Beauty and terror collide in Doug Lawson’s Bigfoots in Paradise, a wild new collection of stories set largely in and around Santa Cruz, California and the surrounding mountains. It’s a land tucked between Silicon Valley and the Pacific Ocean, one that’s populated by aging hippies and venture capitalist sharks, pot farmers and surfers, child prodigies and roaming herds of wild boar. Earthquakes rumble, meth labs explode, helicopters search overhead for drug farms while wildfires ravage the hillsides. Blimps crash, mushrooms dream, dogfights erupt, trustafarians pontificate while pneumatic ostriches walk the streets and sons and fathers and lovers try desperately to find some way to connect with the past, with themselves, before it’s too late.
Doug’s prize-winning prose is as nimble and touching as it is lyric, and he plunges headlong into this astonishing country at a fine-tuned, white-knuckled pace that will leave you both gasping for breath and holding your heart in your hands. His characters are awkward, ungainly, and great at hiding and they shamble through the beautiful wilderness of their lives, searching for meaning, searching for themselves.