RARA-AVIS: Jim Thompson's old haunt

From: southpaw@altavista.net
Date: 06 Feb 2000

An interesting article in today's LA Times magazine section about the 81-year-old Musso & Frank restaurant, described as a favorite haunt of Hollywood stars and writers like Fitzgerald, Chandler and Jim Thompson. A selection:

> Two remarkable bookstores within a block or so of
> Musso's made the Grill an even more attractive
> hangout for writers. Faulkner, Chandler and Aldous
> Huxley often browsed at Louis Epstein's Pickwick
> Bookshop (opened in 1938). Stanley Rose's store,
> literally next door to Musso's, was a more social
> place, where writers drank whiskey and swapped
> stories with the Texas-born bookseller. Musso's
> served as the Rose store's unofficial banker;
> patrons of both establishments moved back and forth
> freely in (as Starr wrote) "a nonorganized movable
> feast."
> An earlier store in which Rose had been a partner,
> the Satyr Bookshop on Vine, was busted for
> pornography; it inspired the salacious Bennett's
> Bookshop in Raymond Chandler's 1939 novel, "The Big
> Sleep." (Rose's defense lawyer on the porno charge
> was Carey McWilliams, whose nonfiction work
> "Southern California Country: An Island on the Land"
> in 1946 inspired its own L.A. fictions, notably
> Robert Towne's script for "Chinatown" in 1974.)
> Thompson, the pulp-noir master ("The Killer Inside
> Me," "The Getaway"), lived four short blocks from
> Musso's and used the Grill as a virtual office
> throughout the '60s, according to biographer Robert
> Polito. The old writer favored the pot roast special
> and the zucchini Florentine, washing them down with
> Jack Daniel's and Heineken chasers. At Musso's,
> Thompson played the hard-bitten raconteur, spinning
> tough yarns to an eager audience of one or two. And
> in a booth at Musso's, he made deals and signed
> papers with sharp young producers, acts he later
> regretted.

The entire article can be found at:


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