Roland's Reviews > Wrack and Ruin

Wrack and Ruin by Don  Lee
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's review
Jun 22, 2011

really liked it

Wrack and Ruin is a really fun novel. Of interest to me was its setting in the nearby beach town across the hill (Half Moon Bay, in the novel called Rosarita Bay). And the area from Davenport to Moss Beach to the coffee shops in HMB--as well as the coastal denizens--are depicted with detail and care. But I would have enjoyed Lee's novel even if it had been set in Timbuktu. It's primarily the tale of two Asian-American brothers, Lyndon and Woodrow Song, who couldn't be more unlike one another. Lyndon's a talented artist who's gone into seclusion as a brussel sprouts farmer. Woodrow's a former Wall Street player who'd been incarcerated and is now reincarnated as a wannabe Hollywood producer. Over the course of a long weekend the pair pursue conflicting goals while becoming involved in a series of activities and endeavors that include martial-arts divas, drug dealers, greedy developers, and environmental activists.

Lee's prose is lively and engaging. The novel is fast-paced, but the characters are well defined and the scenarios they stumble into wonderfully wrought. A few times, scenes stretch the limits of believability and head into the realm of over-the-top, but throughout Wrack and Ruin the reader will always remain entertained.

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