Northern California's Emerald Triangle — the counties of Mendocino, Humboldt and Trinity — has become both famous and infamous as a center of outdoor marijuana cultivation over the past thirty years. Many residents grew pot gardens out in the far hills in wildcat locations as well as a few who boldly cultivated in their own yards. Poet and now novelist Bill Bradd worked in this outlaw culture for a while, observing its similarities with the Moonshine Era of Prohibition, another distinctly strange time in the country's history.
During the growth of this renegade phenomenon, an entire subculture emerged, eloquent folks alongside weird guys who kept gas cans strapped to the top of their trucks. Still, most of them tried to look ordinary while living outside the law. Bradd does not glorify this culture, instead creating an evocative document telling some of the inside story of a unique bunch of characters, honoring their lives and their places. His literary images are highly charged, creating an enthralling and contemplative book full of drudgery and aging, paranoia and passion, and occasional flashes of insight about humans and nature.
Bradd's book has drawn its share of acclaim. Paul Krassner of The Realist-fame touted it in an October 2010 High Times article. And poet Sharon Doubiago and writer/scholar Jonah Raskin showered Bradd's work with high praise. See their reviews below.