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Arroyo

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4.08  ·  Rating details ·  110 ratings  ·  81 reviews
Set against two distinct epochs in the history of Pasadena, California, Arroyo tells the parallel stories of a young inventor and his clairvoyant 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 ...more
hardcover, 384 pages
Published October 15th 2019 by Rare Bird Books
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Chip Jacobs Judith: as the author, I take full responsibility for what you rightfully described as a "glaring" error. In fact, I discovered it just leaving the hi…moreJudith: as the author, I take full responsibility for what you rightfully described as a "glaring" error. In fact, I discovered it just leaving the historic Garfield house in South Pasadena following a planning meeting for what would be a very successful book party there. But, with the book already at the printer by then, I could only berate myself for overlooking such a ridiculous mistake, and vow to produce something good from it. So, with 'Arroyo' steaming toward a second printing and a paperback, I am not only correcting the record but expanding upon Lucretia's remarkable journey (and marrying her off to the right man in the process; apologies Mrs. Garfield. Sincerely). As an under-deadline author, there's a weird syndrome where your eyes see what they want to see, and no one instructs the brain to intercede. On my follow-up novel, I'll not allow to happen! (less)

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Average rating 4.08  · 
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Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
Dec 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
Arroyo is such an engaging and interesting story. There are two parallel stories about an inventor and his soothsayer dog. The timelines are 1913 and 1993. At the center of both stories is the “Suicide Bridge,” also known as the Colorado Street Bridge. This bridge has a history and a story to tell of its own.

Arroyo is also about Pasadena, California. Nick and his dog follow such local characters as Teddy Roosevelt, Adolphus Busch, and Upton Sinclair. Through it all, Nick continues to be drawn to
...more
Evelina | AvalinahsBooks
Oct 05, 2019 marked it as dnf-shelf-of-shame
I didn't finish this book. DNF @ 18%

How I read this: Free ebook copy received through NetGalley

I just couldn't get into this book at all. 18% and I still have no clue what it's about. I'm sure it's a great book and all, once you get into it, but it's just not for me.

I thank the publisher for giving me a free copy of the ebook in exchange to my honest review. This has not affected my opinion.

Book Blog | Bookstagram | Bookish Twitter
...more
Mary Jackson _TheMaryReader
Dec 01, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2019
This was a fasanating read. I learned from it. the dialog was hard to follow at times, but that may have been not understanding the language at times.
I would say that this is a 3.5 star book. Give it a try and see what you think about it.
The Mary Reader received this book from the publisher for review. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are our own.
OutlawPoet
Sep 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
It should be noted that I live in Pasadena. Each morning I pass by the entrance to Devil's Gate. Each evening, I traverse Suicide Bridge. I buy my books at Vroman's.

As a result, some of my opinion may be colored by my delight in taking a little journey in time to my city as it was.

People familiar with Pasadena - especially those who live here - will revel as we visit Bungalow Heaven or hear tales from the old days at Castle Green.

However, the story itself was fun. Oh, it's not a deep story to b
...more
Bruin Mccon
Mar 08, 2020 rated it liked it
DNF at 9%. I think I was lost at the first SUC reference. Thought I would love this but too many details and not enough action. At least for me.
Jypsy
May 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
Thank you HFVBT for a complimentary copy. I voluntarily reviewed this book. All opinions expressed are my own.

Arroyo
By: Chip Jacob's


REVIEW ☆☆☆
When I hear the word Pasadena, I automatically think of the Rose Bowl Parade. I do not, however, think of the Colorado Street Bridge, aka Arroyo, because I know nothing about it. This story is about Nick and his kind of psychic dog and the Arroyo bridge. Dual timelines run through the story. One is in 1913 when the bridge opens and another in 1993 after
...more
Bhawna Kapil
Sep 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
✍️: ARROYO is a beautiful written historic fictional novel. It is full of interesting characters, historical information and also combination of magical realism. It's based in small town of Pasadena, South California.

✍️: There is a parallel stroies of a young man and his dog in 1913 and 1993. Both stories revolves around the famous 'Calorado Street Bridge' also known as 'Suicide Bridge'. I actually googled to know more about this bridge, atleast 407 suicide deaths by bridge jumpers have occurred
...more
Clare O'Beara
Feb 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
The Colorado Street Bridge and Pasadena are carefully recreated in a story about history, ostrich farms, the invention of solar powered lights, dogs, the impecunious hero and more. Nothing happens in a great rush, and a bridge doesn't get built in a hurry either, so quite a lot of the book details progress and problems in construction, including strange vibration noises and explosions.

This is also a story which uses the device of reincarnation (of hero and dog) to move the time forward without
...more
Booksandchinooks (Laurie)
Nov 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a story based on two timelines and centered around the Colorado Street Bridge in Pasadena, California. This is a fiction book with many nonfiction facts and stories interwoven. The main characters are Nick Chance and his clairvoyant dog, Royo. The beginning of the book details building the controversial bridge. I loved this part of the book. There were many famous names mentioned that were prominent in 1913 and many are still relevant now. The one remaining theme is that the bridge was c ...more
Laurie
Mar 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
You’ve got to figure that a book that starts out with an ostrich race is going to be kind of strange. But ostrich races really *do* take place, so this in itself doesn’t knock the book into complete fantasy land. It’s the psychic, highly intelligent dog that does that, and later, the reincarnation thing. The rest is detailed history- the main characters are fictional, but there are many historical figures and the setting has been researched so well that it totally comes alive- it’s practically a ...more
Nursebookie
I was intrigued by this book and the story surrounding the famous and beautiful Pasadena, California “Colorado Street Bridge” also known by the locals as the “Suicide Bridge” where many lives were lost. As a long-time resident of Southern California and living only a few blocks from the bridge where I pass it by multiple times a day, I knew that this book by Chip Jacobs, ARROYO would be a fantastic read.

Part Historical Fiction and part Magical Realism this was a very creative story of learning
...more
Tristine Rainer
Sep 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I close the covers after reading Arroyo having savored the city of Pasadena in all its ambition, vanity, humanity, vigor, variety, and beauty. Like a city in a glass globe the novel offers views from multiple angles, including its underbelly, the corruption hidden from sight, until its memorable protagonist, a hyperactive inventor of solar lamps for the Colorado Street bridge, comes to understand near the novel’s end that “certain objects absorb the energy of man’s lesser instincts.” The bridge ...more
Toya (the reading chemist)
Arroyo is one of those books that you forget in fiction since it reads more like a nonfiction with the amount of facts that are sprinkled throughout.

The story focuses on two different timelines (1913 and 1993) that both center around the controversial Colorado Street 'Suicide' Bridge in Pasadena, California.

I have visited Pasadena once many years ago, but it's not a place that I am intimately familiar with. Additionally, I wasn't really aware of the controversy behind this bridge. That being s
...more
Steve
Aug 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
In his just-published, ARROYO: A Novel journalist/bestselling author Chip Jacobs gives us the best of both worlds as he uses both fact and fiction to recreate the amazing history of the building of the historic Pasadena Colorado Street Bridge, more commonly known to Angeleno’s as, “Suicide Bridge.”
Along the way, we meet Pasadena’s founding fathers and mothers and are introduced to a host of the town’s real-life celebrities by way of our two loveable protagonists, the charming and inventive Nick
...more
Jaymi The OC Book Girl
I was drawn to this book initially because it's set in Southern California and refers to local Pasadena landmarks and history so I was happy to get a chance to read it.

The main character Nick Chance was a likable anti-hero and the interactions with his horny dog Royo were very entertaining as he becomes a morality guide of sorts.

Historical fiction is a favorite genre and this was a fascinating, well researched look at Old Pasadena. The Colorado Street Bridge is the namesake of the novel and I
...more
Mike Consol
Sep 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I hear T.C. Boyle. I hear Tom Wolfe. I hear a flamboyant new voice on the literary scene, and its name is Chip Jacobs. His trans-dimensional tale revolves around the microcosm of the Colorado Street Bridge (the so-called Suicide Bridge) an iconic Southern California structure, an architectural gem with a sordid and glorious history — and some unfinished business. Enter protagonists Nick Chance and tail-wagging mutt, and this fantastical story is set in motion. Pasadena is one of America’s great ...more
David
Sep 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Chip Jacobs combines the historical deep-dives of Erik Larson and Caleb Carr with the sweep and grandeur of E.L. Doctorow's best work, albeit with a sense of new-age (for lack of a better term) whimsy one doesn't typically associate with those authors, or this genre. Jacobs' maiden venture into the realm of fiction -- a departure from his award-winning, investigative non-fiction -- is an almost impossible blend of the historical with the supernatural...and the result is sublime. This reader is v ...more
Zeal
Sep 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A Bracing Piece of Historical Fiction
A novel full of interesting characters and fascinating history
"Arroyo" is a superb first novel from Chip Jacobs and is packed with interesting characters and an arresting style that belies the author's relative inexperience intros genre. I love the way he introduces and blends the collection of real historical figures and presents such a beguiling centerpiece in the Colorado Street Bridge (the so-called Suicide Bridge"). It's fast-paced and quirky and charmin
...more
Vaani
Aug 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I was drawn to this book initially because it’s set in Southern California and refers to local Pasadena landmarks and history so I was happy to see this book on the blog circuit!
The main character Nick Chance was a likable anti-hero and the interactions with his dog Royo were very entertaining as he becomes a morality guide of sorts. The Colorado Street Bridge is the namesake of the novel and I had no idea it had such a dark as deadly history. A quick search told me that over 100 people have sad
...more
Jagriti Mandot
Aug 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Honestly,I had lot of expectations as the genre of the book was something that always fascinates me. Arroyo is undeniably an adventurous novel. It is a historical fiction that left no stone unturned to surprise me everytime with the time ride full of fun,entertaining and quirky characters. Going straight to the city of Pasadena,one can definitely peek into the deadly history of the city.

This book takes us back in time and depicts 2 parallel timeline showing stories of a young inventor and his cl
...more
Sakshi Dikshit
Aug 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Arroyo: The Colorful Joourney

Chip Jacobs, Author of "Arroyo" has written an engaging and fascinating novel. The Genre for this novel is History Fiction. Even there are small glimpses of Time-travel, Romance, and Paranormal. There are two parallel times in this novel, with similar characters. From the Blurb, "Arroyo recounts to the parallel stories of a man and his dog in 1913 and 1993. The tale takes place in Pasadena California and the characters defined as perplexing, confused and idiosyncrati
...more
Amrita Kartha
Sep 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Arroyo has the historical information, as well as the combination of magical realism, adventure, historical fiction and fact, mystery, suspense and a touch of romance.
This book archives a fictional story that is rooted in historical facts. The story takes place in pasadena california which is about a boy named Nick and his psychic dog and arrogya bridge. There are dual timelines running through the story. I enjoyed how the story begins. One is in 1913 when the bridge opens and another in 1993 af
...more
Pooja
Aug 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Arroyo is such an engaging and interesting story. There are two parallel stories about an inventor and his soothsayer dog. The timelines are 1913 and 1993. At the center of both stories is the “Suicide Bridge,” also known as the Colorado Street Bridge. This bridge has a history and a story to tell of its own.

It is also about Pasadena, California. Nick and his dog follow such local characters as Teddy Roosevelt, Adolphus Busch, and Upton Sinclair. Through it all, Nick continues to be drawn to thi
...more
Ruhi
Aug 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A mindblowing historic fictional story ❤️

Arroyo is a beautifully written historic fictional story. Author has wisely considered the location of the story. It’s based in a small town of Pasadena,South California.
It relates to two parallel stories back in 1913 and 1993 about the inventor(Nick) and his dog (Royo). It revolves around the famous “Colorado street Bridge” which is famously known as the “Suicide Bridge”. I actually googled and find out that over 100 people have jumped from that bridge a
...more
Ritu Pruthi
Sep 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
✍️Arroyo is the debut novel of Chip Jacobs. It is a beautifully written historic fiction novel. A blend of history and authors's imagination.

✍️The story takes place in pasadena, South california which is about a boy named Nick Chance and his psychic dog 'Royo' and Colorado Street bridge. There are dual timelines running through the story, one back in 1913 and the other in 1993. The common part of both the stories is Colorado Street bridge, also know as "Suicide bridge". Many people have ended t
...more
Online Eccentric Librarian
Oct 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: historical, arc
More reviews at the Online Eccentric Librarian http://surrealtalvi.wordpress.com/

More reviews (and no fluff) on the blog http://surrealtalvi.wordpress.com/

Arroyo is definitely a distinct animal: a fictionalized historical of the city in 1914 and then in 1994 with a healthy dose of mystical realism. Author Jacobs gives us a deus ex machina character, creates ways for him to interact with all the interesting bits of Pasadena in particular but also Southern California in general, then throws in a magical dog and reincarnation to boot. The prose is thick enough to make the
...more
Aakriti Dhanawat
Aug 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I was delighted and eager to read this book when I read the ‘Notes to the readers’ in the initial pages of the book. My eager towards the place Pasadena, California where I spent my New Year Eve of 2020 grew more. No wonder the story brings you closer to the history of Old Pasadena back in the 1900's. The tale is full of endearing characters from Pasadena's past, collection of real historical figures, Colorado Street Bridge (the so-called Suicide Bridge"), Led Zeppelin references and stories of ...more
Shailaja
Aug 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
"Arroyo", a book written by Chip Jacobs is an absolute delight to fiction lovers.
The author has aptly chosen the historical town of Pasadena, Southern California to set this story.

The main characters include Nick Chance, his clairvoyant dog Royo, and some historical figures like Teddy Roosevelt, Adolphus Busch and Upton Sinclair.
The story revolves around the "Colorado Street Bridge" or popularly called as the "Suicide Bridge", since many people have ended their lives by jumping off this bridge.
I
...more
Sreekutty Arun
Sep 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
Arroyo, a historical fictional novel by Chip Jacobs is about Pasadena’s Colorado Street Bridge and its construction.

Nick Chance and his dog pal, Royo are the main characters of this novel and the parallel stories of their lives in 1913 and 1993. The stories are concentrated around the Colorado Street Bridge which is also known as the Suicide Bridge, because of the number to people who have jumped from the bridge.

The story travels with Nick in 1913 when the bridge is constructed. Later, The story
...more
Beth Gardiner
Oct 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I've been a fan of Chip Jacobs' non-fiction for many years, so was excited when I saw he'd written a novel too. Arroyo more than lived up to my (high!) expectations. Jacobs kept me turning pages -- no easy feat these days, given my level of distraction in this year of all-consuming news stories. This intriguing, absorbing tale offered a blessed escape. Jacobs does a brilliant job of weaving together past and present, history and imagination, all in the perfect setting of Pasadena, his much-loved ...more
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Chip Jacobs is a Los Angeles Times-bestselling author and journalist. His most recent book is his debut novel, Arroyo, historical fiction set around construction of Pasadena, California's mysterious Colorado Street Bridge. His other books include the biography Strange As It Seems: the Impossible Life of Gordon Zahler; the environmental social histories The People's Republic of Chemicals and the in ...more

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