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A novel about love, lust, indie rock, and Los Angeles

Set in Los Angeles in the early 1990s, John Andrew Fredrick’s debut novel chronicles the formative months of an indie band as they meet, practice, make their first recordings, and get their first big break. It’s also the story of the flowering love affair between John and Jenny, the band’s charming but, shall we say, troubled guitarists and singers. By day, John is a misanthropic substitute teacher in the crazy, sometimes horrifying world that is the LA Unified School District; Jenny is an enigmatic recovering child prodigy. Along the way, the couple and their bandmates make all kinds of discoveries about themselves and the Hollywood milieu in which they’re struggling to succeed—a world full of narcissistic actors, wannabe screenwriters, pretentious musicians, weirdo fans, crazy neighbors, and an emu called Heidi.

“Filled with vivid descriptions of the Los Angeles music scene of the time, as well as some intriguing characters . . . A highly engaging first novel.—Seattle Post-Intelligencer

 “It’s impossible not to read the story as autobiographical, even if you don’t know Fredrick’s history . . . It’s impressive [he] writes so candidly about his alter ego’s bad decisions and self-absorption, and his eye for detail lends a real sense of you-are-there to John’s POV. The prose sometimes wanders farther afield, but it’s all to a purpose: John buries his dismay at the pain he’s caused behind a wall of snarky commentary—Austin Chronicle

“A sweet, sharp take on music, love, and Los Angeles. Witty, quirky, and painfully funny.”—Meg Gardiner