Greg Wyss was well-known in the
small press world of the 1970’s. His poems and stories appeared in dozens of literary publications. A collection of his work Sit Down And Have A Beer was published in 1977 by Realities Library in San Diego. Greg’s first novel When Life Was Like A Cucumber was published in 2019 and his most recent work has appeared in Cholla Needles Literary Journal. A regular contributor to the legendary small press magazine Seven Stars Poetry, Greg was one of the poets featured in Seven Stars Anthology
1973 – 1998, published in 2018.
Greg Wyss was an important voice in the small press scene of the 1970’s and his latest book Sit Down And Have A Beer Again is the definitive collection of his work. This noteworthy anthology includes the original 1977 chapbook Sit Down And Have A Beer, as well as the other poems and stories published in those small press magazines but never collected until now. Available in both paperback and hardcover on Amazon.
ON AUGUST 27, 2019,
WHEN LIFE WAS LIKE A CUCUMBER
RECEIVED A PINNACLE AWARD AS ONE OF 3 BOOKS AWARDED THE "BEST BOOKS" HONOR IN HISTORICAL FICTION BY THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF BOOK ENTREPRENEURS (NABE).
“Brutally honest and utterly riveting sexual and intellectual transformation story that swims along literary lines”
“Unique road romp with the sporadic wisdom of Pirsig, the antics of Kesey, and the visual artistry of Steinbeck”
“Wyss evokes the
tradition of Kerouac”
“Expansive, witty, and hugely satisfying”
The Prairies Book Review
“Greg Wyss is a talented author”
San Francisco Book Review
It's 1972 and the Sixties are over. Or are they?
When the house they are renting outside of Oneonta, New York, burns to the ground,
24-year-old Jeffrey Hesse and his wife, Jane,
split up, launching Jeff on a wild journey of
self-discovery and sexual awakening. Inspired by
an angel calling herself Isadora Duncan, Jeff sets
out to see the world and find his place in post 60's America. His odyssey carries him to the Gulf Coast of Florida, the streets of Boston, the hash clubs in Amsterdam, and his ancestral home of Switzerland. He finds himself seated next to Jesus on an airplane and spends an idyllic summer on the island of Crete where he is befriended by a Greek Renaissance man. A delicious stew of Jack Kerouac and Cheech and Chong with a pinch of Forrest Gump added to the mix, When Life Was Like a Cucumber is both funny and sad. Set against the backdrop of the Watergate years, it examines the alienation and hope of a generation weaned on the drug culture, the sexual revolution, and the Vietnam War.
Hang on and enjoy the ride. When it's over, you'll have to agree that life is indeed like a cucumber.
FIND GREG WYSS IN THESE OTHER PUBLICATIONS
Cholla Needles 55
July 2021 Issue features the work of Iwuagwu Ikechukwu, Heather Morgan, James Marvelle, Toti O’Brien, Roger D. Anderson, Dora Kaskali, Kent Wilson, Dave Maresh, Greg Wyss, Bill Ratner, Jonathan B. Ferrini and Dave Benson
Cholla Needles 60
December 2021 Issue features the work of Susan Abbott, Ernest Alois, Cynthia Sidrane, Tanni Haas, Tina Quinn Durham, Rod Drought, Kent Wilson, Catherine A. Coundjeris, Michael H. Brownstein, Greg Wyss, Jonathan B. Ferrini and Dave Benson
Seven Stars Anthology 1973 -1998
A treasure chest of classic poetry, it contains the work of 200 poets published in Seven Stars Poetry Magazine, including Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Simon Perchik, Denise Levertov, Greg Wyss, Charles Bukowski, Kenneth Rexroth, Samuel Schraeger, Muriel Rukeyser, r soos, Hans Ebner, James Marvelle and Nancy Brizendene.
Excerpts from US Book Views (November, 2020)
“A way out, timeless read about one hippy’s attempt to find himself in a world he doesn’t recognize. When Life was Like a Cucumber by
Greg Wyss is an oddly relatable tale of finding oneself during a change not just in time but in ideas and culture. For those who originally lived through this change, reading this book will be like stepping back in time. Meanwhile, those readers who miss this age cutoff will find this work reson-ating with today’s political turmoil and constant technological, cultural, and social changes that seem to be leaving some of us in the dust, dazed, confused, and wondering where our places are in this crazy world. When the world is changing all around you and you feel like you don’t belong in it – you might just have to wander the world until you find it like Jeff Hesse.”
Excerpts from San Francisco Book Review by Rachel Dehning (November, 2020)
“When Life was Like a Cucumber is the fictional story of Jeffrey Hesse and his journey of highs and lows in the 1970s New York. Drugs and sex are major activities in the story like it was back then. Despite this, Hesse’s life experiences are enjoyable to read about: Greg Wyss is a talented author. Wyss’s writing flows and is easy to read; you’ll speed past each chapter.”
Excerpts from BookViral Book Reviews (October, 2020)
“A brutally honest and utterly riveting sexual and intellectual transformation story that swims along literary lines, When Life Was Like A Cucumber proves an extraordinarily powerful debut from Wyss. Sometimes harrowing, often explicit, but always emotionally charged he achieves a remarkable level of intimacy with his readers through his unwavering ability to look to the past and transition the influences of
the time to the written word without diminishing them.”
Excerpts from The Prairies Book Review (October, 2020)
“Expansive, witty, and hugely satisfying … A young man sets on a self-exploratory journey after his long overdue split from his wife in Wyss’s hilarious, satirical tale. Occasionally sad and full of absurd moments and amusing quirks, this biting satire of post-sixties America makes for a richly rewarding read.”
Excerpts from OnlineBookClub.org by Miller56 (August, 2020)
“The descriptions of the beaches in Europe were amazing. The reader could easily picture the white sand and the blue waters. I appreciated
the detail the author provided in describing these places. It made me want to go back to that time and wander these places.”
Excerpts from The US Review of Books by Toby Berry (August, 2020)
“Any book that begins with “I only met God once” will undoubtedly grab its readers. This is a period piece, but it is also so much more. It doesn’t matter if you were a child of the 60s, 70s, 80s, or beyond. There is something for everyone here because every reader of every adult age and background knows what it is like to be on life’s odyssey of self-discovery.”
Excerpts from Feathered Quill Book Reviews by Amy Lignor (July 2020)
“After reading this stellar book, all I wanted was a time machine to go back and be born again so I could call “The Sixties” my home. Just by reading and laughing at his thoughts and words, which are extremely clever, the author creates such a vivid picture of this decade that I almost felt like I was really there during the Woodstock years. Greg Wyss has, hands down, created an engrossing, intriguing tale so detailed and, for lack of a better word, beautiful, that it almost rivals the art of Michelangelo, himself.”
Excerpts from Bookpleasures.com by Norm Goldman (July 2020)
“In this part memoir, part travelogue and part erotica novel, Wyss crafts his story with an abundance of titillating graphic detail. I can’t believe that When Life Was Like a Cucumber is a work of fiction. It felt like I was listening in envy to my best friend over a glass of wine as he vividly narrates his exotic escapades living a carefree existence abroad during the early 1970’s.”
Excerpts from The Book Review Directory (July 2020)
“One of the highlights of the novel is how well the time period is conveyed. From the novel’s first page, the environment, music, and dialogue make readers feel like they are immersed in the early 70s era. Wyss creates a completely transportive setting filled with smoking grass, drug trips, music festivals, and road trips. Readers of all ages will enjoy this nostalgic coming-of-age story set during a time of free love, hippies, and political division. Emotional and deep, this journey to find a higher calling shows us that we can run, but we can’t hide from our pain forever.”
Excerpts from TopBookReviewers.com by Erik Graham (July 2020)
“Wyss uses Jeff’s exploits to show how mixed up America was in that time period. It’s like looking into a time capsule. He uses humor, lots of it, and savvy storytelling to show what it was like to exist and survive on the road and travel overseas with little or no money. It is quite a trip. I looked at this novel as not just a work of fiction. I looked at it as a snap shot of the youth of North America trying to find themselves. For myself, my time came ten years after Jeff in the start of the 1980’s. I related to his exploits of hitchhiking across a nation, traveling to Europe, making friends along the way, always looking for that next joint and next love. It was a special time in history we can reflect on in from a unique perspective thanks to Wyss’s When Life Was Like a Cucumber.”
Excerpts from Literary Titan (June 2020)
“Greg Wyss has crafted an engrossing tale of one man’s journey through life in the wake of the wild 60s. He has written a story so intriguing and appropriately sculpted that a reader of any age will relate and enjoy the book. The scenes are described in vivid detail leaving the reader thrust deep into the vortex of Jeffrey’s life at that time as well as the general lifestyle back then. The story teeters on the edge of humorous and poignant. It is a brilliant mix of serious and casual.”
Excerpts from BlueInk Review (June 2020)
“When Life Was Like a Cucumber depicts an odyssey of identity-seeking, set during the Watergate years. Greg Wyss is a talented writer, and there are moments of transcendent wordcraft, particularly involving the perceptual distortions of drugs. As Jeff relates during “the waning hours” of an acid trip: “The world was a holocaust, but inside crumpled cigarettes floated methodically and outside it was still raining. Energy raged with nowhere to go.” Wyss’s best writing is artful, offering readers a vivid, believable look at the times. Wyss evokes the tradition of Kerouac and succeeds in delivering an entertaining and credible, if repetitive, tale of late hippie-era exploration”
Excerpts from Self-Publishing Review (May 2020)
“Author Greg Wyss expertly transports readers to the chaotic 70s with remarkable ease and charm in When Life Was Like a Cucumber. Following Jeffrey Hesse’s fiery split from his wife, this is a hilariously unpredictable story of self-exploration, healing, liberation, and growth.
The writing is as stylized as the main character himself, winding around itself with clever turns of phrase. All in all, Wyss has created a unique road romp with the sporadic wisdom of Pirsig, the antics of Kesey, and the visual artistry of Steinbeck. There is more to this story than meets
the eye, and readers of any generation will benefit from its kaleidoscopic layers of both absurdity and meaning.”
Excerpts from Reader’s Favorite by Rabia Tanveer (May 2020)
“When Life Was like a Cucumber is a beautiful story. It is funny yet sad at the same time. Jeff is not particularly a happy-go-lucky kind of guy, but he doesn’t take life seriously as well. I was immersed in the story and Jeff’s progress. Greg Wyss did a good job of introducing Jeff and making sure the reader feels the connection with him. I usually don’t like reading stories written in the first-person narrative, but this one is special. I felt connected with Jeff. I felt his confusion and his elation when he discovered something new. The author added an extra layer of humor and wit to the already charming Jeff to make him irresistible. The dialogues and situations had me smiling, the fast pace of the story had my attention, and the dramatic yet funny situations had me entertained. This novel is brilliant.”