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LIVE EVENT: J.D. O'Brien and Jim Ruland

J.D. O'Brien discusses

Zig Zag 

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Jim Ruland discusses

Make it Stop

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J.D. O'Brien. Zig Zag (Schaffner Press, $26.99).

“A stoned odyssey across the dive bars, neon-lit motels, and lost highways of the American West.”


Capri Dall has a foolproof plan to knock over the marijuana dispensary where she works. But when her boyfriend botches the heist, the two of them end up in a stolen car with a trunkful of rare high-end weed—and an unhinged security guard on their trail.


Harry Robatore is a burned-out rhinestone cowboy, barely scraping by as a bail bondsman. Agreeing to help out an old pal, and settle his bar tab, he sets out to track down the lovers on the run. The chase begins in the San Fernando Valley and leads him deep into the heart of the Mojave Desert—building to an explosive showdown at a ghost town tourist trap.


Zig Zag is equal parts Elmore Leonard and Charles Portis—with Larry McMurtry’s cowboy hat along for the ride.


J.D. O’Brien was educated by nuns and holds a degree from the Jack Dempsey Bartending School in New York City. He edited the comedy zine Flop Sweat and his writing has appeared in Arthur Magazine, Dazed and Confused, McSweeney’s, and elsewhere. His essay on Chevy Chase was anthologized in The Lowbrow Reader Reader, published by Drag City Books. He has worked as a bartender, cold caller, dishwasher, and Strand Bookstore employee. After stints in New York City, Los Angeles, and Portland, Oregon, he returned to his home of western Massachusetts. He has a dog named Lefty


Jim Ruland. Make it Stop (Rare Bird Books, $20.00). 

A speculative tale of dysfunctional vigilantes, sex-crazed junkies, and corporate healthcare run amok from best-selling chronicler of LA punk Jim Ruland. 


Scores of detox and rehab centers across Southern California have adopted a controversial new conditional release policy that forces patients to stay until they pay their bills. And if they can’t pay? They don’t leave.


Enter: Make It Stop, a group of highly skilled recovering addicts dedicated to rescuing those trapped in these prison hospitals by posing as patients and getting them out by any means necessary. But when Scary Gary, one of their top ops, gets killed on assignment, Melanie Marsh and her crew set out to avenge his death and unravel an unthinkable medical conspiracy that threatens to destroy the organization and cripple the city with a dangerous new drug. Melanie may be LA’s best hope but if, and only if, she can stay sober.


From decrepit rehab wards to beachside punk clubs, Make It Stop takes readers into LA’s darkest corners, exploring sobriety, sanity,  and a society hell-bent on profiting off those who need its help the most.


Jim Ruland is the author of the LA Times bestseller Corporate Rock Sucks: The Rise & Fall of SST Records, the award-winning novel Forest of Fortune and the short story collection Big Lonesome. He is the  co-author of Do What You Want with Bad Religion, My Damage with Keith Morris, founding member of Black Flag, Circle Jerks and OFF!, and Giving the Finger with Scott Campbell, Jr. of Discovery Channel’s Deadliest Catch.


Jim writes about punk and pop culture for Razorcake — America’s only non-profit independent music zine. He also writes book reviews and author profiles for the Los Angeles Times and the Los Angeles Review of Books. Jim’s work has appeared in numerous publications, including The Believer, Electric Literature, Esquire, Granta, and Oxford American, and has received awards from Reader’s Digest and the National Endowment for the Arts.


Jim is a veteran of the U.S. Navy and has worked for advertising agencies, entertainment enterprises, and the gaming industry. He is available for copywriting, ghostwriting, editing, and consultation. He lives in Southern California and is an avid enthusiast of punk rock music, tattoo culture, and strong coffee.



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May 03
7:00pm - 8:00pm
The Poisoned Pen Bookstore
4014 N Goldwater Blvd
Scottsdale, AZ United States