by author R PAGE KAUFMAN
Tropic of California: The Strains of Strauss” is a slowly unfolding satirical romp through Southern California with the definitive tragic character of the "new" 21st century, Alan Strauss. This twenty seven year-old, divorced ex-shoe salesman is a true life survivor, temporarily down on his luck, yet persistent as he is suddenly lifted up to a high executive position of a national seafood restaurant chain only, by a grand twist of fate, is painfully forced to learn about the importance of true friendship and the deeper meaning of the good life.

Tropic of California” takes an entertaining look at the human condition, which is carefully examined through a series of improbable twists and turns of the storyline, all leading to an ironic yet satisfying literary climax.

This optimistic book, written with good humor and insight, should attract all those sensitive to the social ills and festering dilemmas of our present and uncertain times.

The main character, through the means of lively dialogue and candid narration, stumbles and claws his way through interpersonal conflicts and basic life challenges common to today’s contemporary Southern California lifestyle.

Many controversial topics are touched upon, including money, corporate greed, work, love, family, narcissism, divorce, social alienation, personal realization, temporary failure, and ultimate success.

L.A.’s famed and colorful life in the fast lane is cleverly employed to amplify these intriguing topics, (something akin to Irish satirical writer J.P. Donleavy’s use of Dublin and New York City as a formidable geographical background for his own colorful characters). Yacht clubs, buses, restaurants, Dodger Stadium, L.A. beaches, and even a Southern California theme park, are only a few of the varied geographical settings used as a backdrop for Alan Strauss’ close encounters with Hollywood celebrities, a smug psychiatrist, baseball fans, angry family members, and other assorted L.A. eccentrics.

There are definite elements of comedy, satire, ethnicity, fantasy, and human tragedy, all playfully written specifically for the ultimate enjoyment of the reader. These elements echo the themes and writing styles of other writers such as Phillip Roth, Kurt Vonnegut, Woody Allen,  and S.J. Perelman.

After many trials and tribulations, Alan Strauss, triumphs and eventually sees the light in a classic HEA (happily-ever-after) ending.

R. Page Kaufman
Author of "Tropic of California" available now on Amazon.com
Author/Book webpage at http://www.rpagemedia.com/