If you don’t know Ed McClanahan, this “anthology of his essays, reviews, short stories, and novel excerpts (from early drafts) ought to do the trick” (Booklist).
Highlighting the collection is “Grateful Dead I Have Known,” a long prize-winning meditation about Jerry Garcia and the fanatical devotion of his fans. Also collected here for the first time are McClanahans’s earliest short stories, along with book reviews, lost chapters of The Natural Man, and a substantial afterword to Famous People I Have Known. His recollections of famous friends and fellow travelers form an integral part of this book. He joins his buddy Ken Kesey in a bus-journey reunion with other gray-haired Merry Pranksters, and he pokes fun at his own graduate-school flamboyance in a touching remembrance of his mentor Wallace Stegner.