cover image Don't Follow Me, I'm Lost: A Memoir of Hampshire College in the Twilight of the '80s

Don't Follow Me, I'm Lost: A Memoir of Hampshire College in the Twilight of the '80s

Richard Rushfield, Author Gotham Books $26 (293p) ISBN 978-1-59240-453-7

Following his student career at America's last great hippie school, Hampshire College, in the waning days of the 1980s, author Rushfield (On Spec), west coast editor of online media gossip magazine Gawker (gawker.com), wanders through a land of optional majors and obligatory drug use that's only fitfully engaging. None of Rushfield's characters come off as particularly likeable: not the humorless administrators, the painfully politically-correct students, or the rebellious, pot-addled group of friends (""the Supreme Dicks"") with whom Rushfield runs. Even Rushfield himself annoys, making decisions, like the one to skip most classes his first semester, without much explanation or self-examination. Rushfield makes the autobiographer's mistake of being too easy on himself and too rushed with his narrative, leaving readers with questions like why, exactly, he was so ostracized from Hampshire society. Though Rushfield hits some perfect notes in the details of college life-stepping into his first dorm, ""the soon to be familiar smell of moss, stale beer, and laundry detergent introduced itself""-those without a connection to Hampshire probably won't find this memoir of much interest.