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!!!!!SPOILERS!!!!LEAVE!!!!SPOILERS!!!!YOU SHOULDN'T BE HERE ANYWAY!!!SPOILERS!!!!LEAVE!!!!

 

"Was what he saw simply one more stage of random growth, or was there a thread that had come loose somewhere along the line, unravelling the entire fabric?"

Dan Markham, protagonist, with musings on Los Angeles

 

I teenaged in the Los Angeles suburbs around the early '60s. Fortunately, I remember that era with some cohesion so the smattering of historic and cultural references were welcomed signposts along the plot.. I think Brokaw's "Greatest Generation"our parents; you know, Great Depression, WWII, GI Bill, Squawlburbia, Cold War were seriously looking for what went wrong with the kids of m-m-m-m-MY Generation. But What'idya'spect? What followed WWI but the Roaring Twenties backfiring into Prohibition? And what stuck to the tail of WWII but The Beat Generation with the Atomic Bomb, The Flower Children witnessing yet another war evolving and medicating with Heavy Metal & Cocaine, 3-channel Television pushing its flawed agenda into the hydra-headed snare-trap of Cable Television, more undeclared Wars andworst of allthe birth of Donald Trump (1946) and the media sludge poisoning humanity known as The Kardashians.

No, California Gothic didn't get very far along "unravelling the entire fabric"(p.106). If it was, in fact, an attempt, this novel was more like a shroud: a fairly unplumbed journey of scenes and dialogues attempting something I evidently missed. Every time I picked up the book to read further, certain urges kept it closed, staring at the cover. If I was with our President-elect, he'd probably say, "wouldya look at the can of ashes on that chick?"

 

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