Although the title would suggest a classic road trip novel, Langer's debut is set in a few small blocks of Chicago between 1979 and 1981. The reviews for this 'coming of age' novel are overwhelmingly positive. Publishers Weekly compares Langer to Saul Bellow and Stuart Dybek, both Chicago writers; Booklist opines that he may have been aiming to write like Philip Roth but landed, instead beside David Sedaris; meanwhile, People magazine compares him, perhaps a little obviously, to Jonathan Franzen (and gives the book 4 stars); and the Chicago Tribune describes Crossing California as the most vivid novel about Chicago since Saul Bellow's Herzog, and the most ambitious debut since Philip Roth's Letting Go.
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No Man's Land
by Simon Tolkien
Inspired by the experiences of his grandfather, J. R. R. Tolkien, during World War I.
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