Edan Lepucki's debut novel ‘California’ at a glance
Edan Lepucki's debut novel "California" portrays a bleak future for California where most privileged people live in communities protected by private security guards, while the poor people who haven't died from a disease like flu have no option other than reside in the wilderness.
While most genre conventions show the end of a civilization by some quick disaster like alien invasion, zombie infestation or a disease like plague; Lepucki's novel features a gradual decline.
In the novel, people are marred by freak weather storms, shortage of gas, a depressed economy, a poor healthcare system that is incapable of stopping the spread of lethal disease. It indicates that today's local, state and federal governments have failed and citizens have to form new types of governance.
It is a story of Frida and Calvin, who are in their late 20s. The couple escaped a dangerous and barely functional Los Angeles and start living in the wilderness. The house in which they live belongs to a family that for some unknown reason committed suicide. In the early part of the novel, Frida founds that she is pregnant. She persuades Calvin that they abandon their solitary homestead and find a community that will accept them, for the sake of their unborn child.
It is the search for the acceptable community that makes most of the couple's struggle. The couple leaves their little home and after set out to find a community. After travelling for a couple of days, they reached "the Land" - a settlement built around what, according to the author, was once a Wild West heritage village.
The Land offers a community where all have to labor together and share available resources. They worked very hard to earn the support of their neighbors, who eventually vote on their joining.
The novel has already sold thousands of copies, thanks to television host Stephen Colbert's campaign against online retailer Amazon that discouraged customers from purchasing titles from publisher Hachette Book Group due to some unsettled issues. During the campaign, he urged viewers as well as his Twitter followers to buy the novel from independent stores.
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