Gold Fame Citrus by Claire Vaye Watkins

Gold Fame Citrus

In a parched southern California of the near future, Luz, once the poster child for the country’s conservation movement, and Ray, an army deserter turned surfer, are squatting in a starlet’s abandoned mansion. Most “Mojavs,” prevented by armed vigilantes from freely crossing borders to lusher regions, have allowed themselves to be evacuated to encampments in the east. Holdouts like Ray and Luz subsist on rationed cola and water, and whate...

Details Gold Fame Citrus

TitleGold Fame Citrus
Release DateSep 29th, 2015
PublisherRiverhead Books
GenreFiction, Science Fiction, Dystopia

Reviews Gold Fame Citrus

  • Angela M
    This might sound odd , but this is a beautifully written novel about an ugly scenario. I was taken from the beginning by the exceptional writing. The descriptions made me thirsty and my skin felt dry and I could feel the gritty sand. I was taken from the beginning with Luz , who was a model before the devastation and the ambassador of sorts as a child for the conservation movement, and Ray , an AWOL soldier, and then with little Ig when she finds...
  • Elyse Walters
    "Nature had refused to offer herself to them. The water, the green, the mammalian, the tropical,the semitropical, the leafy, the verdant, the motherloving citrus, all of it was denied themand had been denied them so long that with each day, each project, it became more and moreimpossible to conceive of a time when it had not been denied them. The prospect ofMother Nature opening her legs and inviting Los Angeles back into her ripeness was, like t...
  • Melki
    Yikes! I really didn't like this book, which is a shame as unlike many of the reviewers here, I paid for it. In hardback. Damn! I feel like such a sucker.The plot is basically this - a vapid couple roams the barren wasteland that used to be southern California. Then a child changes everything (as all parents learn) and sets them on the run for a better, safer life elsewhere. Sounds intriguing, right? I plunked down my monies based on that descrip...
  • Diane S ☔
    The American Southwest has completely run out of water. The new ocean covering vast areas is now made of sand, mountains are sandstone, and Californians who once came for fame, gold or citrus are now called Mohaves. Many moving Eastward are taken to relocation camps, but not all leave. Luz, once known as baby Dunn, a poster child form failed conservation movement is one. She meets Ray and for a while they live in an abandoned stars mansion, until...
  • Cat
    Okay, so I have to admit that I really didn't like this book. I wanted to like it, and I liked tiny bits of it (its phantasmagorical menagerie of desert beasts in the middle, its Nabokovian catalog of fake reality shows, its chapter about the mole man who stirs creamer into his coffee with his claws). I also liked its deep recognition that parenting represents staking a claim in the future, struggling with the necessities of the present (diapers!...
  • Katie
    They say the past always repeats itself and this was like a hallucinogenic history of California (hence the title) reorganised to take place in a dystopian future when climate change has done its worst and its stopped raining in California. Most of its inhabitants have been evacuated east. Luz and Ray, like many other social misfits, have stayed on. Luz is a damaged former child star; her partner Ray is an equally damaged war veteran on the run f...
  • Dianne
    Ominous, foreboding book about a not-so-distant future where the west has become a drought-blasted wasteland of glittering, shifting sand dunes that swallow everything in their path. Most of Arizona, California and Nevada have been evacuated north and east, but pockets of people remain, eking out an existence and subsisting on rationed cola, crackers and black-market produce. Ray and Luz are squatters in a starlet's abandoned Los Angeles mansion....
  • Julie Christine
    I fear the vast dimensions of eternity. Ciaran Carson, "Fear" 1948In Claire Vaye Watkins's searing debut novel, Gold Fame Citrus, fear is vast. It is blistering hot, white, shifting, a thing massive and predatory, greedy and indiscriminate. It is the desert, one we have created by draining the West of its water, by changing the climate, forcing Nature to turn her back, jealously guarding her Rain. Fear has a name. It is the Amargosa Dune Sea. Se...
  • Nadine Jones
    This was a really distasteful book.Everyone in this book is damaged. But they are not strong and damaged, they are not healing from damage, they are not fighting their ways back into life. They are destructive, seeking to damage more. They damage themselves, they damage each other. There is nothing meaningful here, nothing uplifting, nothing to learn. it goes nowhere. It's just grimy.Maybe I'm just not smart enough to get it.And the writing? The ...
  • Connie G
    Gold, fame, and citrus were the enticements that drew people across the country to California. But the state of California in this dystopian novel is experiencing extreme drought and high winds, resulting in a reverse of the migration in "The Grapes of Wrath". Some states have closed their borders, and the last of the evacuation buses have left for the east. The few holdouts in the parched area survive on "ration cola", black market provisions, a...
  • Ron Charles
    Theres no denying that the climate of literary fiction has changed to reflect the new environmental reality. Some of the finest writers T.C. Boyle, Barbara Kingsolver, Lydia Millet and others have dramatized our eras challenge in stories that are both global and intimate. Now add to their work Claire Vaye Watkinss searing debut novel about the barren world that awaits us.Gold Fame Citrus opens in Los Angeles at a moment not too far off when the...
  • Nora Grenfell
    Gold Fame Citrus had every hallmark of my kind of book -- social commentary on climate change, a flawed female protagonist, experimental narrative style -- but I was never able to get into it. I've never needed a linear plot, but the jumping around from group of characters to found documents, from third person to first person plural narrator, it all ended up removing me from the novel. It felt at times too broad in its scope and at times too narr...
  • Rebecca
    (Nearly 4.5) Gold, fame, citrus: reasons people once came to California. Now, only a desperate remnant remains in this waterless wasteland. Luz and Ray squat in a starlets abandoned mansion and live off of Luzs modeling money she was once the environmental movements poster child, Baby Dunn. When they take charge of a baby called Ig, however, their priorities change. They set off for the strangely beautiful sea of dunes, the Amargosa, leaving beh...
  • Jill
    In a haunting vision of the near future, inexorable draught and desert sands have laid waste to the mystical southwestern desert and the once shining beacon of California that at one time held a promise of gold, fame and citrus to dreamers. Those who are still alive there survive on cola rations and black market fruit.Ensconced in this dismal setting are two rays of light: Luz (the Spanish translation of light. Luz was light, she was light-headed...
  • Viv JM
    3.5 starsGold Fame Citrus is an interesting take on the post-apocalyptic genre. It is set in a near-future parched Californian landscape. The author does a great job of evoking the heat and dryness of the setting, and the characters are both flawed and interesting. I enjoyed the first third and the last third of the book, but felt that it floundered a bit in the middle. Sometimes the writing came across to me as not so much creative and literary ...
  • switterbug (Betsey)
    At the start of this superb novel, it is clear that water depletion in the Southwest United States has been ongoing for at least a generation, although now it is dire, and the danger is not just the waterless environment anymore. Borders are controlled, and the government restricts the Central Valley citizens (called Mojavs) by corralling them in internment camps. Factions, cults, and fugitives splinter off from the mainstream huddles and try to ...
  • Imi
    I don't think I would have finished this if I hadn't been given a review copy, and if I'm being completely honest, I pretty much skim read most of it after the half way point. The premise sounded fascinating, set in a post-apocalyptic near future America, hit by droughts and climate change. I was completely taken in by the synopsis, and so was hoping for something similar to Margaret Atwood's speculative science fiction series, MaddAddam. Sadly, ...
  • Jennifer (aka EM)
    I'm giving this a solid four, although while reading it I was three-ish. In many places it was superb - the beautiful, poetic language; the originality of the premise and plot (hard to do in post-apocalyptica, and I didn't really get there until well into the second hundred pages); the interludes in which Watkins interjected new, self-contained pieces of writing - I don't know what you call that - the expositional beginning of part II; Levi's pri...
  • Matt
    The only place to start talking about Gold Fame Citrus is the writing. Claire Vaye Watkins is a force of nature...or something altogether outside of nature. She wields words like Yoda wields The Force. Her writing is fire: it illuminates, it warms, it mesmerizes and it burns. Sometimes it seems like she's twirling it around on the ends of a pole just to show off.Gold Fame Citrus is dazzling. It's harrowing in it's all-too-plausible nightmare scen...
  • Brittany (UnderTheRadarBooks)
    3 stars I had very high hopes for this book. I had heard great things about it and the concept was so promising but it did not even come close to delivering. In the beginning, I was excited. It reminded me of Station Eleven in that the world was dystopian but the focus was on the people instead of the disaster itself. I soon learned it was nothing like Station Eleven and that is when the downhill slope began. This story follows a couple trying to...
  • Jessica Jeffers
    This book showed up on some sort of Most Anticipated list, and I decided to look it up based solely on the fact that its cover kinda, sorta looked a bit like Fates and Furies. The story -- about a couple surviving in a California thats largely been abandoned due to drought -- wasnt really my thing, but it was earning comparisons to Station Eleven -- which I adored even though it didnt seem like it would be my thing -- so I decided to make like a ...
  • Taryn
    Even after several days of reflection, I don't know what I think about this book. And that really burns my brisket because I expected to unequivocally love it. I had all but papered my bathroom walls with that gorgeous cover art. Claire Vaye Watkins is one of those golden young writers who seems to be universally adored. How could I not love her debut novel, set in a futuristic, drought-blighted California? Literary dystopian fiction has been an ...
  • Michelle Morrell
    "Gold Fame Citrus" takes place in a California devoid of water, where a sea of sand has grown to overtake the entire center of the southwest, and the only people remaining are those too stubborn, damaged or poor to leave. Following Luz, faded model, her "husband" and the baby they find along the way, it travels from the shattered remains of the coastal cities into the deep desert.Gold, fame, and citrus, the three things that used to bring people ...
  • Catie
    I tried so hard to give this book a chance, but it did absolutely nothing for me, except give me a headache with the constant lists and repetitions. It seemed the author needed to fill up pages so lists of random people, checklists, applications, animals and made up tv shows and characters etc., were used to complete the word count requirement. I have never rated a book so low, but in this case, I don't even feel comfortable giving it a one star ...
  • Peter Boyle
    Gold, fame, citrus - these are some of the rewards which have attracted people to California in the past. But they're all gone now. The Golden State, along with much of the rest of USA, has become an inhospitable, arid landscape due to the scorching sun and a severe drought. An enormous, creeping sand dune dubbed the Amargosa Sea stretches across the American Midwest. Most of the natives have been relocated by the government but a few hardy souls...