Reviews

Saugus to the Sea

Patty Osborne

In Saugus to the Sea by Bill Brown (Smart Cookie Publishing), the narrator thinks about many things: underground irrigation systems, fire roads, the white plastic reflectors between freeway lanes, the sparkles embedded in the pavement of Hollywood Boulevard, and the Earthquake Hotline. Our hero spends most of the book driving, but he is phobic about freeways so he leads us around L.A. and its suburbs using what he calls “surface roads”; on the way we get a picture of a real city, not the one we keep seeing on TV. There are moments of great writing here, but the editing could have been more thorough, and I must protest the contraction of the phrase “a couple of,” to “a couple.” A couple little kids, a couple seats, a couple thousand years, all within a couple paragraphs. I tried to be a modern reader but this was more than I could bear.

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