California

California

A Novel

Book - 2014
Average Rating:
17
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"The world Cal and Frida have always known is gone, and they've left the crumbling city of Los Angeles far behind them. They now live in a shack in the wilderness, working side-by-side to make their days tolerable in the face of hardship and isolation. Mourning a past they can't reclaim, they seek solace in each other. But the tentative existence they've built for themselves is thrown into doubt when Frida finds out she's pregnant. Terrified of the unknown and unsure of their ability to raise a child alone, Cal and Frida set out for the nearest settlement, a guarded and paranoid community with dark secrets. These people can offer them security, but Cal and Frida soon realize this community poses dangers of its own. In this unfamiliar world, where everything and everyone can be perceived as a threat, the couple must quickly decide whom to trust"--
Publisher: New York :, Little, Brown and Company,, 2014
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780316250818
0316250813
Branch Call Number: F LEP NVD
Characteristics: 393 pages ; 25 cm
Alternative Title: California

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Cynthia_N Jun 17, 2017

This felt like a softer take on the post-apocalyptic trend. The U.S. as we know has deteriorated to a point where it is no longer recognizable. Frieda and Cal have been doing fine out on their own but now Frieda is pregnant and wants to find people. It does have a few twists and turns and I enjoyed it!

bickjd Mar 01, 2016

The near-future dystopia that Lepucki has imagined seems all too plausible for comfort. Lack of economic opportunity and destructive environmental hazards have devastated the west coast. The dominant commodity is now a sense of safety. Whether that means being held up in one of the high-priced-Orwellian "Communities", or creating a fortified commune in the woods. This story illustrates the different lengths people will go to feel secure, and the different meanings or interpretations of what security is.

Secrets play an important role in the plot, as if they were a character themselves.

l
lukasevansherman
Jan 11, 2016

Dystopian fiction: so hot right now. This buzz book from 2014 (see the Colbert bump) is a dreary, lackluster post-apocalyptic tale that takes place in. . .California! Who knew it'd be so boring? Has some similarities to Walker Percy's "Love in the Ruins."

1
1tarheel
Nov 05, 2015

I was loaned this one at the same time as Neal Stephenson's 'Reamde', which is twice as long and took half the time to read. Lepucki appears still to be working on her craft. Conceptually intriguing, this story is saddled by odd, tangential dialog and not-particularly-insightful psychology of people. Ending is convenient for author and mystifying for this reader: one of the bigger duds I've encountered.

librarylizzard Feb 19, 2015

A slow crumble of government and civilization (widespread blackouts, food shortages, gasoline prices inflated to the point that only the wealthy can afford to travel) compels two twenty-something newlyweds to relocate to the remote woods and live off the land.

This book had the potential to be so much more than it was. The writing was not top quality, which drove me to distraction throughout. The plot also felt overwrought at times, and in the end the story was just not ringing true; I couldn't get past the poorly written melodrama of the couple's relationship or the fact that the most intriguing components of the story were often glazed over.

All in all, as a lover of apocalypse/dystopia, I would not rate this very highly among its genre.

a
avratt
Dec 04, 2014

A complete disappointment. Characters are totally unlikable and I found myself wanting to mentally slap all of them repeatedly thruout for their blatant stupidity.
Author made it appear that main characters at book's end are on the way to living happily ever after, totally ignoring a huge looming disaster disclosed earlier, but not in such a way as to invite a sequel...which I wouldn't read anyway. The "finale" seemed to be a rush job.

j
JimmyGman
Dec 02, 2014

Little bit of a let down. Thought the story started well, flashbacks were okay, the future is a civilization of disconnected tribes - if that, and the ending was...missing in my view. It was interesting, but nothing nearly as good as Station Eleven. Go read that if you want an end of the world story. Skip this.

MacGreenBear Nov 29, 2014

Slow, boring and uneventful. I kept expecting something to happen...something! Like other readers I too looked forward to this one, especially after the Colbert Bump...sadly very disappointing. Would not recommend to anyone, ever!

Chapel_Hill_ShannonB Nov 19, 2014

A unique post-apocalyptic story that feels all too real. I loved the plausibility of the environmental reasons for the destruction of civilization and the survivalist aspects of the story.

a
athena14
Oct 27, 2014

Surely there could be a lesbian couple on the Land. But no, everybody's straight.

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