Saturday, August 30, 2014

California by Edan Lepucki


Edan Lepucki’s California made its way to my radar when Stephen Colbert urged viewers to buy it amidst his Amazon vs. Hachette rant . Apparently, California was recommended to Colbert by one of my long time favorite author, Sherman Alexie, so the late night plug was something to take seriously. A bit of research about the author turned up the information that Edan Lepucki is a graduate of Oberlin College, just down the road, so we headed out the next day to Oberlin, Ohio on a book search! Certainly her book would be available in Oberlin, hopefully at our favorite spot to book browse – MindFair Books inside the Ben Franklin Store on College Street. No California there. Disappointed we were having to head to the Oberlin College bookstore, which is a Barnes and Noble affiliate, we found the most informed looking employee and asked for the book. He had never heard of it, never heard of the author and was unaware that she was returning to campus to read from California in November!
Now we were on a mission! We drove the the big brother Barnes and Noble store at Crocker Park and there is was. Feeling like a traitor, I bought it. At least I didn’t order it from Amazon.
The novel is another post-apocalyptic dystopian tale. Cal and Frida have fled what remains of LA for bare existence in a wilderness hideaway. Frida is still mourning the death of her brother, Micah, who appears to have given his life fighting the remains of civilization. Without giving too much info, the story is two parts Cormac McCarthy’s The Road mixed with one part Hunger Games. I think high school students would enjoy it well enough.
Finally, a week or so after I finished the book, I found the bookstore I would have liked to have purchased it in when we were visiting Ithaca, NY. Shout out to Buffalo Street Books for their anti-Amazon display!