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Alvarado, by John W. Horton III

Sometimes the thing you want so much is the thing that takes you away from yourself. Sometimes you want someone so bad that it devours you. In Alvarado, Bernal Devereaux is inside a giant fish like Jonah in the Biblical tale, struggling with issues of, race, love, class and art.

Bernal, once fired from his university newspaper after winning a prestigious college journalism prize, is an aspiring African-American writer surviving in the West Lake area of downtown Los Angeles before 9/11. His volatile relationship with his Japanese girlfriend Iko has ended, and Bernal sets off in trying to find himself.

Binging on magic mushrooms he becomes the Steppenwolf in order to overcome his heartache while having wild adventures with his friend Jober who doesn’t seem to care about anything except pornography and getting high.

In his anguish over losing Iko he loses touch with reality by trying to remember when he first felt love. Maybe if he can savor that moment now, he can free himself from the nightmares that begin to interrupt his sleep. The Steppenwolf having been unleashed propels Bernal further towards his passions and delusions of love, seductive women, and desire.

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