Now a major film directed by Jim Jarsmuch, starring Saskia Reeves and Johnny Depp.
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An autobiographical cult travelogue first published in 1988 and turned into a movie 10 years later, Los Angeles Without a Map sees Richard Rayner leave his long-term girlfriend and steady job back in London to fly on a whim to track down Barbara, a bunny girl, athlete and party head. The plot is set for a good outsider tale with a rather straight Englishman pursuing the affections of an American wild child in an environment that puts him at a distinct disadvantage. Despite having steeped himself in American culture since boyhood he has never been to the USA. Add to that the lack of a driving licence--not a useful situation to be in in the city of freeways and boulevards.
Rayner's easy-going prose style and self-deprecatory humour mean that this 186-page book rarely goes off the boil. As in so many films about the city, however, the city is the star. Rayner attempts to come to terms with the city by living out his movie fantasies, but doesn't explore the themes of decadence, insanity and violence which have so much to do with LA's make-up. At times Rayner's writing tends towards the stereotypical--thin on local detail and populated by predictable peripheral characters, from bodybuilders and religious freaks to a James Dean fanatic and a struggling scriptwriter. Those who are as obsessed as Rayner with the workings of the movie industry may also want to consult movies that cover the same material, like Barton Fink and The Player. --Tim PerryFrom the Back Cover:
“Welcome to California, adjust your attitude,” said the sign in the taxi Richard Rayner rode into Los Angeles from the airport. Sound advice, as it turned out. Rayner, in hot pursuit of Barbara the bunny girl, adventure and Angelino ambience, was going to need all the help he could get …
“Written in the fast lane … Hilarious”
“An excellent and most entertaining guide to 'Less Than Zero' country … One of the most original and funny travel books I have read in years”
“Full of the irony of masochism, the masochism of irony … the joy of the book is its humour and its satirical suss … a terrific piece of road comedy”
HUGO WILLIAMS, 'Daily Telegraph'
“Superbly realized, dazzlingly executed … It would be hard to write a better book about Los Angels than this”
“High-class … funny and distinctive”
“Brilliant … marvellously original, vivid and funny … sizzling energy, humour and atmosphere”
GRAHAM LORD, 'Sunday Express'
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Book Description Vintage, 1998. Paperback. Book Condition: New. No.1 BESTSELLERS - great prices, friendly customer service â€" all orders are dispatched next working day. Bookseller Inventory # mon0000437808