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July 22 , 2008

The Calpocalypse

An Allegory in Verse


Maurice Gandy creates a looping, feverish narrative in this collection of riveting rhyme about sun, sand, and the search for the perfect wave. The Calpocalypse describes the wanderings of a group of itinerant California surfers on the beaches of San Francisco and Mexico in the 1960s. A far cry from Funicello and Avalon, characters like Macho Peaches, The Duke of Tan, and Coyote Conquistador introduce us to the real psycho-spiritual world of the surfers' esoteric lifestyle.

The action begins when a riot on the beach triggers an escape to the "Ultimate Toolies" in the mountains. An unfortunate encounter with a mountain cat causes another sudden flight, this time to Mexico where even the unwritten laws of the surfing gods don't apply. Things get wilder when a few of the surfers join the religious cult of the Reverend Cosmo Tease, while others are challenged to daring feats at the mysterious San Andreas Fault.

In a climactic finale, we learn who defied the limits, who bailed, and who got axed. Whatever happens to them, each one of Gandy's funny, engrossing characters is altered forever-as is the reader-by the experience of The Calpocalypse.

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