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Slow Days, Fast Company
Cover of Slow Days, Fast Company
Slow Days, Fast Company
The World, The Flesh, and L.A.
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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...
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...
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  • 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. One man proved elusive, however, and so Babitz did what she did best, she wrote him a book. Slow Days, Fast Company is a full-fledged and full-bodied evocation of a bygone Southern California that far exceeds its mash-note premise. 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 holed up in the Chateau Marmont, soap-opera actors worried that tomorrow's script will kill them off, Italian femmes fatales even more fatal than Babitz. And she even leaves LA now and then, 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.

About the Author-

  • Eve Babitz is the author of several books of fiction, including Sex and Rage: Advice to Young Ladies Eager for a Good Time, L.A. Woman, and Black Swans: Stories. Her nonfiction works include Fiorucci, the Book and Two by Two: Tango, Two-Step, and the L.A. Night. She has written for many publications, including Ms. and Esquire, and in the late 1960s designed album covers for the Byrds, Buffalo Springfield, and Linda Ronstadt. NYRB Classics also publishes Eve's Hollywood.
    Matthew Specktor is the author of the novels American Dream Machine and That Summertime Sound, as well as a nonfiction book of film criticism. He is a founding editor of the Los Angeles Review of Books.

Reviews-

  • Naomi Fry, New Republic "Her writing took multiple forms. . . . But in the center was always Babitz and her sensibility--fun and hot and smart, a Henry James–loving party girl."
  • Kaitlin Phillips, Bookforum "Babitz takes to the page lightly, slipping sharp observations into roving, conversational essays and perfecting a kind of glamorous shrug."
  • Lili Anolik, Vanity Fair "[Babitz] achieved that American ideal: art that stays loose, maintains its cool, is purely enjoyable enough to be mistaken for simple entertainment. It's a tradition that includes Duke Ellington, Fred Astaire, Preston Sturges, Ed Ruscha, and, it goes without saying, Marilyn Monroe."
  • Hermione Hoby, TLS "What we now call a 'fictive memoir' comes in the form of ten extended anecdotes about Los Angeles, delivered with all the gossipy sprezzatura of the most desirable dinner guest. Food, drink, drugs, sex, sunsets and a surfeit of move stars soak these tales with colour, while the most colourful component of all is our narrator herself."
  • Lee Grove, Boston Globe "Babitz' collection of essays, Slow Days, Fast Company, the best non-fiction written about the Joys of Sensuous LA, I have always thought right up there with Joan Didion's Slouching Towards Bethlehem."
  • Matthew Specktor, Tin House blog "[The] radiantly specific Slow Days, Fast Company...might serve to explicate LA better than any other book I've ever read... Like her generational and aesthetic peer Renata Adler, Babitz has a nervous, windblown eye, a knack for perceptual and associative leaps. Like her West Coast fellow Joan Didion, she has a stringent–in fact, rather stark–intelligence...Babitz's perceptions, her aphoristic formulations, are legion and strike me as both startling and profound."
  • Monica McClure, The Culture Trip "Babitz's sentences--fluffy, golden, and spunky--which appear flippant...but like Marilyn Monroe infusing the ditz with closeted intellectualism, Babitz has a genius for revealing the depths of ostensibly shallow waters."
  • Laura Pearson, Chicago Tribune "Her dishy, evocative style has never been characterized as Joan Didion-deep but it's inarguably more fun and inviting, providing equally sharp insights on the mood and meaning of Southern California."
  • Larry McMurtry, Washington Post "Undeniably the work of a native, in love with her place. This quality of the intrinsic and the indigenous is precisely what has been mising from almost all the fiction about Hollywood...the accuracy and feeling with which she delineates LA is a fresh quality in California writing."

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    New York Review Books
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