Wednesday, November 23, 2011
Cloyne Court by Dodie Katague
In October 1976, Dodie Katague is a freshman at Berkeley University in California. This is the age of the hippie, free love, drugs, sex and rock 'n roll. The problem is, Dodie is missing it all by living at home and commuting to school each day. On his birthday, he manages to talk his parents into allowing him to live on-campus. But where to live? It's too late in the semester to get into a dorm and he didn't pledge a fraternity. Then he hears about Cloyne Court, a student co-op building.
Cloyne Court is a rundown building that is inhabited and managed totally by students. The rent is cheap, with students doing various jobs to pay part of their rent. It is also co-ed. Co-ed as in male and female roommates--roomies if the relationship is platonic; bunkies if it is a romantic relationship. Showers are communal and nude sunbathing is a common occurrence. To a man who has led a sheltered life up to now, this is a whole new world, and one that he will have to figure out how to fit into.
Cloyne Court is an interesting memoir by Dodie Katague of his years at Berkeley and his residence at the co-op. He learns to get along with people of all persuasions, and also has his first serious love. Katague discovers sex and all the joys and complications it can bring. Baby boomers especially will love reading this memoir and reminiscing about their own college days. Younger generations will read it and get an eye-opening new insight into their parents and that stodgy old guy in the next cubicle. This book is recommended for memoir readers and those interested in the culture of the 1970's and early 80's.