Edan Lepucki’s ‘California’ provides glimpse into possible near future

Edan Lepucki’s ‘California’ provides glimpse into possible near future

Edan Lepucki's debut novel "California," which gained unprecedented popularity after TV host Stephen Colbert criticized Amazon for discouraging customers from buying titles from publisher Hachette and urged his Twitter followers and others to buy the novel, provides a glimpse into a possible future community.

In the novel "California," main characters, nearly 20-year-old Frida Ellis and Calvin Friedman, pass through a cross-section of mid-collapse landscape, outlined by the ongoing decline of civilization.

It also indirectly sheds light on many other issues of the current society. After fleeing Los Angeles, Frida and Calvin live in the wilderness for a couple of years. The house in which they live belonged to a family that for unknown reasons committed suicide. Frida recalls her dead brother, Micah, who blew himself up while also killing many others in a mall after joining a terrorist group.

Frida and Cal, who often look much younger than their years, are often not blissful in bed. They often argue and sometime don't argue at all. Devices like iPhones are no more. The duo longs for the sound of vehicles that we are accustomed to nowadays.

Depicting the possible near future, it describes the most privileged people living in communities defended by private security guards, and the poor people who have not died from the flu or some other disease living helplessly in failing cities.

Pirates, the enigmatic Spikes and other outlawed people live in the wilds, and they leave objects lying around that best befit their names. The novel also mentions current burning topic of global warming, including unusual storm patterns, in a few paragraphs.

The novel does not really explain what happens to current local, state and federal governments. But, lack of that explanation never affects the novel's settings.

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