ABOUT NORTH COAST VIDEO
Set in the heart of Chicago circa 2007, Lou is the lovable, chain smoking, ukulele strumming owner of North Coast Video who has seen and heard it all. Worried about the future, cagey about his past, he’s ten years sober and doing everything he can to keep the video store afloat while the neighborhood gentrifies and Netflix dominates. The thread he’s hanging onto is about to break when a mystery man with tattooed hands walks through the door and offers him a one way ticket out.
The stranger leads Lou into parts of Chicago’s moonlit underworlds not found on any map, guidebook or top ten list. Through the wall, up the chimney and behind the mirror, Lou is forced to confront and investigate the disappearance of his twin brother Port and face hard realities about his own life in a rapidly changing world.
North Coast Video is an acid trip tour of Chicago’s past, present and future, told through the eyes of a streetwise romantic who longs for the days of VHS tapes, Italian Beef sandwiches and day games with his twin brother at Wrigley Field. Helped and hindered on his quest by a collection “mutts, runts and strays” he’ll square off with a Chechnyan wolf dressed like a gangster, a crescent-toothed bluesman with a serious bone to pick, a cabbage patch doll from Hell and an ex-girlfriend who will stop at almost nothing to win him back.
Is Lou’s brother alive, dead or some combo of the two? Can he keep his sanity and stay sober long enough to make it to the other side? Will Lou and the city of Chicago survive what the stranger has unleashed?
This is a story of examining your past and having the courage to change…while drinking coffee, smoking cigarettes, discussing great films and the right way to eat an Italian beef.
THE IMPORTANCE OF CHICAGO IN THE BOOK
CITY OF BIG SHOULDERS
The neighborhoods, streets and back alleys of Chicago have an energy and an attitude that is entirely unique. As described so incontestably by Carl Sandburg, Chicago is a "stormy, husky, brawling city" that can hustle you or wrap you in a loving embrace, depending on how you look at it. The accents, the people, the food, the Chicago vibe is the beating heart of North Coast Video and a central character in the story.
The majority of the locations and histories in the book are real. Some can be traced easily and others require more digging. Chicago has layer upon layer of truths, lies, fables, tragedies and triumphs. That rich, messy history is woven into North Coast Video and frames and anchors the story. "Welcome to Chicago--Let's Go Get A Beef!"
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Justin Jahnke lives and writes in San Antonio, Texas. When not hunched over his keyboard, he can be found entertaining his Boston Terrier and spending time with his family. North Coast Video is his first novel. He has been a songwriter, bandleader, producer and performer since 1998 and has made many albums that very few people have heard. His passion is being creative and learning about what goes on in people's hearts, minds and souls.