Set in the blighted industrial landscape of the Los Angeles basin, Dreamland Court is an underground love story.
Just out of prison, Johnny Dalton returns home to find his wife Jackie, the mother of his two small children, passionately involved with one of his good friends.
Doing everything in his power to win her back, Johnny blunders his way through one criminal enterprise after another. When the cops pick him up for being the only adult present at a wild teenage party, he’s sent back to jail.
The strange thing is, as far as Jackie is concerned, Johnny’s maneuvers actually work.
Reminiscent of the pathos in Hubert Selby’s Last Exit to Brooklyn, and the comedy of John Synge’s The Playboy of the Western World, Dale Herd focuses his astute gaze on lives that are ordinarily invisible, while turning the conventional love story on its head.
“...and I like Dale Herd for prose.” Allen Ginsberg, Poetry Flash
“No one writes American better than Dale Herd. His writing is like some bastard offspring of a liaison between Charles Bukowski and Joan Didion—unflinching and streetwise as Bukowski, but with Joan Didion ’s unfailing clarity and intelligence.” Lewis MacAdams, Wet Magazine, a Journal of the Avant-Garde
“Herd has an acute sense of what people say as against what they mean. This creates the tension in the prose: that something emotionally unbearable is being spilled out into completely bearable talk.” Keith Abbott, on Wild Cherries, San Francisco Review of Books
“Known for his brilliant short prose pieces as published in the books, Early Morning Wind, Wild Cherries, Diamonds, and Empty Pockets, Dale Herd is a meticulous recorder of the language we move around in, and he possesses the skill and guts to take it all the way. His underground novel Dreamland Court is simply a masterpiece.” Kevin Opstedal, Blue Press Books