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Preview — Crossing California by Adam Langer
Several months after first reading Crossing California, I discovered a video on author Adam Langer’s website. Narrated by Langer, the video features early 1970’s Super-8 footage of Chicago’s West Rogers Park, the neighborhood in which the novel is set. Unearthed from the basement of his parents’ home, this should have been a gem to me. I was absolutely captivated by this novel, and I admit to being something of an Adam Langer fan-boy. Strangely, my first response to this footage was dejection. T...more
Ben ritrovati, amici e amiche, sono qui per..
Sono lieta di rincontrarvi nell'occasio..
POPOLO DI ROMA!
Siamo qui per fare la conoscenza di un autore americano della cerchia ebraica di Roth & co, un loro fratellino minore che ingiustamente riceve sempre le briciole: Adam Langer.
Langer di fatto non è l'ultimo arrivato, tant'è vero che potrebbe essere mio padre. Cresciuto negli anni '70 nella zona di West Rogers Park a Chicago ...more
Then, as I read on, my enthusiasm waned. The story went on too long; many of the characters became tedious in their self absorption, and, in my opinion, the author seemed to be enjoying his o ...more
I was there! And just exactly like the charac ...more
I picked up this book simply because I live in Rogers Park and figured even if I didn't care for it, I could still learn a bit about my neighborhood's history and enjoy re ...more
Until recently, Langer was known primarily as a playwright and the author of a film festival compendium, but that's about to change. Reviewers have heaped the kind of praise on Crossing California for which most first-time novelists would sacrifice their coffee and nicotine. Critics zeroed in on Langer's biting wit (the youngest Rovner's song, "My Love Ain't Always Orthodox," is a particular fave) and lauded his depiction of youthful disaffection, embodied in characters like Jill, the intellectu...more
There is a lot of detail about the area. It really brings the neighborhood to life and in many ways, Rogers Park is the star of the book rather ...more
Langer sets the novel against the backdrop of the Iran hostage crisis, ending on Inauguration Day, 1981. Why these 444 days? As Langer writes ...more
While the book follows the events of a couple of Jewish teens, it also focuses heavily on the streets that they call home and the significance of crossing certain territories.
This book might ta ...more
This is one of those books where you have a bunch of separate, yet related stories that intersect and overlap with each other throughout -- but the auth ...more
So I really liked this book for the memories of the time & pl ...more
"Crossing California" is set in Chicago, Rogers Park and West Rogers Park (very close to the neighborhood I live in!) It chronicles the angsty lives of a group of pre-teens and teens that live on both the east and west sides of California Avenue (hence the title!). The older crowd experiments with drugs, alcohol and sex. The younger set gets Bat Mizvahed, learns to make out (well, some of them) and wor ...more
His work has been featured most recently on NPR's Selected Shorts, in The Best Men's Stage Monologues 2000, and The Best Women's Stage Monologues 2000, as well as in the Chicago Reader's Fiction Issue, and in the literary magazine Salt Hill. His plays have been produced in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, and numerous othe ...more