"What a gem! From the first sentence, I couldn't put this book down and after lingering over the last sentence, I can't stop thinking about it. Everything about Children of the Canyon is unique, from the voice to the storyline to the surprising twists, turns, and observations. The amazing thing about Children of the Canyon is the way it can be laugh-out-loud funny one minute, and bring tears to your eyes the nextall the while illuminating truths about life that we all perceive but may not be able to so gracefully and astutely articulate.
As a native Californian growing up in the '70s and '80s, I particularly related to the pitch-perfect evocation of the era, but I've recommended the book to several friends from various parts of the country who fell as deeply in love with this story as I did. I can't wait to read this author's next bookwhat a powerful, entertaining, and thought-provoking debut."
Lori Gottlieb, author of Marry Him: The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough
"A visionary, kaleidoscopic reverie about America in the 1970s, seen through the prism of an innocent mind and pure spirit. The trajectory of the narrator's life puts him on a collision course with many of the seminal events of the epoch as they unfolded in the narcissistic counterculture of Lauren Canyon. If you lived through these years, you are liable to feel deep pangs of nostalgia, tap into buried reservoirs of pain or bliss, and have dead memories shaken into new life. Don't let its ingratiating surface fool you, this book's depths are treacherous and formidable. A debut novel you won't soon forget."
Allison Burnett, Author of Undiscovered Gyrl and screenwriter of Autumn In New York and Feast Of Love
"The music scene in Laurel Canyon in the '60s and '70s has been the subject of many books and drugged out tales. But nowhere have I seen the era and story told from the perspective of the children who were lucky/unlucky enough to be raised in this crazed environment. Until now. Mr. Kukoff has written an eye-opening novel filled with heart, humor, and insight. Pull up a chair, put on a Joni Mitchell album and enjoy this little treasure."
Ken Levine, Emmy Award-winning writer/producer of Cheers and TIME Magazine award-winning blogger
"With Children of the Canyon, David Kukoff captures the true essence of a unique, unforgettable era (Laurel Canyon in the '60s/70s), while also telling a human tale of love and understanding of the self. The story passed on is the journey of an entire generation observed through the eyes of a kid growing up in years of excess, revolution and hope, but also of vulnerable idealism and confusion. A beautiful read! Highly recommended!" Alice Carbone, host of Coffee with Alice
"From the first chapter through to the last, Children of the Canyon held me spellbound. Not since The Catcher in the Rye has a coming of age book struck such a resonating chord.. David Kukoff writes in rich and concise prose. His deft use of language is a thing of wonder. I read the book in one sitting. It’s relatable, magical and moving. The themes of love, loss, the fragility of childhood, and the transition from the wonder years into adulthood will reverberate and linger long after the final page. Children of the Canyon is a book you will come back to again and again. It has all the markings of becoming a literary classic." Tosha Michelle, Host of La Literati podcast
"From the first sentence to damn near the last paragraph, this book reverberated with the punch, dystopic fairy dust and style of Brett Easton Ellis' classic Less Than Zero. He riffs off freeways. Kukoff pivots off circles. Interestingly, his coming-of-age story of a child of progressive parents in some aspects isn't really a coming-of-age narrative at all. It's an exquisitely rendered denunciation of "elders" who disguise their utter selfishness and ambition behind a liberal mask, willing to allow anyone into their home, mad, gun-packing, etc., and more than willing to abandon a young boy in the quest to find themselves. All they discover, though, is the hole their neglect burrowed. It's heartbreaking when a boy at 6 realizes his family structure is toast, and it's both exhilarating and disenchanting to follow him through a decade of disenchantment in our beloved canyon (one flowing with coke, pot, violent radicals and crazy rock legends still able to locate the human inside of him) as he pretty much must raise himself. He's the lord of his own ring. COTC is relatable, funny, tragic and page-turning. As a fellow writer, I adored and re-read the tapestry of wonderfully crafted, simply presented sentences that lurk above one's head well after the last page is flipped. I'd recommend this book not only to buds of the 70s generation but aspiring parents with pre-fab talents to justify their selfishness. B.E. Ellis may have met his match. A fantastic, deceptively complex and entertaining piece of fiction! So much for the good, ol' daysthat's a dream factory spin that Kukoff debunked." Chip Jacobs, author of The Vicodin Thieves, The Ascension of Jerry, and Smogtown
"I grew up in the Canyon. I looked forward to this book as a revisit to those heady times. What I received was so much more. While the story really revolves around a young boy's coming of age in the turbulent times that were Vietnam themed, the references to the Canyon (albeit too brief in my opinion) were very well placed and had an allure that comes from a curiosity about those times. A struggle between two worlds, the pacifist peace lover father and the war mongering developer stepfather. A challenge for anyone, let alone a young boy struggling with an understanding of faith (Judaism) and all the baggage that comes along with it. I savored this book for weeks, as I carried it everywhere with me in hopes of having some brief moments to continue my journey." Grammy-winning producer Kerry Gogan
"David Kukoff's CHILDREN OF THE CANYON is more than a coming-of-age novel; the author juxtaposes the maturation of his protagonist, David, alongside a city that is evolving at a rate -- and with a complexity-- greater than the adults in the book can process. But as central as Los Angeles (more specifically, its fabled Laurel Canyon neighborhood) is to the story, I would also hesitate to label CHILDREN OF THE CANYON a book of the West; it's a universal, and all too relatable tale of family boundaries, failing ideals, and the end of a counterculture done in by its own excesses and inability to gauge the shifting cultural landscape." Dan Rosen, founder of BookReels.com