Los Angeles

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i have just read City of Quartz, finally, and have been reading nathanael west, and chandler again, recently. What books do you consider 'great los angeles books'?, books where there is a real sense of los angeles, perhaps almost as a psychogeographic character (la, more so than any other city, seems to be a character itself in literature)

i think the time period i'm most interested in is, say, 1908-1978

terry lennox. (gareth), Saturday, 1 October 2005 12:03 (fourteen years ago) link

Ross McDonald or maybe early James Ellroy ca The Black Dahila

There's a good potted history of the LA Times in David Halberstam's media survey The Powers That Be

FWIW I hated City of Quartz true but too didactic/righteous

m coleman (lovebug starski), Saturday, 1 October 2005 15:21 (fourteen years ago) link

John Fante - Ask the Dust

Jeff LeVine (Jeff LeVine), Saturday, 1 October 2005 18:22 (fourteen years ago) link

The book that comes closest to describing my Los Angeles may be Steve Erickson's Amnesiascope.

However, I'd have to disagree that LA more than any other city seems to be a character in literature. Certainly there are many more books set around New York, Paris, or London, with the city is the key. And rightfully so.

Jeff LeVine (Jeff LeVine), Sunday, 2 October 2005 03:00 (fourteen years ago) link

as the key

Jeff LeVine (Jeff LeVine), Sunday, 2 October 2005 03:01 (fourteen years ago) link

Carey McWilliams-- Southern California: An Island on the Land
Reyner Banham-- Los Angeles: The Architecture of Four Ecologies

Walter Mosley-- Devil in a Blue Dress

late adopter, Monday, 3 October 2005 06:03 (fourteen years ago) link

Crying Of Lot 49
Helter Skelter
Lunar Notes

Charles Bukowski
Wanda Coleman

gygax! (gygax!), Monday, 3 October 2005 23:00 (fourteen years ago) link

one month passes...
"WIW I hated City of Quartz true but too didactic/righteous"

But isn't this the nature off Marxist geographies? They are necessarily didactic and politically invested. That is one of points - that no history or geography can be apolitical or objective. And here i go getting all didactic...

Timothy Ivison, Monday, 21 November 2005 19:28 (fourteen years ago) link

thirteen years pass...

So many L.A. threads.


I'm visiting L.A. - actually the West Coast! - this November for the first time on a short trip. My itinerary is really small...

One thing I'm wondering: what are the good bookstores, new or used? Where should I go? What place blew your mind?

Lactose Shaolin Wanker (Raymond Cummings), Monday, 8 July 2019 00:42 (one year ago) link

lots of people will tell you The Last Bookstore but I personally prefer Iliad Books in North Hollywood. Easier to park near there if you're driving, and it's just a used bookstore and not an instagram tourist scene. Plus they have a couple of cats.

which is not to say TLB isn't very good too -- it has really good prices and a big selection.

omar little, Monday, 8 July 2019 00:47 (one year ago) link

Every time I visit the Iliad I come away with something. Skylight Books in Los Feliz is my fave place for new books. There are still a few neighborhood strip-mall used book stores in OC but none of these places are worth the trip.

Elvis Telecom, Monday, 8 July 2019 07:08 (one year ago) link

Thanks for the recommendations; they're noted!

Lactose Shaolin Wanker (Raymond Cummings), Friday, 12 July 2019 01:00 (one year ago) link

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