Product Details

$27.00  $24.84
Rare Bird Books
Publish Date
6.1 X 1.3 X 9.0 inches | 1.25 pounds
BISAC Categories:

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About the Author

Chip Jacobs is an award-winning author and journalist. His books include the biography Strange As It Seems: the Impossible Life of Gordon Zahler; the environmental social histories The People's Republic of Chemicals and the international bestselling Smogtown: the Lung-Burning History of Pollution in Los Angeles; the dark-humor true crime caper The Ascension of Jerry; and the stories collection The Vicodin Thieves. He also has contributed pieces to anthologies, most recently for Los Angeles in the 1970s: "Weird Scenes Inside the Goldmine" about the attack on an idealist lawyer by a depraved cult. His reporting has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, L.A. Daily News, CNN, The New York Times, Bloomberg, and LA Weekly, among others.


Southern California Independent Booksellers Association bestseller

Vroman's No. 1 bestseller

"A beautiful ode to the fascinating city of Pasadena and to Southern California as a whole."

"A promising and ambitious effort..."
--Library Journal

"Jacobs' thoroughly researched debut novel excavates the buried history of Pasadena--a riveting and enjoyable look at how local myths are constructed, and a vivid depiction of a time and a place that felt full of possibilities"

"A completely original and genre-defying work--both historical novel and metaphysical noir... The author has caught the brass ring and given it to us as pure gold...the ending that pulls together all the elements of this ambitious novel is a satisfying tour de force"
--Tristine Rainer, author Apprenticed to Venus, My Years with AnaΓ―s Nin

"Arroyo is unrelentingly bizarre, perversely funny, and absurdly true--mostly. Pure jazz!"
--Ron Franscell, bestselling author of The Darkest Night

"Chip Jacobs combines the historical deep-dives of Erik Larson and Caleb Carr with the sweep and grandeur of E. L. Doctorow's best work, albeit with a sense of...whimsy...the result is sublime."
--David Kukoff, editor of the bestselling Los Angeles in the 1970s

"[An] amazing history...Jacobs is one of the best wordsmiths I know...guaranteed to bring you a lot of laughs, a few tears and a very real knowledge of Old Pasadena... A delightful read, highly recommended."

--Steve Hodel, bestselling author of Black Dahlia Avenger

"Edgy and satirical, yet rooted in fact, Arroyo is a fact-paced technicolor timepiece"
--Mike Consol, author of Hardwood

A CrimeReads 2019 most anticipated/best book


"(A) remarkably entertaining and informative chronicle of the birth and--so far--inexorable evolution of smog...This book is just amazing, a gripping story well told"
--Booklist (starred review and one of the top environmental books of the year)

"Style delivers substance in true Hollywood fashion, with character-driven plots draped in glamour and sensation... the history of smog has never been so sexy"
--Los Angeles Times

"(An) environmental page-turner..."

The People's Republic of Chemicals
"(The authors) do an outstanding job of showing the causes and effects of the interdependency between American consumers and Chinese manufacturers. The result is a well-rounded portrait."
--Foreword (five-star review and among best climate change solution books)

"The Smogtown authors return with a look at China's air pollution problem, and it is a doozy... The prose is sharp, vivid, and direct, leading readers through hard-hitting chapters ... a surprisingly enjoyable read."
--Booklist (starred review and one of the top sustainability books of the year)

Strange As It Seems
"Jacobs... is an exceptional storyteller, and his lively look at the extraordinary career of Gordon Zahler... is a peculiar page-turner. Zahler... achieved success on the margins of show business despite a spinal injury ... Jacobs ... craft(s) an imaginative biography about this unusual figure, who carved out a distinct place in post-WWII Hollywood."
--Publishers Weekly

"This amazing book is all heart... Chip Jacobs blends the skills of an investigative journalist, the glitz of Hollywood, and the smooth storytelling of fiction to weave a profile of his larger-than-life uncle that will leave you crying, laughing and gasping in wonder, often on the same page. Bravo!"
--Denise Hamilton, bestselling author of The Jasmine Trade

The Ascension of Jerry
"This is not just another Hollywood Whodunit. In the end we find it is really about one man's search and struggle to find his own personal truths and redemption. Well written and highly recommended."
--Steve Hodel, bestselling author of Black Dahlia Avenger

"A terrific book--I couldn't put it down."
--Stephen Jay Schwartz, bestselling author of Boulevard