The surreal City of Angels is a unique amalgam of past and present, tradition and revolution, dreamscape and reality. Whether in history books or on the silver screen, the Los Angeles landscape has long served as an ever-shifting backdrop against which countless American anxieties and aspirations play out. New York-based novelist and short-story writer A. M. Homes distills the elusive, quixotic splendor of this most beguiling of great American cities. She checks us into the famed hotel Chateau Marmont and uses life at this iconic landmark as a multifaceted prism through which to view and experience Los Angeles culture, past and present.
Built in the 1920s, the Chateau Marmont is where the famous and infamous have always come to stay for a few days or months at a timeand sometimes, to die.
Just a few of the infamous moments in the life of the Chateau Marmont:
In 1982, John Belushi died of a drug overdose in one of its bungalows.
Jim Morrison used up what he called the eighth of his nine lives falling out of a window.
James Dean hopped in through a window to audition for Rebel Without a Cause.
Led Zeppelin rode their motorcycles through the lobby.
Fashion photographer Helmut Newton died when his car crashed into a wall on the driveway.
"We wind up with a book about a slightly messed up young lady living in a hotel and failing to write a book about Los Angeles. This, you should know right away, is a perfect A. M. Homes story. It is also not a bad approach to Los Angeles."Toronto Globe and Mail