Slow Days, Fast Company

Slow Days, Fast Company

The World, the Flesh, and L.A

Book - 2016
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There was a time when no one burned hotter than Eve Babitz. Possessing skin that radiated "its own kind of moral laws," spectacular teeth, and a figure that was the stuff of legend, she seduced seemingly everyone who was anyone in Los Angeles for a long stretch of the 1960s and '70s. But there was one man who proved elusive, and so Babitz did what she did best, she wrote him a book. She also pulled off a remarkable sleight of hand- Slow Days, Fast Company far exceeds its mash-note premise. It is a full-fledged and full-bodied evocation of a bygone Southern California. In ten sun-baked, Santa Ana wind-swept sketches, Babitz re-creates a Los Angeles of movie stars distraught over their success; socialites on three-day drug binges, evading their East Coast banking husbands; soap-opera actors worried that tomorrow's script will kill them off; Italian femme fatales even more fatal than she is. And she even leaves L.A. sometimes, spending an afternoon at the house of flawless Orange County suburbanites, a day among the grape pickers of the Central Valley, a weekend in Palm Springs where her dreams of romance fizzle and her only solace is Virginia Woolf. In the end it doesn't matter if Babitz ever gets the guy-she seduces us.
Publisher: New York : New York Review Books, [2016]
ISBN: 9781681370088
1681370085
Branch Call Number: BABITZ E
Characteristics: xi, 162 pages ; 21 cm.

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uncommonreader
Oct 29, 2019

This book captures a slice of the zeitgeist of 1970s Los Angeles through ten sketches. It presents a self-contained world that seems somehow innocent in its narrow outlook of the world compared to to-day. I enjoyed the humour.

i
Indoorcamping
Jul 29, 2019

After reading "Eve's Hollywood" in about a day, and feeling like I'd become a young, strong, confident, talented, exquisite young woman in 1960's Hollywood, I jumped right back into her life. And it's just as much of an amazing movie as the last. She's older, more interesting, a better writer, and all of it is so beautifully stuck in my head that I feel as if I could float. I can't get enough of this world, apparently, where smoking doesn't kill you, the smog makes for pink sunsets, and Sunset Boulevard is exciting in a movie star way, rather than a watch-out-for-danger atmosphere.

The humor and insight is incredible, especially when at this time women weren't 100% people as we are now - and if you don't know what I mean, ask your mom or grandmother. At a time when women couldn't do anything they wanted or had the talent for, and there was a lot of pressure to be a good girl (less than the 1950's), you can see what she's pushing against here. The rebelliousness is incredibly compelling and enjoyable to read because, again, it's that golden Hollywood where everything has a shiny golden light and you can be Jim Morrison's girlfriend and design album covers for the most popular artists and pose naked playing chess with Salvador Dali all before you're thirty.

A nice place to go in your head when you're tired of the stress of reality.

l
lukasevansherman
Oct 23, 2018

This slim book, lovingly reissued by New York Review Books, is a remarkable document of a vanished Los Angeles, a city which is always a bit of a dream, although in a very different way than New York City. Eve Babitz was something of an it girl who designed album covers for the Byrds and Buffalo Springfield, played chess naked with Marcel Duchamp, embraced hedonism with charm and wit, and seemed to know just about everyone. This book is billed as a novel but is based on her experiences and written in a sort of deadpan confessional style. Deserves to be as much as an L.A. classic as better know worked by Didion, Chandler, and Bukowski. Also see "Eve's Hollywood."

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