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Los Angeles

The City and the Book

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1corneggs
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!

2nemoman
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.

3Cecilturtle
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.

4corneggs
Aug 16, 2010, 8:38pm Top

Thanks!

5absurdeist
Dec 21, 2012, 12:01am Top

6absurdeist
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.

7Cecilturtle
Dec 24, 2012, 7:02pm Top

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

8absurdeist
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.

9absurdeist
Jan 30, 2013, 10:39pm Top

10Cecilturtle
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.

11absurdeist
Aug 15, 2015, 12:46pm Top

Metrophage by Richard Kadrey

Group: The City and the Book

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