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Thursday, March 24, 2022

Book review: 'Street Legal' by Rafi Zabor

By Eric Wagner
Special guest blogger

 I just finished Rafi Zabor’s new novel, and I recommended it unreservedly. Taking place on the West Coast during 2012 as the marijuana trade prepares to become legal, this exciting novel takes some interesting characters through some twists and turns. It has nice musical and spiritual touches as the very believable people in the book struggle to find their place in a deadly world.

I really enjoyed Rafi’s earlier two books The Bear Comes Home and I, Wabenzi, and reading this book makes me want to reread them. It also makes me want to reread Thomas Pynchon’s Vineland. In some ways Street Legal seems like a not too distant cousin of that novel also largely set in Northern California. I suspect those like myself who love Vineland will love Street Legal, but I suspect that those who have reservations about that unusual Pynchon novel will find Street Legal more to their liking. Zabor’s writing seems more spiritually grounded, and the silly stoner humor here belongs to the characters and not to the narrative voice.

In any event, I hope you will check out this terrific crime novel. I suspect you will thank me later. The novel has interesting discussions of pregnancy, parenthood, murder, guard dogs, chamber music, very large mobile homes and love, among many other topics. 


Eric Wagner said...

Thank you for sharing this. I loved the book.

Oz Fritz said...

I look forward to reading this new novel. I’m also a fan of Zabor’s earlier books.