“High on Gold” strides, with commitment and art, into a realm of rewardingly experimental prose, immediacy of real and hallucinatory horror, and even (rarity of rarities) true communication of physical and spiritual euphoria. In this outrageous first novel, Lee Richmond achieves this difficult objective largely by a contrapuntal technique – setting off the 1966 manic-depressions of Gerveys Lecomte and Alison, his erstwhile “old lady,” with the three journals kept by Joshua Aarons from 1846 to 1852, which cut deep into California history. Three overriding themes link these stories: Power, Racism and Gold. The author rings every possible variation on these themes, and he does so with an impressive and varied display of both literary styles and life styles. Suspend your disbelief and read.