California Fever

A Novel

Narrated by Grover Gardner
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Pub Date 02 Aug 2022 | Archive Date 23 Aug 2022

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Description

“[A] laid-back, well-paced caper novel...This skillful farce is a perfect beach read for Surf Dawgs and fans of P.G. Wodehouse alike.”

-Publishers Weekly


SoCal surfer Dolphin Smoote just wanted to earn quick dough for a date with the brown-eyed beauty … what he got was G-men (and G-women), ghosts, and a Colt 45.


John Jacobson’s California Fever is the compelling fusion of mystery, crime, and Southern California beach charm. Top surfer Dolphin Smoote gets more than he bargains for when he works up the nerve to ask out the brown-eyed beauty on a date. The search of quick coin without having to work will always lead a surfer to precarious places, and Dolphin is no exception. With the help of his lovable surfer crew who often have more to say about stylishness than anything else, Dolphin finds himself between conmen, ghosts, an impending storm from the coast of Mexico … and still no money for a second date. Along the ride, Dolphin finds in himself capacity for storytelling that would make P. G. Wodehouse himself chortle with laughter.


From the author of All the Cowboys Ain’t Gone comes this thrilling tale where a crime-novel writer becomes caught up in crimes, and an aspiring writer tries to outrun the crime in her bloodline—what could go wrong? Jacobson immerses the reader in the world of California’s casual-radical surf culture, where radical stunts executed with the most casual air is a practiced form of art. In this world, rival surf clans goad each other on, upping the ante on stunts until mayhem looms. It looks like the storm brewing off the coast of Southern California just might disturb the tranquility of the beach.

“[A] laid-back, well-paced caper novel...This skillful farce is a perfect beach read for Surf Dawgs and fans of P.G. Wodehouse alike.”

-Publishers Weekly


SoCal surfer Dolphin Smoote just wanted to...


Advance Praise

“Channeling the idiosyncratically whimsical voice of Tom Robbins and marrying it with the SoCal surf scene, John J. Jacobson ‘s California Fever is a perfectly formed overhead Rincon barrel groomed by an offshore zephyr. Alternately funny, wacky, and mordantly satiric, Jacobson’s charming follow-up to his critically acclaimed All the Cowboys Ain’t Gone goofy-foots its way into a mischievously madcap plot headlined by a guileless main character—thigh-deep in a miasmic subculture of sun-worshipping surfer clapperheads—hell-bent on personal salvation and the love of a woman, but unwittingly vectored for self-destruction. Evoking fond memories of the inscrutably plotted The Big Lebowski, I devoured this coruscating gem in one night in a veritable blur of pages. Move aside, Kem Nunn. Or, as the surfing world’s GOAT Kelly Slater might holler, ‘Cowabunga!’”

-Rex Pickett, author of Sideways and The Archivist


“A humorous, light mashup of surfer culture, mystery, and quirky characters.”

-Rick Bleiweiss, author of Pignon Scorbion & the Barbershop Detectives

“Channeling the idiosyncratically whimsical voice of Tom Robbins and marrying it with the SoCal surf scene, John J. Jacobson ‘s California Fever is a perfectly formed overhead Rincon barrel groomed...


Available Editions

EDITION Audiobook, Unabridged
ISBN 9781982600235
PRICE $16.95 (USD)
DURATION 5 Hours, 50 Minutes

Available on NetGalley

NetGalley Shelf App (AUDIO)

Average rating from 12 members


Featured Reviews

This was a fun departure from what I have been listening to. Dolphin Smoote is a surfer and the last thing he wants to do is get a real job. His aunt is a big time crime author who owns a mansion on the beach in California and her publisher needs her in New York. She will not travel by plane and being she is so eccentric this is not unusual. Leaving her home in Dolphin's care is, though. He and his surfer dudes come up with a plan to rent out rooms and turn the house into a B and B while she is gone. What they do not expect is to be inhabited by thieves and the FBI. Mayhem and ghost stories and rival surfer dudes abound. Such fun!

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Dolphins Smoote is a surfer who asks a beautiful woman on a date. The problem is that he has no money. To try to resolve this predicament, he wants to make some easy money. Now, his life goes haywire and trouble starts. Along the way he meets a variety of different characters and a ghost. A crime story with a mystery all bundled together to make an entertaining story. A story about a man who tries to outrun all the obstacles that are thrown at him. I listened to the audiobook version of this story.

Disclaimer: Thank you to NetGalley and Blackstone Publishing for this Audiobook, I received review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.

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Thanks to NetGalley for the audiobook ARC.

California Fever is a delightful farce. In this relatively short novel, the author is able to create memorable and well-developed characters with interesting personalities and experiences. I would highly recommend to anyone who enjoys humorous and absurdist fiction.

The narration is masterfully performed by Grover Gardner, a top-notch narrator, and one of my personal favorites. He does an excellent job of bringing the characters to life. Fantastic!

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This was a fun, entertaining California romp. Honestly, I wanted something different from it, but that's on me, not the author. I could see it like a movie playing out, which was fun. And that cover really dragged me in. Such a vibe!

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