THE FURTHEST PALM by Rodger Jacobs
The Furthest Palm is an urban novel shaped as a series of disjointed short stories held together by tone, perception, and the single-named protagonist, Trace — a writer-for-hire whose work places him in constant contact with those who live under the "vaporous cloud of wretched hopelessness" that is at the core of the rotten L.A. promise.
Trace's adventures are mirrored by those of his own fictional alter ego, Dan Knight, a tough-talking, gun-toting P.I. who resolves every conflict, major and minor, with his own brand of bullet-riddled Social Darwinism. Hovering in the background of The Furthest Palm are the ghosts of Chester Himes, Sam Peckinpah, and F. Scott Fitzgerald. By the time we arrive at the shattering epilogue, Trace himself dissolves into his own mythology.
"I'm drawn to The Furthest Palm and the adventures of Trace as he wanders through L.A. phenomena, particularly the blown-up pigeon and his dilemma with dwarfs, as well as the Kafka-like episode with the cop, and, of course, Josephine, and all the details of L.A., the dinner and the film and scribbler encounters, the curse of survival."
author of Quake and Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid