Regular price: $31.50

Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free.
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price.
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love.
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel.
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month.
OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

From best-selling author Gary Krist, the story of the metropolis that never should have been and the visionaries who dreamed it into reality 

Little more than a century ago, the southern coast of California - bone-dry, harbor-less, isolated by deserts and mountain ranges - seemed destined to remain scrappy farmland. Then, as if overnight, one of the world’s iconic cities emerged. At the heart of Los Angeles’ meteoric rise were three flawed visionaries. William Mulholland, an immigrant ditch-digger turned self-taught engineer, designed the massive aqueduct that would make urban life here possible. D.W. Griffith, who transformed the motion picture from a vaudeville-house novelty into a cornerstone of American culture, gave LA its signature industry. And Aimee Semple McPherson, a charismatic evangelist who founded a religion, cemented the city’s identity as a center for spiritual exploration.

All were masters of their craft, but also illusionists, of a kind. The images they conjured up - of a blossoming city in the desert, of a factory of celluloid dreamworks, of a community of seekers finding personal salvation under the California sun - were like mirages liable to evaporate on closer inspection. All three would pay a steep price to realize these dreams, in a crescendo of hubris, scandal, and catastrophic failure of design that threatened to topple each of their personal empires. Yet when the dust settled, the mirage that was LA remained.

Spanning the years from 1900 to 1930, The Mirage Factory is the enthralling tale of an improbable city and the people who willed it into existence by pushing the limits of human engineering and imagination.

©2018 Gary Krist (P)2018 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

“[Krist’s] dramatic portrayals of politics, scandals, sabotage, and bombings make for a rich, rewarding read.... An entertaining, intertwined tale of triumph, hubris, and Manifest Destiny in the city of angels.” (Kirkus)

"[Krist] marshals his considerable storytelling skills to capture Los Angeles at a critical moment...expertly weav[ing] together the stories of Griffith, Mulholland and McPherson.... But above all Krist is a nimble scene-setter, and it's the indelible details he offers that give The Mirage Factory its mesmerizing pull." (The New York Times)

"As a writer, Krist is a dream-weaver...exquisite pacing and seamless shifting between the characters allow their stories to connect.... I've read dozens of histories of the Los Angeles Aqueduct, and none are as viscerally compelling or as clear in detailed descriptions of the complicated machinations as Krist's account.... Krist's book is so good that, like the best movies, it ends up inverting the genre." (The Washington Post)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    21
  • 4 Stars
    7
  • 3 Stars
    2
  • 2 Stars
    1
  • 1 Stars
    0

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    22
  • 4 Stars
    6
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    20
  • 4 Stars
    7
  • 3 Stars
    2
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Brilliant narrative of development of Los Angeles

Krist masterfully weaves three characters lives into an entertaining informative history. Perfectly executed and performed.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A great story

The flow of this comprehensive story is masterful. 4 beginnings wrapped into three intertwining stories. The beginning of water in LA, the beginning of Hollywood as a movie capital, the beginning of the four square church and the beginning of LA the vast metropolis. Rob Shapiro is a magnificent narrator and Krist does a great job of melding the stories into a cohesive narrative. As a native Angelino I found this book to be a fascinating look into the evolution of the city I love.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Fantastic

This book blew my fucking mind!!!! LA native, listened to this while making paintings of la, from my studio in a in a historic section of the city. Riveting, fascinating book, didn’t want it to end!!!! Narrator was excellent as well. Thank you!!!

0 of 1 people found this review helpful