Bongs For Steve

On the perilous intimacy of being high in good company.

With Straight Dope.

What people are saying ...

Hilarious and euphoric

The story is filled with hilarious and insightful discussions covering a range of themes, including cannabis use, a deceased buddy, and the protagonist's first brush with sex. ... Without question, it gave me the greatest euphoric buzz.

Foluso Falaye for Readers' Favorite.

Hopeful and satisfying

Hilarious at times and dark at others, Bongs For Steve is a cohesive and entertaining story of self-discovery. ... The ending is so hopeful and clear that I felt a rush of satisfaction.

Rabia Tanveer for Readers' Favorite.

Amusing and poignant

A well-penned dramatic work that will surprise you with its depth and poignancy the more you read into the lives of Seamus and his friends. Light-hearted and amusing in all the right places.

K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite.

About the novel

A story for people who have enjoyed getting high and for those who are curious.

A curmudgeonly copy editor is thrown into crisis by the death of an associate from whom he has long been estranged.

Encouraged to reflect upon happier times, he starts by chronicling sessions with freewheeling friends from his bohemian 20s.

The warmth and spontaneity he retrieves from these episodes accent the joylessness of the life he has settled for.

The novel is unusual in its extended realising of cannabis-affected conversation, presenting it as bantering and rich in ritual, and yet at times risky and intimate.

Among many in-jokes and ironies is the contrasting of the narrator’s punctilious use of language with his fond memorialising of abandoned play.

Sneak peeks

The psychological novel Bongs For Steve comprises a prologue, 12 chapters, and a coda. Clicking an image will take you to a sample from that part of the book.

Sneak Peek #1

Chapter 1

Sneak Peak #2

Sneak Peak #3

Sneak Peak #4

Sneak Peek #5

Sneak Peak #6

Sneak Peak #7

Sneak Peak #8

About the author

I.J. Baker developed his lyrical style when composing short fiction in his 20s, and refined it over 25 years as a non-fiction writer and editor. An early fascination with philosophical methods led to his receiving a PhD in ethics in 2008. Bongs For Steve grew from a wish to dramatise the peculiar mixture of intimacy and risk he had connected with cannabis-infused recreation over the period 1980-2010. A sequel is in draft, under the working title Bongs And Money. Literary influences include Dostoyevsky, Hemingway, Lawrence Durrell, Bukowski, and Updike.

Straight Dope

Thoughts on life, love, and literature.

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