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Crossing California by Adam Langer

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"...without a doubt, my favorite novel of the year thus far has to be Adam Langer's outstanding debut, CROSSING CALIFORNIA A sweeping, multi-generational saga of three unforgettable Chicago families, it's urbane, ambitious, and hilarious with a winning pop sensibility. Langer breathes life into his characters with a warmth and generosity that's practically unheard of in contemporary fiction."
-- Brad Parsons - Amazon.com Editor in Chief

"CROSSING CALIFORNIA is a tremendously moving and funny first novel about two generations of family and friends in Chicago at the end of the 1970's. California, the street not the state, separates the the Jewish community into upper and middle class, and Langer captures the time and place with unsentimental insight. This is a wonderful combination of social commentary, personal dreams, family function and dysfunction, half-forgotten history and pop culture.A wise, big-hearted book that ended much too soon."
-- Leslie Reiner - Inkwood Books, Tampa FL

"CROSSING CALIFORNIA is one of the most vivid books ever written about coming of age in the late 1970's, while at the same time it is a portrait of Chicago that belongs up on the shelf with Dybek, Algren and Bellow. With an anthropologistís eye for detail and a poetís heart, Adam Langer examines the lives of these All-American Jewish Chicago kids to create a wonderfully funny, rich, and moving mosaic of a book."
-- Dan Chaon - National Book Award-nominated author of Among the Missing and You Remind Me of Me

"Adam Langerís novel is a triumph of wry observation and merciless insight-- a darkly comic, even bravely comic view of lust and loss, doubt, faith, and social yearning. An amazing debut by a terrifically talented writer."
-- Elinor Lipman - author of The Pursuit of Alice Thrift

"Adam Langer knows Chicago. He also knows American history, Jewish tradition, family function and dysfunction, and pop culture. More importantly, Adam Langer knows about the unspoken caste system prevalent in our country's secondary schools. Crossing California is a sweeping Pynchonian/Salingerian/Rothian epic tale that focuses on the intricate dreams and brutal realities of the Wasserstrom and Rovner families, plus wonderful Muley Wills. Their intersecting lives, their actions and responses, prove beyond all else that Adam Langer knows about the sputtering human heart. Crossing California is a classic."
-- George Singleton - author of The Half-Mammals of Dixie and These People Are Us

"Adam Langerís CROSSING CALIFORNIA carries us at full gallop into the lives and locales of a vivid crew of characters whose plans and failures and yearning hearts seem as real and true as our own. Along the way he manages a surprisingly affectionate rendering of the early 1980ís, unearthing funny and poignant touchstones out of that little purgatory between Woodstock and the computer age. By turns wise, droll, and sexy-and sporting a plot that Charles Dickens might have envied -- CROSSING CALIFORNIA is a superb first novel."
-- Brad Barkley, author of Money, Love, Alison's Automotive Repair Manual: A Novel.
 

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