RARA-AVIS: Sins of the City

Diane Trap (trap@mail.libs.uga.edu)
Fri, 18 Jun 1999 01:14:19 -0400 (EDT)

A month or so back someone mentioned _Sins of the City: The Real Los Angeles Noir_ by Jim Heimann. I got a copy today (generous birthday gift)--after a quick read I'd give it many eggs for atmosphere but fewer for research value. It's a picture book, with great photographs of Los Angeles's crime scenes and other hotspots from the 20s to the 50s, but most of the photographs are undated or barely dated (a "c. 1940" sort of thing) and unattributed. There's a brief bibliography on the back flap of the book and a list of photo credits (like "Berman Archives," not photographers or newspapers). The photographs have brief captions; some are illustrated with quotes from hardboiled/noir authors.

Despite the above reservations, it's a pretty cool book, worth the asking price ($18.95 on the cover, $15 and change through Amazon). I recognized a couple of pictures from other sources, so if you've got a good noir photo library you might want to look before you buy.

Other birthday gifts included _Dark City: The Lost World of Film Noir_ by Eddie Muller, _Crime Comics: The Illustrated History_ by Mike Benton, and a hardboiled egg cuber. Anybody out there know of any books on the Hush-Hush/Confidential post-war scandal rags?

     -----Diane Trap

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