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Book Review - Going Under by Gregory Doll

Going Under by Gregory Doll

I just finished the novel, Going Under by Gregory Doll, a psychological thriller of sorts which also considers some of life’s greater truths about love, ambition, and our unresolved personal traumas. The story, a love triangle, entangles and unravels the lives of Alan, Angela, and the protagonist, James Whitmore - an otherwise seemingly sensible and thoughtful UCLA student in his final semester before graduation. I will greatly miss being inside the head of James Whitmore, as well as the banter with best friend Mike Biancia.

The dialogue was entertaining, the story swiftly moving, and the narration deep, thoughtful, and frequently pondering Nietzsche. Set in Greater Los Angeles, it’s a pleasure bouncing around the city as the tale progresses. It’s a story about how humans get caught up in our delusions, how we can get lost in our perspectives, and the atrocities we can create or commit on scales grand and small.

I discovered this book (published in 2001) when looking up my neighbor who was helping me with some legal questions, as I saw it mentioned as a footnote in a biography about his career as an attorney. I had to go out of my way to buy an old copy on the used book market, but the read was worth the search. This is an entertaining and thought-provoking book, a quick and interesting read.


Woodrow Pack Landfair is an adventurer, author, entrepreneur, and the Adventure Correspondent for HighTides Journal. He is the author of the semi-autobiographical novel Land Of The Free (Harbinger Book Group, 2014), about an indefinite 48 state motorcycle journey he began in 2006, and about the personal challenges fought years afterward while pursuing a life of artistic and professional freedom on the road. Three years after the book's publication, in 2017, Pack purchased El Porto Surf Shop and moved to El Porto, California to surf and write every day. Pack is a graduate of the University of Texas where he studied English Literature on full academic scholarship from the United States Navy ROTC, and was the only walk-on member of the 2005 College World Series Champion Texas Longhorn baseball team - among several soon-to-be major leaguers. At Texas, Pack earned Midshipman of the Month, Student-Athlete of the Month, Big 12 Commissioner's Honor Roll, served on the Student-Athlete Advisory Council, made three trips to the College World Series, and was twice voted Teammate Of The Year by his teammates. Pack is currently pursuing a personal goal to surf every coastal nation on planet Earth - as a means of seeing the world, learning different philosophies, and making friends across the globe. The first 19 countries of that journey are the subject of Pack's next book Here To Surf Vol. 1 in bookstores December 2024.


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