Rubicon Beach

Rubicon Beach - Steve Erickson Rubicon Beach was a book I read in my 20s, and I living a post-college hand-to-mouth existence in the same Los Angeles Steve Erickson lived in (he worked as a film reviewer for the wonderful-at-the-time L.A. Weekly -- I taught school and wrote for a less prestigious alternative weekly).I was reading a lot of Joan Didion at the time, alongside some old fashioned Robert Heinlein and Ray Bradbury SF. I was also writing my first novel, modeled after Pete Dexter's crystal-clear and lucid prose. So this was the context of my reading. (I know, I know, quite a combination.)The book had a tremendous impact on me as an impressionistic fantastical dystopian novel that took my breath away with the way Erickson managed to insert genuine human emotion and pathos into a story that in other hands would have been your basic throwaway SF drama.Erickson has this beautiful knack for interrupting his straightforward narrative with allusive mystical forays into dreamscapes and memories. In other hands, this would disrupt and destroy enjoyment of the flow of a book.In Erickson's capable hands, the overall narrative becomes the richer and more meaningful for these asides. He is a marvelously constrained writer, with an eye for emotive detail and for the elisions of time and place and memory. I recommend the book strongly, especially for those who love Cory Doctorow and his kind of writing.This is the quintessential L.A. novel, and I still strongly recommend it. It cast a great shadow on me, and made an indelible, haunting impression, a penumbra I still can't shake. I'm almost afraid to go back and read the book now, given that my life has changed so much, and given the fact that I haven't lived in L.A. for years. ((Any of you 20 year olds out there... let me know what you think of it now, would you? ;-))