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Arnoldi (The Wentworths) relies on one red-blooded character to conceal that the rest are archetypes in this ripped-from-the-headlines drama. Ellis Gardner is the surfing queen of Point Dume, Calif., feared, lusted after, and envied by the yuppie moms who filter down from the mansions overlooking the ocean to take surfing lessons. Ellis's childhood friend Pablo is the hunky surfing instructor, but he's also been amassing a small fortune finding and robbing small marijuana crops planted by Mexican cartels on the slopes of unsuspecting property owners, then selling his harvest. His current rival for Ellis's affections is one of those absentee owners, Frank, a rich midlife surfing convert who's unaware that his wife is one of Pablo's best customers. Meanwhile, Felix Duarte crosses the Mexican border for the dangerous but lucrative job of guarding one of the secret patches from which Pablo steals. Arnoldi hothouses the concerns of all equally, so Frank's existential crisis ranks as highly as Felix's hunger- and isolation-induced hallucinations up on the ridge and Ellis's unexpected pregnancy. The prose style is spare and powerful and the pages turn effortlessly. (May)
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Arnoldi revisits the themes of obsession and amorality that she so skillfully exposed in her previous works (Chemical Pink, 2001; The Wentworths, 2008), this time pitting iconic segments of Southern California’s counterculture against each other in an apocalyptic race for survival. Flinty surfer-chick Ellis’ on-again off-again affair with married vineyard owner Frank is complicated by a surprise pregnancy and her equally unsettled relationship with her childhood best friend, Pablo, now a drug dealer who supplies pot to disaffected housewives, like Frank’s wife, Janice. Stealing from the contraband pot farms operating deep in the canyons, Pablo is captured by Felix Duarte, an illegal immigrant smuggled into the country by the Mexican drug cartel to manage their operation located on the periphery of Frank’s estate. When the Santa Ana winds pick up and a single spark erupts into a conflagration, Mother Nature regains control of the land everyone, save Ellis, has been wantonly abusing. Crisp pacing, caustic characterizations, and acerbic satire inform this darkly comic fable. --Carol HaggasSee all Editorial Reviews
Ever since I was a small child I have loved this place and this beach; however, I am sure it has changed negatively over the years due to over population and other problems. Read morePublished 19 months ago by Valerie Wiesner
I stayed up all night reading this book. I gave it to a friend today to read and now I'm jealous that she gets to enjoy it. I don't know if that makes sense or not. Read morePublished on April 5, 2012 by D. Hatfield
Surfers, stoners, yuppies, yoga moms, disgruntle locals, and Mexican drug cartels - Southern California's costal small towns will never be the same. Read morePublished on January 6, 2011 by Patrick O'Neil
This book just didn't do it for me. It was engaging enough for me to continue to read (finished it in a couple of hours) but I just never got the point. Read morePublished on November 3, 2010 by Amazon Customer
Ellis Gardner is a wild child. She makes her own rules. One thing Ellis loves is catching a wave or two.
Pablo Schwartz is a good friend of Ellis's. Read more
Someone once said that there are two kinds of writers. The first kind paints a common picture and puts it in an elaborate frame. Read morePublished on June 27, 2010 by Alan Ackoff
Arnoldi's latest book, POINT DUME, gloriously and surprisingly combines the page-turning entertainment factor of a summery beach read with the serious topics, deeply-felt... Read morePublished on June 9, 2010 by J. T. Stern
I was completely enthralled by Arnoldi's latest novel. The insider's view of nouveau-riche Malibu, conflicts within Surf Culture, and Mexican Drug cartels was fascinating. Read morePublished on June 7, 2010 by Fred in Hollywood
I grew up in the area that Ms. Arnoldi used as the staging for her novel. I was quite impressed by the accuracy that she conveyed in this piece. Ms. Read morePublished on June 7, 2010 by Laddie John Dill