Mile Marker Zero by William McKeen
The Moveable Feast of Key West

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What's nice is that "Mile Marker Zero" doesn't strive to draw any large conclusions about the 1970s or the cultural role of a small island. It's a good story about good times (and bad).
-WSJ online

Synopsis

True tales of writers and pirates, painters and potheads, guitar pickers and drug merchants in America’s southernmost city
 
For Hemingway and Fitzgerald, there was Paris in the twenties. For others, later, there was Greenwich Village, Big Sur, and Woodstock. But for an even later generation—one defined by the likes of Jimmy Buffett, Tom McGuane, and Hunter S. Thompson—there was another moveable feast: KeyWest, Florida.

The small town on the two-by-four-mile island has long been an artistic haven, a wild refuge for people of all persuasions, and the inspirational home for a league of great American writers. Some of the artists went there to be literary he-men. Some went to re-create themselves. Others just went to disappear—and succeeded. No matter what inspired the trip, Key West in the seventies was the right place at the right time, where and when an astonishing collection of artists wove a web of creative inspiration.

Mile Marker Zero tells the story of how these writers and artists found their identities in Key West and maintained their friendships over the decades, despite oceans of booze and boatloads of pot, through serial marriages and sexual escapades, in that dangerous paradise.

Unlike the “Lost Generation” of Paris in the twenties, we have a generation that invented, reinvented, and found itself at the unending cocktail party at the end—and the beginning—of America’s highway.


From the Hardcover edition.
 

About William McKeen

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WILLIAM McKEEN teaches at Boston University, where he chairs the department of journalism. He is the author or editor of nine books, including the acclaimed Hunter S. Thompson biography Outlaw Journalist. He is married and the father of seven children and lives on the rocky coast of Cohasset, Massachusetts. williammckeen.com
 
Published October 4, 2011 by Crown. 320 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Travel, Literature & Fiction, Humor & Entertainment. Non-fiction
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WSJ online

Above average
Reviewed by WAYNE CURTIS on Oct 08 2011

What's nice is that "Mile Marker Zero" doesn't strive to draw any large conclusions about the 1970s or the cultural role of a small island. It's a good story about good times (and bad).

Read Full Review of Mile Marker Zero: The Moveabl... | See more reviews from WSJ online

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