Release Date : October 15, 2019
Rare Bird Books
About The Book:
Set against two distinct epochs in the history of Pasadena, California, Arroyo tells the parallel stories of a young man and his dog in 1913 and 1993. In both lives, they are drawn to the landmark Colorado Street Bridge, or “Suicide Bridge,” as the locals call it, which suffered a lethal collapse during construction but still opened to fanfare in the early twentieth century automobile age. When the refurbished structure commemorates its 80th birthday, one of the planet’s best-known small towns is virtually unrecognizable from its romanticized, and somewhat invented, past. Wrought with warmth and wit, Jacobs’ debut novel digs into Pasadena’s most infamous structure and the city itself. In their journey to discover the source of the bridge’s macabre alter ego, 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. While digging up 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.
About The Author:
Chip Jacobs is a Los Angeles-area author and journalist.His most recent book is his debut novel, Arroyo, historical fiction set around construction of Pasadena’s mysterious Colorado Street Bridge at the turn of the century. It will be published October 15. His earlier books are Strange As It Seems: the Impossible Life of Gordon Zahler, the updated biography of a little dreamer who existed joyfully, from Hollywood studios to globetrotting destinations, in a ticking time-bomb of a body. Publishers Weekly, in its review, called Jacobs an “exceptional storyteller” and said the “extraordinary life” being told was a “peculiar page-turner” rendered with an “imaginative” bent. It was an Indies Book of the Year finalist. His other books include the environmental social histories The People’s Republic of Chemicals and the bestselling Smogtown: The Lung-Burning History of Pollution in Los Angeles (both award-winners with William J. Kelly); the dark humor, true crime tale The Ascension of Jerry; the articles collection The Vicodin Thieves and; the privately issued biography Black Wednesday Boys. Jacobs’ profile of California political figure Richard Alatorre appears in two Greenwood Publication collections, and a long-form true crime story — about an idealist lawyer and a depraved cult — is featured in the bestselling anthology Los Angeles in the 1970s: Weird Scenes Inside the Goldmine.
Jacobs’ writing has been honored, among others, by the Independent Publishers’ Book Awards (IPPY), the Indies Book of the Year contest, Foreword and Booklist magazines (for starred reviews and top books in genre), The Green Prize for Sustainable Literature, the Southern California Book Festival, the Shanghai Book Awards, and as a Chinese “Most Influential” and “Outstanding Popular Science” book. Jacobs and his subjects have appeared in The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal, Marketplace Radio, Slate, Wired, NPR-syndicate stations, C-Span, Politifact and elsewhere. If you enjoy his works, please consider reviewing them at his official Amazon Author Page, at Goodreads and recommending them to friends.
On the journalism side, Jacobs’ reporting has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, the Daily News of Los Angeles, L.A. Weekly, The New York Times, CNN, Bloomberg View, the Pasadena Weekly, the San Gabriel Valley Tribune, newgeography.com and other publications. His stories have prompted investigations by the California Attorney General and other agencies, triggered Congressional action on environmental fraud, contributed to the prosecution of a Los Angeles Councilman, exposed graft at the region’s transit and redevelopment authorities, inspired laws relating to water pollution and state-owned housing, and re-opened the unsolved murder case of a former mayor. He’s also explored the Tommy’s Burgers empire, defense contracting abuses, neighborhood dumpsters, drug thefts at real-estate open houses, crusading grandmothers, and a dorky mogul’s revenge. For his efforts, he’s won seven Los Angeles Press Club/Southern California Journalism Awards, as well as ones from the California Newspaper Publishers Association, the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies and the Los Angeles Times.
Jacobs grew up in northeast Pasadena. In 1985, he graduated from the University of Southern California with BAs in journalism and international relations. In 1988, he earned his MA in international relations, emphasizing national security affairs, from The American University in Washington, D.C.. Jacobs broke into journalism in 1990 at The Los Angeles Business Journal. His passions include Trojan football, life as a Beatles/Led Zeppelin/Squeeze-maniac, electric guitar, forgotten literature, running and super-sugary breakfast cereals. He lives in Southern California. https://chipjacobs.com/
Jacobs … is an exceptional storyteller, and his lively look at the extraordinary career of Gordon Zahler … is a peculiar page-turner. Zahler, the author’s uncle, achieved success on the margins of show business despite a spinal injury … Jacobs … craft(s) an imaginative biography about this unusual figure, who carved out a distinct place in post-WWII Hollywood by repurposing the music of his father, Lee Zahler, a prolific film composer. Along the way, readers meet a colorful cast of characters, including animator Walter Lantz, actor Burt Lancaster, and fringe film directors Ed Wood Jr. and Samuel Fuller. Zahler’s life was filled with difficulties, but Jacobs refuses to frame his cantankerous uncle as a tragic figure and cleverly uses his story to expound on the larger history of his family. This fast-pacedaccount of a life lived to its fullest is a triumphant tribute … ―Publishers Weekly
Jacobs’ thoroughly researched debut novel excavates the buried history of Pasadena … a riveting and enjoyable look at how local myths are constructed, and a vivid depiction of a time and a place that felt full of possibilities” — Booklist
“A completely original and genre-defying work – both historical novel and metaphysical noir … The author has caught the brass ring and given it to us as pure gold … the ending that pulls together all the elements of this ambitious novel is a satisfying tour de force” — Tristine Rainer, author Apprenticed to Venus, my years with Anaïs Nin
“Arroyo’ is unrelentingly bizarre, perversely funny, and absurdly true–mostly. Pure jazz!” — Ron Franscell, bestselling author of The Darkest Night
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