cover image Cruising State: Growing Up in Southern California

Cruising State: Growing Up in Southern California

Christopher Buckley. University of Nevada Press, $24.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-87417-247-8

In these 18 delightfully fresh essays, reprinted from such journals as the Cimarron Review and Denver Quarterly, California poet Buckley (Blue Autumn) recollects the ``cheap grace of youth''-in his case, the youth of a poet. He recaptures growing up in the '50s, '60s and '70s in the woodsy suburbs of Santa Barbara, discovering the ``speed, light, air and water'' of surfing, ``no hands'' bike racing and cruising in his '59 Chevy. In the midst of schooling and stockboy jobs, as a young man Buckley also showed a poetic bent, and later he taught creative writing. The essays end in praise of surfing, which for Buckley represents the good life-before the Vietnam War began, before crowded malls took root and heavy metal got its start. (Oct.)