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In the 1970s, a group of teenage surfers from a tough neighborhood known as "Dogtown" in Venice, California pioneered a revolutionary new style of skateboarding. Riding the waves at the Pacific Ocean Park pier, the Z-Boyz, known for their aggressive style and hard street attitude, combined the death-defying moves of surfing with the art of skateboarding and became overnight sensations and local legends. With empty pools as their canvas, the Z-boyz paved the way to what is now referred to as "extreme sports," and created a lifestyle that spread infectiously to beomce a worldwide counterculture phenomenon. But all of this fame would take its toll on the friendships that they thought would last a lifetime as the sport that started out as an afternoon hobby turned into big business.
This is the story of Lolita Cassard, a young woman of twenty years who has it in for the entire world because she doesn't look like the girls in glossy magazines, who doesn't look a thing like her young mother-in-law, and who would so much like to feel beautiful, at least in her father's eyes, if only her father's eyes could find her. But this is also the story of a man named Etienne Cassard, who doesn't see other people much at all because he's busy looking at himself, feeling older, a man who very likely wanted for love himself, who struggled long and hard to find his place in the world. This is the story of writer named Pierre Miller, who's lost faith, who doubts he'll ever meet with success, who meets with success and who meets Etienne Cassard. This is the story of a singing teacher, Sylvia Miller, who believes in her husband, at least in his talent, but who has doubts about her own and that of her pupil, Lolita—until she realizes she's the daughter of Etienne Cassard, the author she admires so much. This is the story of human beings who know exactly what they'd do if they were somebody else, but can't handle being themselves very well, who are very simply struggling to find out who they are.