RARA-AVIS: Theme of the month - Los Angeles

From: M Blumenthal ( blumenidiot@21stcentury.net)
Date: 03 Sep 2001

From the late Robert Campbell's IN LA-LA LAND WE TRUST:

"The rain had washed all the baby prostitutes and twangy boys, the chicken hawks and queer bashers, the gonifs and petty grifters off the four corners of Hollywood and Vine. The empty streets looked as quiet and innocent as they had in the fifties when Hollywood was still a small town beauty."

With such an idyllic climate something had to be rotten in Los Angeles. Add to that the fact this is where movie stars and the attendent glamour was centered.The city has almost becomes a character in some hard boiled writing.

   Chandler wrote of it as a contemporary in the '40's. and 50's. Mosley, Ellroy and Kaminsky have written of it at that time. . How do hard boiled writers portray The City of Angels and what influence does it have? Has the view of modern Los Angeles as a city of corruption changed ?

    I think Los Angeles' smog is mentioned in all the books I have read that are set there in the present day.. Each book of one author, John Shannon, has had the environment as a continuing theme, as is evident in his titles: THE CONCRETE RIVER, THE CRACKED EARTH and THE POISON SKY.

Could Marlowe, Bosch or Elvis Cole have lived elsewhere?


"The street was lined with run-down motels ...

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