Cover image for L. A. breakdown
L. A. breakdown
Mathews, Lou.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Worcestershire, England : Malvern Publishing Co. ; Redondo Beach, Calif. : Distributed by the British Book Co., [1999]

Physical Description:
251 pages ; 24 cm
Format :


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X Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

America's love affair with the automobile is evocatively rendered in this snappy tale of L.A.'s outlaw street-racing scene, circa 1967. Powerful, souped-up Fords and Chevvies battle for supremacy in a subculture of strangely innocent delinquents whose era is soon to disappear as the Vietnam war looms. Fat Charlie La Monda's car isn't quite fast enough to put him among the elite racers, but he makes himself useful as a starter and a race organizer just to be a part of the action. Since high school, he has worked at a gas station and centered his life around the races and the drive-ins where they are celebrated. His quick-witted almost-girlfriend Connie is chronically drawn to the mean and dangerous guys in the crowd. Among them, Vaca, a bitter paraplegic, has invested his hefty injury settlement into building the fastest and sharpest Ford on the streetsÄin which he rides shotgun with his talented driver Brody. Irksomely, for Vaca, hard luck divorc‚ Reinhard has built a Chevy that may be just a bit faster. The matter is to be settled in a white-knuckled race with large sums of cashÄand, as it turns out, their livesÄin the balance. Mathews brings this world to life in vivid detail, capturing, with a benign, nostalgic edge, the bittersweet twilight of a subculture. Along with its humor and drama, a whiff of foreboding permeates the narrative as most of the blue-collar drifter boys segue from their hot-rod races, drunken parties and stints in jail into their deployment to fight in Vietnam. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved