This is a true story. You should know that. Before the story begins, Cassell says it’s fiction, but it isn’t. It really happened as he describes. It’s important that you understand this because then the second half of the story will blow you away.
I say “the story,” but it felt to me like a succession of linked stories. So much happened to Cassell that year, more than happens to most of us in several years.
Cassell is a young man in 1969 (20 I think). The Vietnam War is going on, and he’s draft age. So he spends most of the year out of the country. He wasn’t a draft dodger because he hadn’t been drafted. But he wasn't around, and he didn't tell them.
He begins in the U.S., of course. His travels take him first to England, then other English-speaking countries. He has a story(s) to tell about each. That’s when I became interested.
But when he hooks up with a French guy (one of his mistakes that year, but it makes for a great story) and goes with him to his home in France, that’s when I started getting really, really interested in Cassell’s stories.
And when he goes to Spain, his stories were making me nervous as he described his (what I felt were) foolish choices. I was so afraid he’d end up in a Spanish prison, I couldn’t stop reading until he got out of there.
Then Cassell goes to Morraco (OH MY GOD! as my high school niece would say). It was so interesting, so scary. I would have said “unbelievable” if I had read this when it was written (the 70s, when I was an uninformed [nice word for "ignorant"] teenager), but now I know better. Still, knowing that this is a true story made it so gripping I couldn’t put the book down until he was back in England, meaning I was reading W-A-A-A-Y past bedtime, meaning I fell asleep sitting up.
No, I’m not going to tell the story. Get the book. :-)