Skip to Content

“All Involved” a novel by Ryan Gattis

12:41 PM PDT on April 7, 2015


ALL INVOLVED the gritty, deeply authentic new book from Ryan Gattis, is the first major American novel to paint a fully-realized portrait of Los Angeles under siege during the six days in 1992 when violence erupted in the wake of the Rodney King verdict. An uncompromising, kaleidoscopic vision of the turmoil, told through the voices of disparate, finely-drawn characters, this “symphonic, pitch-perfect, superlative novel” (David Mitchell, author of Cloud Atlas) pulsates with high velocity urban tension.

Focusing on a neighborhood of South Central Los Angeles ignored by the media, and allowed to run wild by overextended law enforcement during the nearly 121-hour rampage that left sixty dead and countless others beaten, robbed and emotionally scarred, ALL INVOLVED begins just a few hours after the controversial verdict sent angry citizens into the streets. It opens with the slaughter of an innocent: Ernesto Vera, an aspiring chef, is walking home from his job working a taco truck when he is brutally attacked and killed by the black-clad members of a gang. Though not a gang member himself, Ernesto’s brother, Ray, aka Lil Mosco, is the target of the intended message the rival gang is ending. Ernesto’s death in the lawless street unleashes a flood of further vengeance.

As each anxious day unfolds, interlocking stories simmer and ignite. The experiences of underworld street gang members converge with firefighters battling the city ablaze. Anglo police, a Korean vigilante, a trauma nurse—all add their singular perspectives to the tapestry of anger and despair. With the immediacy of a film, propelled by disturbing images and told with an unvarnished narrative style that expertly captures the everyday reality of the characters’ lives, Gattis’s masterful novel not only recreates those fateful events in Los Angeles, but lays bare larger prejudices and complexities that define modern-day America.

Ryan Gattis is a novelist, lecturer at Chapman University, and a member of urban art crew UGLAR ( He is the author of the novels Roo Kickkick & The Big Bad Blimp; Kung Fu High School, The Big Drop: Homecoming and The Big Drop: Impermanence. He lives in Los Angeles.

Artwork by Evan Skrederstu & Steve Martinez (medium is acrylic on wood panel)

*Los Angeles dates

*Los Angeles, 04/08: Skylight Books, 7:30pm
Oakland, 04/14: Diesel Bookstore, 6:30pm
San Francisco, 04/15: City Lights, 7pm
Denver, 04/16: Tattered Cover, 7pm
*Los Angeles, 04/19: LA Times Festival of Books Fiction: Untold Stories Panel, 12:30pm
Houston, 04/22: Brazos Bookstore, 7pm
Pasadena, 04/24: with Chaz Bojorquez & Lilliam Rivera, Vroman's, 7pm
Seattle, 04/29: University (District) BookStore, 7pm
Portland, 04/30: Powell's, 7:30pm
Seattle, 05/03: Eagle Harbor Book Company, TBD
San Diego, 05/12: Warwick's at the La Jolla Riford Library, 7pm

Stay in touch

Sign up for our free newsletter

More from L.A. TACO

Downey: 7 Facts You Need To Know

Downey is home to the first Taco Bell, L.A.'s oldest McDonald's, and the largest Cuban population west of the Mississippi. It also helped put people on the moon.

May 26, 2023

Headlines: O.C. Boxing Star Ryan Garcia Directs Homophobic Tweets at Target

The lightweight professional boxer, who is signed to Oscar De La Hoya's Golden Boy Promotions, called Target's promotion of pride-themed merchandise "demonic" in a Twitter post, among other things.

May 26, 2023

Man Cleared In Shooting of Baldwin Park High School Students After Spending 33 Years Behind Bars

Just 22 at the time, David Saldana was convicted and sentenced to 45 years-to-life in 1990 for an Oct. 27, 1989, shooting that targeted six high school students who were driving after a football game.

May 25, 2023

Spot Check: Venezuelan Steak Sandwiches in DTLA, Pulled Pork Enchiladas In Culver, Walking Dead Tiki Cocktails In MDR, and An NBA Legend’s Wine Dinner at Angler

You'll also find new pork kra pao in West L.A., chamoy-and-tepache spritzes in Los Feliz, and one chef's attempt at making " the most versatile hot sauce in the known universe."

May 25, 2023
See all posts