Ventura and Winnetka

Ventura and Winnetka
J.G. Bryan
August 2023
Young Adult Fiction
5 x 8

The author of Ventura and Zelzah follows up that critically acclaimed debut novel with Ventura and Winnetka, a stand-alone work that furthers the adventures of Douglas and his friends as they come of age in Southern California’s San Fernando Valley in the late 1970s.

As seniors in high school, the gang spends their final year before college practicing crazy car stunts, getting high, obsessing about girls, passionately listening to the great rock and roll of the ’60s and ’70s, arguing about the Dodgers and the Lakers, and partying at the prom in powder blue tuxedos.

From a West Hollywood porn theater to a punk rock club in Chinatown to the site of the Manson murders, the Valley boys also begin to spread their wings as they explore the city of Los Angeles, located “just over the hill” from where they live.

Like Ventura and Zelzah, the stand-alone Ventura and Winnetka is a funny, poignant, and nostalgic coming-of-age tale about the relationships of teenagers on the verge of adulthood. The re-creation of the Valley culture of the late 1970s is palpable and magical.

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