This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
  • LibraryThing
  • Book discussions
  • Your LibraryThing
  • Join to start using.

Los Angeles

The City and the Book

Join LibraryThing to post.

This topic is currently marked as "dormant"—the last message is more than 90 days old. You can revive it by posting a reply.

May 6, 2010, 6:05pm Top

I'm looking for a contemporary book set in Los Angeles that is not crime fiction and preferably doesn't have to do with Hollywood and celebrities unless it describes the city really well. I have yet to find this book so hopefully this board/group will help with my search!

Edited: May 9, 2010, 4:38pm Top

If you really want to know the city, I would go with nonfiction, especially memoirs, e.g., Joan Didion. I enjoyed Thomas Pynchon's Inherent Vice. It is contemporary fiction, but set in early seventies on LA's westside. Although its protagonist is a pi, it does not have the feel of a crime novel (unless you take parody seriously). It is not contemporary, however, The Day Of The Locust by Nathanael West masterfully captures what Hollywood was and still is all about. It is timeless.

Jul 8, 2010, 7:11pm Top

I am scheduled to receive Peaceful Places: Los Angeles by Laura Randall through Early Reviewers. I'll be writing my review once I get it. It might be an different twist on the city that you are looking for.

Aug 16, 2010, 8:38pm Top


Dec 21, 2012, 12:01am Top

Edited: Dec 24, 2012, 4:50pm Top

Literary L.A. by Lionel Rolfe - Bio vignettes of authors who spent time in L.A. and where and how they spent it: Huxley, Mann, London, Lowry, Maugham, Isherwood, Faulkner, Steinbeck and others.

Traffic and Laughter by Ted Mooney

Play It As It Lays by Didion -- does deal w/Hollywood mostly (regarding the OP), but describes L.A. like few have and probably ever will.

Dec 24, 2012, 7:02pm Top

Blonde, Joyce Carol Oates' fictional biography about Marilyn Monroe.

Dec 27, 2012, 1:44pm Top

For tweaked, futuristic visions of L.A. that aren't all that off the mark in many ways as the city looks today:

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by PKD
Days Between Stations by Steve Erickson. Most of his novels are L.A.-centric.

Jan 30, 2013, 10:39pm Top

Jul 21, 2013, 1:43pm Top

Le Ravissement de Britney Spears by Jean Rolin (not sure it has been translated) has a terrific overview of the city and how to travel by bus (or difficulty thereof!). It's a fictional look at the paparazzi.

Aug 15, 2015, 12:46pm Top

Metrophage by Richard Kadrey

Group: The City and the Book

100 members

378 messages


This topic is not marked as primarily about any work, author or other topic.

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 142,635,861 books! | Top bar: Always visible