South of the Pumphouse

South of the Pumphouse
Publishing House: Akashic Books
Rated: NONE
WorkNameSort: South of the Pumphouse
It's a lovely California day in 1995, and two mild-mannered brothers are embarking on their first El Sobrante fishing trip together in years: Ed, who escaped to progressive Berkeley, higher education and middle-class fatherhood; and Earl, who settled snugly into both this dead-end, blue-collar burg they grew up in and a manageable meth addiction. They're joined by happily misogynist Donny ' Earl's best friend and Ed's longtime antagonist ' and prior to setting sail, Earl and Donny get blasted on crank while Ed gobbles a handful of shrooms. Primus frontman/bassist Claypool's first novel reads like an ace Quentin Tarantino screenplay; permeating all the childhood flashbacks, prolonged cultural arguments, profane small talk, hallucinations, conspiracy theorizing and fishing lore/minutiae is a hollow dread, the sense that some horror will befall someone before long. It strikes suddenly and bloodily, and when it does, Claypool's authorial shortcomings ' excess exposition and wordiness, a sometimes awkward narrative flow ' are forgiven in a flash.


We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Orlando Weekly. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Orlando Weekly, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Orlando Weekly works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Central Florida.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Orlando’s true free press free.