Not since Thomas Pynchon's The Crying of Lot 49 has there been as unsettling a fictional journey into the Southern California state of mind as Michael Drinkard's Disobedience. It is a darkly funny and unhingingly brilliant multi-generational novel set in the orange groves of Redlands, California, one that shuttles effortlessly from the late nineteenth century to the day after tomorrow. In 1885 Eliza Tibbets and her civil engineer husband, Luther, are strenuously trying to conceive a child. In frustration she plants the first Washington Navel orange tree in Southern California: from that act (and a fortuitous encounter with President McKinley...) will spring a family dynasty in the Inland Empire. In the late 1980s Eliza's spacey great-granddaughter Mavy Tibbets, daughter of novelist Bernal Tibbets - the author of that savage mid-seventies cult classic Ripcord - derails Franklin Wells from his 58.9K career with Solvtex, corporate marauders of the information age. In the very near future Mavy and Fanklin's teenaged son Aaron, an MGM (Mentally Gifted Minor) is beset by every variety of post-modern adolescent angst from the sexual to the ethical. He decides that saving the last remaining orange grove from his dad's real estate depredations - including the original tree, now called the Tibbets - is the only way he can redeem a universe threatened at every turn by digital and ecological apocalypse. What happens across the crowded span of more than a century in Disobedience reveals the multifarious way in which the frontier mentality keeps reinventing itself in California. A sort of cocktail of Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse Five and a darker flavored Tom Robbins, this novel grabs you by theoranges and knows exactly how hard to squeeze. In Disobedience Michael Drinkard breaks all the rules to retool the American novel for the next millennium.