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Point Dume

3.33  ·  Rating Details ·  150 Ratings  ·  26 Reviews

Two years ago Overlook published her sophomore effort, The Wentworths, a searing portrait of a wealthy Westside, Los Angeles, family. This too was a fixture on bestseller lists and earned her a wider audience.

With Point Dume she has produced her most remarkable novel to date

A fast moving page- turner, with insights that Arnoldi has gleaned from years of on-the-ground resea
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published May 27th 2010 by The Overlook Press (first published May 1st 2010)
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Sep 24, 2010 Andrea rated it liked it


Lisa Hayden Espenschade
Jun 23, 2010 Lisa Hayden Espenschade rated it it was ok
Recommended to Lisa by: Overlook Press
Point Dume is less about marijuana growing on public lands than about the personal conflicts and problems of people living in a changing California ocean community. That's unfortunate because I thought the pot growing aspect of the book was far more interesting than the lives of the US-based characters. I felt like I'd already met them in books and movies past.

The book read quickly and easily, perhaps in part because everything felt so familiar, but it would have felt much more satisfying if Ar
Apr 29, 2010 Karen rated it it was ok
A short read, light on plot, with an interesting setting that the author does not really take advantage of. Since 9/11 and the crackdown on our borders, the drug cartels have been growing pot on public land in the US - national parks, and in this book, the hills of Malibu.
Oct 22, 2010 Saadia added it
The reason I read this book is because it was the book to read for the book club at the Kaufman public library in Brentwood. I am staying in Brentwood, Los Angeles for an extended visit at my adult son's home, so I thought I would give the book club a try. Actually, I met the author, Katie Arnoldi at the book club meeting and our group had a first hand account of how and why she told this story.

The story involves characters in the Malibu area: dysfunctional locals who grew up in a beachside blue
May 23, 2010 Cheryl rated it liked it
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. He has known her since he was about twelve years old. This is the same time he was first introduced to the world of illegal marijuana growing. It was from here that Pablo realized that there was a lot of money to be made in growing and selling marijuana.

Frank Joseph Bane III is married. Though this has now stopped him from having an affair with Elli
Feb 23, 2014 Valerie rated it really liked it
I read this book on my Kindle Fire. I was attracted to it because of the title; Pt. Dume was one of my very favorite ocean spots when I was a young child. It is located south of Malibu and I guess it is a state recreational area now (at least some parts are) but worse than the invasive plant species (marijuana) being grown in the canyons in the area, I think the Hollywood clique has ruined the area with all the pollution, overbuilding, and general devastation of the beauty of this once gorgeous ...more
May 11, 2010 Catherine rated it liked it
Each character speaks in the first person, which gives too much weight to a couple of 1-dimensional characters, and not enough weight to the two pivotal characters who eventually meet up accidentally. Felix is the most haunting and interesting character in this, or almost any book I've ever read. He has a history and tradition of a hard working and fairly successful small farmer in Mexico when he is forced to work for a Mexican drug cartel watching a marijuana farm in the hills near Santa Barbar ...more
Mar 17, 2010 Daisy rated it liked it
Most Improved.
I have read Arnoldi's other two books and hated them so it was a surprise to find this wasn't godawful. Her writing has gotten better and her story-telling isn't bad at all in this novel.
So much of whether you like a book or not depends on where you are when you read it. This is a fast, easy read about an area I know well. I even knew Katie A. when we were kids; that is, I knew who she was but I don't think she knew who I was. (She was older anyway.) I know which house was her fam
D. B.
Sep 27, 2015 D. B. rated it really liked it
After disliking The Wentworths so intensely, I didn't know what to expect from Point Dume. It combines the strengths of Chemical Pink (interesting characters, excellent sense of voice) with one of the major weaknesses of The Wentworths (a sluggish, barely there plot) into an overall terrific package.

I found myself so invested in the characters that I didn't mind much that, at best, the characters inch forward on their lives' journeys. Arnoldi does an excellent job of creating characters represen
Patrick O'Neil
Jan 04, 2011 Patrick O'Neil rated it it was amazing
Surfers, stoners, yuppies, yoga moms, disgruntle locals, and Mexican drug cartels – Southern California's costal small towns will never be the same. Katie Arnoldi uses them all as characters in her novel, Point Dume, to portray not only the ever changing demographics. But the insidious underbelly of the cross border narcotics trade, and the loss of natural habitat to the nouveau riche. The cartels are growing pot in our foothills. The yuppies are buying up the land and building hideous mansions. ...more
Judy Mann
Dec 07, 2014 Judy Mann rated it really liked it
This book was a breath of fresh air. 4 stars.
What a relief to read a book where the author tells it like it is -just exactly like it is.
Kate Arnoldi is an excellent writer. And the reason I can say that is because I believed her. Every word.
Malibu is one of those anesthetized settings in California where you get the feeling that EVERYONE is completely coked out of their gourds. And I mean the rich here. These newly wealthy a-holes that just spend their days showing off all their money to the oth
Anne Meehan-Dunham
May 04, 2014 Anne Meehan-Dunham rated it really liked it
The story is about the destruction to the California coastline as drug traffickers plant illegal pot farms on public land. the story is about the rising tension between the home-grown surfers whose parents bought beach shacks in the 50s and 60s and the wealthy class as they buy up and displace an entire culture.

The narrative is told through multiple points-of-view that switches between first and third person close. The chapters are brief, which makes the story move fast. The time frame is a year
Jan 23, 2011 Danna rated it it was amazing
I loved this quick and easy read. Katie Arnoldi introduces to us a group of characters in Point Dume - a small, surfing community with a large pothead population. In recent years, the tiny town has been overtaken by a group of elitist soccer moms and CEO-dads. The interaction between the newcomers and the natives is a large part of the story. Arnoldi also addresses the illegal growing of marijuana in the California mountains. The growing is done mostly by illegal Mexican immigrants and has been ...more
Louis Spirito
Feb 04, 2014 Louis Spirito rated it really liked it
Point Dume by Katie Arnoldi - Not For Locals Only. Marry The Endless Summer, Savages and Slackers, shake it up and add a local perspective and a wicked sense of humor and you have Katie Arnoldi's novel Point Dume.The action centers on the Malibu culture clash between the old-time surf culture, the rich yuppie invaders and cartel pot growers using the nearby mountains as an el norte nursery. But Arnoldi's real forte lies in skewering
the players on all sides. If you're wondering what Malibu was li
MB Mcgurk
Sep 10, 2011 MB Mcgurk rated it liked it
Recommends it for: commute readers
Recommended to MB by: Librarian
I like this book and I liked Ellis better. She is a well composed character, complicated and tough. A true survivor raising to the occasion of "change". The question of "invasion" though never directly addressed is an undercurrent that repeats in a seductive agreeable manner. The consequences of said "invasion" are much like the characters in the book are compelling, complicated and no simple vision of a 'cure' or answer is offered. It is much like real life, riveting.
Sep 14, 2013 Barbara rated it liked it
You have to give credit to a book that makes you think about things differently and this book certainly did. I appreciate the depths and complexity of the main characters and even the detailed descriptions of peripheral ones. For what it's worth I respected this book more than liked it. And it could have used a final bout of proof reading.
Jun 22, 2010 Tuck rated it did not like it
ok, one star is harsh, especially for a good story. but writing and editing need lots of work. about socal old settled beach society being inundated by rich yuppies, mexican drug cartels, and too many rules. its surfers against everybody else, with some crossing-the-lines rough sex added. the wild fires eventually win all though.
Sep 19, 2014 M R rated it liked it
Interesting collection of characters with intertwining stories. I wish that had been a bit more character development or explanation with some characters or simply less characters to be able to focus on the myriad stories and issues. Although, I did learn quite a bit about the weed business in California, and in general.
David Ward
Sep 05, 2011 David Ward rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, drugs
Point Dume by Katie Arnoldi (The Overlook Press 2010)(Fiction) features the following plotlines: surf culture, human trafficking, pot farms on public lands, and Mexican drug cartels. The author delivers as promised. 6/10, finished 9/2/11.
Apr 10, 2011 Sara rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I blame joan didion. She blurbed arnoldi's first book. Ack. It was like reading a season of that tv show weeds, but no bright colors, and the text had yet to be proofread. But still I read it, but you probably don't need to.
Apr 05, 2016 Erocchio rated it it was amazing
The story had a lot of interesting characters who were written in entirely different voices. Great job by the author. I don't think I liked the ending but it wasn't disappointing either. I liked the setting and the surfing references. It all seemed very real (unfortunately).
Jul 30, 2011 Linda added it
I have to stop following book recommendations in magazines!
Feb 15, 2011 Catherine rated it really liked it
Great sense of place -- Malibu surfers and wannabe's.
Aug 09, 2010 Jo rated it liked it
A quick read. Interesting saga of a group of mature surfing friends.
Jun 08, 2010 Eric rated it liked it
Interesting protagonist, Ellis.
Kyle Miller
Kyle Miller rated it it was amazing
Sep 18, 2011
Alicia rated it liked it
Apr 11, 2012
Chantelle Aspinall
Chantelle Aspinall rated it it was ok
Apr 08, 2016
Jen Bilik
Jen Bilik rated it it was amazing
Jun 18, 2010
Natasha rated it it was ok
May 03, 2010
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Katie Arnoldi's literary debut Chemical Pink, set in the competitive world of female bodybuilding, became a surprise bestseller, winning Arnoldi praise from critics and readers alike, The Wentworths too graced the bestseller list. She lives in Southern California with her husband, the painter Charles Arnoldi, and their two children.
More about Katie Arnoldi...

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