Hyde was part of the activist movement in the sixties against the Australian and American involvement in the Vietnam War. He took the fight to the system as he protested, campaigned and broke the law in order (in peaceful methods) to get his point across.
Amidst the political furore and ongoing police watch, Hyde also deals with his struggles with the opposite sex, which are both funny and poignant. His status as a virgin amongst a house full of sexually active people sees him cop a mix of playful taunts and genuine concern. 'In the midst of all this furore and euphoria, my status as a virgin hung around like smoke from a campfire' (41). However the household (and the reader) is overcome with joy when Hyde does lose his virginity, removing a huge weight off his shoulders.
The main draw card was the fact that the autobiography takes you back to the sixties and gives you some perspective of how things were (especially if you weren't born back then, like me.) Through powerful and tense moments, Hyde allows the reader to feel the adrenaline of being chased by the police
The descriptions of the communal living, drugs and rock music are engrossing and make you wish you were there, part of the movement and trying to end the war. However reading Hyde's account is a close second with its enthralling and evocative details of the unbelievable events he took part in.
Michael Hyde is a talented storyteller and this is a perfect example of his craft. This book is so captivating that I read Hyde's autobiography in two days. Hyde's adventures in his early adult years will light a fire inside you and want you to make a difference in any way, shape or form.
Hyde is the author of young adult novels and teaches Children's Literature at Victoria University. His novel Hey Joe is a precursor to All Along the Watchtower.
This is the sort of life young people should be trying to lead today; questioning the lawmakers and opposing ideas that will only damage the way we live life as we know it. If this doesn't inspire you then you must have no ambition whatsoever.