part in the story and know what happened, there are still surprises around the corners.  The narrator is an interesting character as are the others in the story.  It’s hard to put down.  Very tight writing.  Worth a look.  Received free copy for review. 
DiiMI More than 1 year ago
The memories of young love, summer camp and the innocence of youth turns into a haunting tale of two people against a world who seeks to shred them apart. Rachel and Defendant X are on the run, from her controlling parents and finally, the law. How can that first love go so wrong? How does a tender love story become a deadly game of cat and mouse? How does one promising young man go from a brilliant future ahead of him to a fugitive to a man broken and incarcerated? What it Was Like by Peter Seth will take reader back through time to 1968. For Young adult readers, this will be a snapshot of the past with a theme that is easily related to. For those who lived this era, it is a guided tour down memory lane with the vivid descriptions and attitude of the times. For suspense lovers who love the unknown turns ahead and the ending that you could not see coming, you have met your next great intrigue through the words of Peter Seth. Mr. Seth writes with a crisp and clean style that moves along at high tension throughout. His plot is well-designed, his world is 3-dimensional and his characters jump off the pages, begging to tell their story through amazing dialogue and action. Powerful reading with brilliant plot twists that had me glued to each page as I was crossing genres along with this author!
literarymuseVC More than 1 year ago
A nameless high school graduate has his future all lined up.  He’s going to work in a summer camp and planning to begin student life at Columbia University.  Obviously, he’s a bright guy who’s just wanting to earn some money for his college days in the fall of 1968.  However, It should be noted that he’s (nameless throughout the entire story) writing this from jail and so we realize it’s really an account of his memories, flashbacks and reflections on the pivotal days that landed him where he is now. Falling in love very quickly with Rachel Prince, a relative of the owner of the summer camp where the narrator is working, the narrator will do anything, anywhere, anytime to be with her.  She’s very attractive and carries a spark of energy the narrator refers to as “musical.” It also turns out she’s rather mercurial with her temper, one minute delightfully endearing and mesmerizing and the next sharp-tongued and/or tough.  She is between a counselor and camp member, and there are very strict rules for this in-between position. However, she’s very good at her job and the camp kids love her.   It also turns out that Rachel is very ticked off because she was supposed to take a “teen tour” of Europe, a bucket list goal that got trashed when her parents announced they were getting divorced. The story gets a bit draggy midway through the book and yet somehow even though they are repetitive scenes, there’s enough rebellion and breaking of rules, as well as sexual dalliance, to keep the reader flipping the pages. All of a sudden (no spoilers here), the danger heightens and rapidly escalates to the point of two scenarios the reader cannot ever envision while reading those previously pages that are hot only with passion, albeit threaded through with quite a bit of obsession. In the beginning of their relationship, the narrator senses there is something “dangerous” about Rachel and later some conversations about what her “therapist” and family says drop more hints but nothing further. This is no Love Story with a gushy, maudlin ending. It’s passionate, stark, haunted fiction that nails it on the head about young adult romance gone awry. It’s also about the naive hormonal dominance that goes into total denial about some rather obvious “warning” signals beyond the physical attraction both so deeply embrace! Nicely done, indeed, Peter Seth!  Keep writing!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Impeccable writing, storytelling and strong characters. Highly recommend.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Interesting and sad how such a nice boy with good parents could think he is so in love with such a selfish and spoiled girl. This all consuming love destroyed everything he was and could have been.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
In the middle of the story now.... want to know what happens, but ready to stab my eyes out. Book could have been done in 150 pages, feel like I am reading the same thing over and over again. Going no where fast
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
To waste time on teen angst the blurb alone should have warned you what a mess this is a bright teen ager writing in his diary from prison unnamed !!!! Two stars for the blurb and no star to nook for wasting space buska