Otto's Books

Otto's Books

Friday, August 15, 2014

Memoirs of a Drugged-Up, Sex-Crazed Yippie

Kansas in the late 1970's was so different from today; the Sunflower State might as well have been located in Holland.

Remember what it was like to share drugs with close friends and complete strangers? Remember when casual sex was so casual you didn't even know your partners name? Remember when the political climate of Kansas came down squarely on the side of tolerance? Remember when your personal philosophy of life was defined by rock lyrics and not a mission statement?

You don't?

Well, Steve Otto does.

In his latest semi-fictional novel, Memoirs Of A Drugged-Up, Sex Crazed Yippie (Authorhouse Press/2005), Otto excavates 1970's counterculture like an archeologist loving dusting off a Mastodon tusk. In a brisk 349 pages, Otto gives us a lucid look at a Kansas few people remember --- or can't remember due to a plentiful supply of "controlled substances" that were constantly and cheaply available. Characters romp through Wichita, Lawrence and even Sedalia Missouri when a cheap thrill was worth what you paid for it and pleasure was just the flipside of danger.

But to dismiss this book as just another nostalgic stoner reminiscing about the last days of the counter-culture would be a major mistake. Although there is a certain "back-in-the-day" wistfulness about the time before political correctness was a mantra, Otto tempers his dreamy history lesson with brutal honesty.

The narrator of the story --- a composite of just about every old druggie you ever met --- may graphically describe the bliss of mainlining MDA, he also reminds us that brief moment of pleasure most often occurred in a squalid apartment at broken kitchen table next to sink full of dirty dishes.

Like all good storytellers, Otto takes the reader places they've never been before. Like William Burroughs and Charles Bukowsky, Otto sometimes takes you to places you've never really wanted to visit. Yet, Otto makes it worth the trip by including generous portions of political discourse, Cyrenaic philosophy, post-adolescent lust and near-suicidal thrill seeking to keep the narrative moving along like a junkie careening through a police roadblock.

Otto's work is always provocative and this book will undoubtedly draw the wrath of both solid conservatives and neo-feminists. Otto's characters never mask their contempt for the right-wing agenda and Otto's narrator never hides his obsession with female anatomy. However, criticizing Memoirs because it baits conservatives and objectifies women is missing the point. Filtering 1970's Kansas counterculture through the sensibilities of a naive middle-class, catholic school educated, twenty-something is no easy trick but Otto mostly pulls it off. He has a good ear for times-past and tries --- often successfully --- to make his prose read like it would have been written by someone experiencing these situations 30 years ago. Trying to be simultaneously innovative, entertaining and honest is a juggling act on a unicycle, but Otto is generally at his best when everything's up-in-the-air and he's peddling frantically. When the narrator's budding Marxist politics and his discussions with Iranian nationalists clash with his dawning awareness that Kansas politics has taken a sharp turn to the right, Otto makes it work.

Is Otto's look into the rear-view mirror a true reflection on the 70's, or do the objects simply appear bigger than they were? Ultimately, it doesn't matter. Memoirs resonates with characters buckling under the weight of the America Dream with redemption harder to find than next snort of Cocaine.

I Am Pol Pot (ប៉ុល ពត)

Few dictators have the terrible reputation as Pol Pot the leader of Democratic Kampuchea (present day Cambodia). But “I Am Pol Pot” by Steve Otto is a serious attempt to look inside the circle of the rulers of Democratic Kampuchea. The entire world realizes that his government was a monumental disaster with about a million deaths resulting from his misrule. But this book gives the reader a chance to see what the Democratic Party of Kampuchea thought they were doing and how they believed they could create the most advanced communist society in the modern world back in the 1970s.

Eight of nine people, who bought this book from Barns & Noble, gave it five stars, while the other one gave it four stars. This book is among the best for understanding the Pol Pot years.

Barns& Noble offer this book in e-book form, while Amazon offers it in paperback.

For anyone interested in the history of Cambodia, this book is a must.


Can You Pass The Acid Test?


The "acid test" was a name for large concerts, with groups such as the Grateful Dead, where free LSD (then legal) was available for those in attendance. The title of this book comes from a flyer advertising one such event. But the outbreak of LSD and marijuana in the 1960s was not the beginning of the drug counterculture as we know it today. This book presents examples of drug use and sex-promoting cliques around music, magazines, newspapers, clothing and other forms of culture that countered the established norms and often brought about the government's wrath. This book is a comprehensive look at these counterculture trends from the 1990s back through the late 1800s. Here is a comprehensive reference book to songs, publications and objects of art that reflected the last century's countercultures, as well as government and mainstream press attempts to censor them.

At Barnes & Noble.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Order your discount books from this site

You can now order books straight from this site.
To order books send your:
Address________________________APT #___
City________________State____Zip Code________
Country (if outside US)____________________

1. I Am Pol Pot, $16 ($9.00 until I run out of the extra books I have).
2. Can You Pass the Acid Test? $16.
3. Memoirs of a Drugged-Up, Sex-Crazed Yippie, $16 
($9.00 until I run out of the extra books I have).
All books require a $3.00 shipping and handling If using Pay Pal email your order to For mail send a check money order, or cash if you are bold, to
Otto's Books,
4865 N. Maize,
Maize, KS 67101
Be sure to specify which book you are ordering.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

An excerpt from I Am Pol Pot:

We all know what the press reported about the Communist Revolution in Cambodia, but what did things look like from the inside? Finally there is a story that gives the reader a feel for those who made up the Communist Party of Kampuchea. This is a fictional biography tries to interpret Pol Pot and see how things may have looked to the rulers who planned and executed Democratic Kampuchea in what is now Cambodia. The book contains quotes from the Black Papers, one of the few books ever released by Democratic Kampuchea. It is also based on many of the records from the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Kampuchea (known as the Khmer Rouge).

And excerpt from I Am Pol Pot:

Chapter 9
The Great and Powerful Wizard of Mao

Journal entry: 15 August: Sâr:

I had been to China a few times. I remember being in Tienaman square and witnessing the activities of the Cultural Revolution. It was chaotic, with people running around tossing white leaflets everywhere, with Chinese characters I couldn’t read. Mao Zedong didn’t have a peasant revolution. He just used the peasants to get control of the country. He spent much of his time trying to industrialize the country instead of focusing on making it better for the peasants. He sent city people out to stay with the peasants for a few months. What good did that do? They just ended up going back to the city as if nothing ever happened. How can they learn about farming and peasant work in such a short time?
My delegation, including myself and a few of the other committee members, such as Hem, and Van. We arrived at the Pochentong Beijing Airport, where we were met with Chinese delegate Sun Hao. As with many Chinese, he wore the standard Mao jacket. By now we were beginning to try and develop a uniform that our party members and the rest of us could wear. In place of red stars we wore our red Kramas, which we felt fit in better with the peasant look. The Chinese delegation led us into the Great Hall of the People for a meeting with Chairman Mao. Next came a formal welcoming banquet hosted by Chou En-lai. And of course Mao was there. As we sat at the tables, all decked out in red, with large red curtains and the seal of the Chinese government above us, I noticed that Mao’s picture was everywhere. His books and posters of adulation were everywhere. This guy was a real egomaniac. We all sat down to dinner when Mao began to speak.
“We are beginning to fear that Sihacook is loosing control of the country and may turn against us. Is your revolution at a point where you can use arms to move ahead?”
“Sure,” I said. “We have new recruits, some who are well trained and training new ones. Sihacook is coming down hard on us and he’s attacking the left even in his capitol. He has driven our party and leftists out of the city and they are coming to us. We are definitely in a revolutionary position. The time is right. We also have a great arsenal built up and many of our weapons come from the corrupted officers in the Royal Army.”
“When the time is right, you shall have all the arms and equipment you need. But we still need Sihacook as long as we can use him. So this has to be done discreetly. The arms will be delivered, but you must make sure Sihacook does not know you are getting them from us.”
“We’ll help you in every way we can. Actually, we believe that the CIA wants Sihacook out and at some point in time that will happen.”
“We’ve considered that also. This Richard Nixon has been pushing the CIA to replace Sihacook with a more aggressive anti-communist leader.”
“There’s just one thing I need and that’s an assurance that you won’t tell us how to run our government after we win. We want full autonomy to run things our way.”
“Sure Mao,” said. “We never interfere in our allies internal affairs. Each country runs things their way. Some develop socialism at different rates, some slowly, others faster. We respect your autonomy completely.”
“Thanks Mao. That’s what I wanted to hear.”
I knew there would be more meetings with Mao. He seemed like a patronizing egomaniac, who didn’t really know how to run a revolution, but I needed his arms. We all got on a plane to return to Kampuchea. I also met with Deng Xiaoping, who told me that China was committed to giving us whatever we needed to get by. Not only all the weapons we asked for but also for some rice and food to help us while we got our harvests restarted, should we win.
As soon as we returned, we went to the base camp we had set up in the far north of the country. We had only been gone a few about a week. However, we heard about the military coup against Sihacook, by his own henchman Gen.Lon Nol, a few days before we left on March 18, 1970.
“Listen folks,” I told the central committee when I returned. “I know we are now officially part of the Maoist International, but our revolution is Khmer. Let’s make sure that none of our documents mention Mao or any Chinese revolution. Our revolution will be inspired by Khmers and not the Chinese. Of course, we’ll make references to Marx and Lenin as we are a Marxist-Leninist Party, as well as with Stalin, since he was our influence, but not Mao. He is not going to be listed in our records as an influence of our party. As for the party cadre, I believe they should avoid foreign influences as much as possible. They should learn that this is Khmer Communism and it is based on the Khmer culture and customs.”
I found the others to be in agreement with me.

Diary entry: Ponnary: 10 March 1970:

My stay in China was quite fascinating. To meet Chiang Ching in person was probably the high point of my life, next to my marriage to Sâr. She worked tirelessly to promote proletariat revolution and she constantly toured the country promoting the political left in a party that seemed divided between a conservative wing and the left, which was under her control.
She promoted women’s issues at all time, kept them in a Marxist perspective. She promoted proletariat culture and no one dared cross her because she was a woman of power, and she knew how to use it. She dealt with her enemies harshly and no one crossed her. In the orient, I have never met a woman who had the knowledge to wield such power and her knowledge of Marxist-Leninist perspective was remarkable to say the least. Of course, I have always been in the political circle as one of its main members. She only recently emerged as one of the most prominent members of the Chinese Communist Party. ……

…………. Chapter 10
The uprising in France
The French get a taste of their own medicine

The following are US news magazine clippings, printed in English:

Newstime magazine:

May 17, 1968

“Riots strike France”

Last week Paris erupted into the worst student riots of the decade. Thousands massed for confrontations with authorities, where cars were burned and bloody clashes with police seemed staged to coincide with an important meeting Charles de Gaulle was to hold for peace talks in Indochina.
The Demonstration started off peacefully, but bands of Maoists, Marxists, Trotskyites and Guevarist militarists had thrown the Nanterre College into turmoil. As if planned all along, these militants stormed the campus the following day and began to scuffle with police. Before long they were met by other protesters who chanted “De Gaulle assassin!”
Student protests have taken place all over Europe and in cities in the US, but this was by far the largest yet. Students made barricades with stones and cars, while leftist union workers went on strike. Students hurled Molotov cocktails at the police. Some of the rioting is believed to be over university policies in France. Such universities usually flunk about 20% of students, while 50% give up.

No lives were lost, but there were 596 injured and 1,081 arrests made. On top of that, general strikes threaten to bring the country to a standstill, with busses, electricity and other public works coming to a standstill

This book can be ordered from

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Get your autographed book here

Get your book autographed here!
You can now order books straight from this site. You can also send a book to this site and have it autographed for just a $5 shipping charge.
To order books from this site, send your:
Adress________________________APT #___
City________________State____Zip Code________
Country (if outside US)____________________

1. The Pol Pot Journals.
2. Can You Pass the Acid Test?
3. Memoirs of a Drugged-Up, Sex-Crazed Yippie.

All books are $20 + $2.25 shipping and handling. War on Drugs/ War on People is not available at this time. I can autograph it, but it is a collectors item. If you want insurance on that book , you must provide the funds yourself.
I will take about a week to get autographs back and up to two weeks for the books themselves. Send $6 for overnight delivery.
If using Pay Pal email your order to For mail send a check money order, or cash if you are bold, to
Otto's Books,
4865 N. Maize,
Maize, KS 67101
Be sure to specify which book you are ordering.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

New Pol Pot book

The Pol Pot Journals have been replaced with I Am Pol Pot by Steve Otto, the ghost writer. It’s on Lulu but it is supposed to be available on the usual book outlets, such as Amazon and Barns & Noble soon. So it should be available through your local Borders as well as through Barns and Noble.
It is still available at Lulu,

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Can You Pass the Acid Test?:


Here is a comprehensive reference book to songs, publications and objects of art that reflected the last century’s counter-cultures as well as government and mainstream press attempts to censor them.

Sex sells and the subject is brought up several times. But this book is more of a documented history of the US drug and porn culture. It does not have a lot of gratuitous sex or drug use portrayed in it as in Memoirs or a Drugged-Up, Sex-Crazed Yippie, my fictional novel. This is more of a resourse book and will come in handy for those who want to argue about America's drug laws. It is heavily researched and has some amazing information in it. It is political and serious. So it's a completely different book, but I think many readers will want to get a copy. For one thing it exposes the racism of drug laws. It also shows how the narcotics population has remained nearly unchanged since the early 1900s. Some great arguments against our "war on drugs" can be found in this book.

Available at:

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Codeine got me through the Disco days

The following are excerpts from Memoirs of a Drugged-Up, Sex-Crazed Yippie,Tales from the 1970s counter-culture: Drugs, sex, politics and rock and roll

By Steve Otto

Chapter Twelve
Disco sucked
But the cocaine was real good

Cocaine was a popular drug among the disco set. That was definitely the case here in Kansas. That may be part of the reason that Rusty and I were able to get nearly pure cocaine on such a regular basis.
I still preferred narcotics to coke. I remember when Tony first explained to me the process of signing for a bottle of codeine cough syrup. We were sitting at his apartment one evening after I got off work.
“I usually ask for Novahistine,” he said. “There’s one called DH and another called expectorant. They both have the same amount of codeine.”
Naturally I couldn’t wait to try it. I went to a pharmacy on the main street of Lawrence. The regular counter was in the front. I had to walk to the back of the building, passed the rows of shelves covered with over-the-counter medical items and up to the prescription service area. It was one of Lawrence’s older buildings, with white cement walls.
“Yes?” the dark haired clerk, in his 40s, asked.
“I’d like some Novahistine DH,” I said nervously.
He pulled out a bottle, then a ledger. He filled in everything except my name and address.
“Fill this out,” he said.
I filled out the ledger, paid about $3.90 for the bottle and left. Once out the door and out of sight, I drank half the bottle. Once I started to feel it, I drank the rest. By the time I got home, I kept feeling these little rushes going down my back. I felt great. This was one of the best highs I had ever had.
“Why don’t you just get a bottle of whiskey?” Rusty asked, when I got home.
“This is a much better high than whiskey,” I said.

I’m sure he thought it sounded disgusting, but I didn’t care. There were restrictions on how often a person could buy it and how much they could buy. Over the next few months I went to some other pharmacies and discovered I liked the DH the best.
On one occasion I went out to Quantrill’s Saloon, using codeine, with Harry. I met Harry while I was hanging out in the various main street bars. We played pool one night and I had an unusual sense of confidence that allowed us to run the tables a few times. We played partners and we seemed unbeatable. When I was high on that stuff, I could function as if I seemed straight and I had this overwhelming sense of well-being.
Quantrill’s was a popular bar with both local young people and some of the long-term college kids. It was a large building in the older section of town. The bar itself was in the middle of the room and there was a few pool tables near the back, and lots of brown wooden chairs and tables near the front door. It had pale green walls and a slightly damp and musty smell that no doubt came from the building’s old walls. There was a jukebox and a picture of Quantrill on the wall.
Josh, from the Public Notice, complained one evening that people would name things after William Quantrill.
“He burns down most of the town for the Southern cause and they name a flea market and bar after him,” Josh said.
The paper had run an article on the same theme. Quantrill was famous for his raid on Lawrence, in 1863, in which he and his men slaughtered much of the town’s male population. They were Confederate irregulars and they burned most of the buildings. Lawrence was considered a Union stronghold. The article had a cartoon with a man holding a bloody knife. He had a button on his shirt that read: “Our hero.”
Despite Josh’s reservations about the place, it attracted many good-looking young women. Harry and I often tried to pick them up. I remember talking to one woman, a tall blond bombshell, after I took some codeine. I had an easy time talking to her because I was calm and cool. I wasn’t nervous at all.
“So you’re a business major,” I said to her. “That’s interesting. I’m interested in journalism.”
“Aren’t journalists idealists?” she asked?
Our conversation went nowhere and I never talked to her again.