Hollywood's Eve

Eve Babitz and the Secret History of L.A.
Narrated by: Jayme Mattler
Length: 7 hrs and 45 mins
Categories: Arts & Entertainment, Art
4 out of 5 stars (54 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

From one of Vanity Fair’s rising stars comes a brilliant, star-studded portrait of the glamorous and brazen Hollywood artist, muse, and writer Eve Babitz.

Los Angeles in the 1960s and '70s was the pop cultural capital of the world - a movie factory, a music factory, a dream factory. Eve Babitz was the ultimate factory girl, a pure product of LA.

The goddaughter of Igor Stravinsky and a graduate of Hollywood High, Babitz posed in 1963, at age 20, playing chess with the French artist Marcel Duchamp. She was naked; he was not. The photograph, cheesecake with a Dadaist twist, made her an instant icon of art and sex. Babitz spent the rest of the decade rocking and rolling on the Sunset Strip, honing her notoriety. There were the album covers she designed: for Buffalo Springfield and the Byrds, to name but a few. There were the men she seduced: Jim Morrison, Ed Ruscha, Harrison Ford, to name but a very few. She was a sun-kissed Edie Sedgwick.

Then, at nearly 30, her "It girl" days numbered, Babitz was discovered - as a writer - by Joan Didion. She would go on to produce seven books, usually billed as novels or short story collections, always autobiographies and confessionals. Her prose achieves that American ideal: art that stays loose, maintains its cool, and is so sheerly enjoyable as to be mistaken for simple entertainment. And yet, during her career, Babitz was under-known and under-read. She’s since experienced a breakthrough, and is now, 20 years after her last published work, on the cusp of literary stardom, and recognition as a - as the - essential LA writer.

For Babitz, life was slow days, fast company until a freak fire in the '90s turned her into a recluse, living in West Hollywood, where Lili Anolik tracked her down in 2012. Anolik’s elegant and provocative new audiobook is equal parts biography and detective story. It is also on dangerously intimate terms with its subject: artist, writer, muse, and one-woman zeitgeist Eve Babitz. 

©2019 Lili Anolik (P)2019 Simon & Schuster

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Tedious

I had never heard of her before this book. Sure, there is history here and stories of famous people but there are times when I' wasn't sure who's perspective was being shared. This is a dissection of Eve Babitz, her personality and life. There are contradictions and it gets a bit overly involved, circling the drain, as though the writer is wanting to try to decide how SHE feels about Eve. It gets a bit much. To be honest, I found myself getting pretty sick of this totally self-involved, selfish, morally bankrupt, emotionally vacant and probably mentally ill person. She doesn't seem to care who she hurts or how, including her sister who is lucky to still be alive it sounds like. The author said at one point Eve was "sensitive", what minute was that? She was shocking, controversial, bold, yes, but she was hardly a person you would be able to trust, call friend or seek out for any kind of support or heroic deeds. Sometimes people show you how NOT to be and I think she fits that role. Supposedly she was hot and irresistible, blah, blah, blah but I think I'm missing something in a big way. As you can tell I wasn't impressed by her or her lifestyle but then she wouldn't care how I felt about her. Admittedly she didn't seem to place to high a value on anyone but herself. If that recount is accurate with how "Hollywood" really is, I am really sad for all the messed up, floundering people desperately trying to find happiness in any way possible. The slimy rock has been turned over in this book. It made me feel like taking a shower afterward.

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interesting

I loved it. I enjoyed reading about her life.
I enjoy reading about the 60s and 70s