Wrought with warmth and wit, Jacobs' debut novel digs into Pasadena's most mysterious structure and the city itself. In their exploits around what was then America's highest, longest roadway, Nick Chance and his impish mutt interact with some of the big personalities from the Progressive Age, including Teddy Roosevelt, Upton Sinclair, Charles Fletcher Lummis, and Lilly and Adolphus Busch, whose gardens were once tabbed the "eighth wonder of the world." They cavort and often sow chaos at Cawston Ostrich Farm, the Mount Lowe Railway, the Hotel Green and even the Doo Dah Parade. But it's the secrets and turmoil around the concrete arches over the Arroyo Seco, and what it means for Nick's destiny, that propels this story of fable versus fact.
While unearthing the truth about the Colorado Street Bridge, in all its eye-catching grandeur and unavoidable darkness, the characters of Arroyo paint a vivid picture of how the home of the Rose Bowl got its dramatic start.
Pick up your books here...
Chip Jacobs is an award-winning author and journalist. His most recent book is his debut novel, Arroyo, historical fiction set around construction of Pasadena's mysterious Colorado Street Bridge in 1913. His other books include the biography Strange As It Seems: the Impossible Life of Gordon Zahler; the environmental social histories The People's Republic of Chemicals and the international bestselling Smogtown: the Lung-Burning History of Pollution in Los Angeles (both with William J. Kelly); the dark-humor true crime caper The Ascension of Jerry; and the stories collection The Vicodin Thieves. He also has contributed pieces to anthologies, most recently for the bestselling Los Angeles in the 1970s: Weird Scenes Inside the Goldmine about the attack on an idealist lawyer by a depraved cult. His reporting has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, L.A. Daily News, CNN, The New York Times, Bloomberg, L.A Weekly, among others. He is currently at work on a follow-up novel, a non-fiction project, and developing Smogtown into a film or series.
This was a fasanating read. I learned from it. the dialog was hard to follow at times, but they may have been not understanding the language at times.
I would say that this is a 3.5 star book. Give it a try and see what you think about it.
The Mary Reader received this book from the publisher for review. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are our own.