By popular demand, Californios 2 is Jeff McElroy's sequel to the IPPY Gold Medal-winning short-story collection, with its ragtag cast of characters exploring ocean, mountain, desert and concrete sprawl.
With surfing at its core, the stories collected in Californios reach beyond the ragged sun-bleached periphery of surf-culture, into the lives of shiftless coastal dwellers and migrant field workers. Jeff McElroy channels the Bob Dylan-esque drawl of the West Coast vernacular, creating a world far removed from beach blanket bingo.
Finally free to come up for air, I'm once again caught on something holding me under. I try to break free, but it's pulling me down. For what seems like the final time, the light slowly disappears as my body wrenches in attempted gasps for air. The freezing cold pours into my chest and I ache with it. No longer am I fighting for freedom. All I want is for the pain to stop.