When there were far fewer people around, far fewer laws and regulations, when the legal speed limit was 75 mph, when gas was cheap, when driving was a pleasure, if you owned a hot machine you could point the grill down an empty road and go!

Beyond the Pavement

Selected as one of the 100 books that best define the state of Oregon and its people by the Oregon Cultural Heritage Commission, "Beyond the Pavement" is an adult novel about hot rodding and changing times. Set in the Lents neighborhood of Portland, Oregon in the '50s, Drake weaves local landmarks and historical events into a book that is both literary, and evokes the pulp fictions of the past.

Mill Sederstrom steps into a time warp when he returns from college to the small house where he grew up. But the world has changed, and Mill learns that one can't go home again-- not easily, nor completely anyway. Family pressures mount as his parents urge him to find the Big Job. He meets his younger brother, Tonto, and his gang--the "pavement dancers," a lethal group.

A woman takes him to a roadhouse called "The Place," but it is not his place, the gangster who owns it tells him. The tension between brothers grows when Mill becomes involved with Tonto's girl friend. The uncomplicated life Mill had hoped for soon becomes complicated, and when serious trouble threatens he has no idea which of the several antagonists is responsible.

This book is part of the Lents Collection of fiction by Albert Drake.

Beyond the Pavement
168 pages, 7.9 x 5.2 x 0.6 inches, perfect-bound (October, 2011)
Stone Press; ISBN: 0-936892-25-0; $12.95

Also available as an e-book on Amazon.