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Eve's Hollywood

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  2,007 ratings  ·  264 reviews
Journalist, party girl, bookworm, artist, muse: by the time she’d hit thirty, Eve Babitz had played all of these roles. Immortalized as the nude beauty facing down Duchamp and as one of Ed Ruscha’s Five 1965 Girlfriends, Babitz’s first book showed her to be a razor-sharp writer with tales of her own. Eve’s Hollywood is an album of  vivid snapshots of Southern California’s ...more
Unknown Binding, 296 pages
Published January 1st 1974 by Delacorte Press/S. Lawrence
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Average rating 3.91  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,007 ratings  ·  264 reviews


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Jeffrey Keeten
Sep 25, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: hollywood, nyrb
”It takes a certain kind of innocence to like L.A.”

 photo Eve20Babitz20and20Marcel20Duchamp_zpscu7jfolv.jpg
The Iconic photograph of Eve Babitz playing chess with Marcel Duchamp taken by Julian Wasser at the Pasadena Art Museum.

I have always had Eve Babitz categorized in my mind as one of the “IT” girls of the 1960s/1970s. As I was doing some research on her before reading this book, I suddenly realized that I did know her without knowing her. (I actually heard an audible click in my head as the tumblers fell into place.) The iconic photograph tak
...more
Kathleen
Jan 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
My essay about Eve Babitz & this book for the Chicago Tribune:

Few things make me shake my head with greater incredulity that when someone says something to the effect that the market rewards those who most deserve it (for their obvious talent, for their skill at competition, for their meeting of a demand, etc.). That kind of blind belief that the cream magically and meritocratically rises to the top is frustrating in any context, including an aesthetic one. Historically and currently, the liter
...more
Barry Pierce
In Nathanael West's celebrated novel of Hollywood, The Day of the Locust, Eve Babitz sees nothing but an unfair diatribe against her beloved hometown of Los Angeles. Babitz often hears of Hollywood being described as a 'wasteland', a fake town full of fake people where even the greenery is plastic. In Eve's Hollywood she refutes that myth.

Babitz had a highly privileged upbringing, her father was a violinist who worked on movie scores for Fox and her mother was an artist. Stravinsky was her godfa
...more
Marie-Therese
I suppose this might have some minor documentary value as a roman à clef for those interested in this period and locale but its value as literature is so slight that if you look sideways it vanishes.

Babitz, who describes herself as a "tall, clean California Bardot with messy hair..." is consistently vapid and narcissistic-apparently interested in things only as they relate to her and her appetites for celebrity, sex (mostly with much older men), booze, and drugs. Her take on the Watts Riots is
...more
Suzanne
Jun 01, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir, l-a
This collection of stories is uneven, and I should probably only give it 3 stars, but there are many wonderful moments that I enjoyed too intensely to give it only 3, so it gets 4.

I am an Eve Babitz fan from way, way back. How could I not be, she loves L.A. with such a pure and innocent passion, the way I used to before things got so complicated-- as they will in any long-term relationship. (Then it becomes a more mature love where you see all the warts and have to reconcile all the inevitable
...more
Britta Böhler
Really enjoyed this collection of short pieces about (growing up in) L.A.
Sian Lile-Pastore
Jun 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I could read stuff like this all day! Little snippets of a fabulous life lived in 70s LA. She brings the whole time period alive writing about Jim Morrison, books, taquitos, weed, the Watts towers and lots of fabulous arty people. I'm buying everything she's ever written. ...more
Andrew
Dec 08, 2020 added it
Shelves: memoir
I deeply regret how late it was that I came around to Eve Babitz, whom I have fully placed in my canon of what I call the School of California Bitches – those unapologetic mid-century grandes dames of the West Coast, mistresses of the virtuoso insult in nonfiction: Joan Didion, Pauline Kael, M.F.K. Fisher, Jessica Mitford, and now you too Eve Babitz. A gorgeous memoir of a time ensconced in memory, when you could dip your toes in the pool while splitting a bottle of Wild Turkey with Harry Dean S ...more
Tosh
Sep 18, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-bought
Everyone who has resided in Los Angeles for a long time, has a need to put their identity on this landscape. This is a book about Hollywood, among other things, but it is not just Hollywood, it is "Eve's Hollywood." The author, Eve Babitz, is a local legend in my version of Los Angeles. She is known in the world of the artists who live and work here, as well as a friend to the musicians who transformed this city into a world that is totally recognizable, but still a subjective landscape. I recog ...more
Erik Tanouye
She's a good prose stylist, but it's a vapid enterprise. ...more
Jim
May 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When I arrived in Los Angeles between Christmas and New Years in 1966, I was fully prepared to "put up with" the place while my heart remained in ... Cleveland, for God's sake! I am sad to say it took a number of years before I woke up and let the magic of the place begin to work on me. Those first few years I now regard as "the lost years." I studied film history and criticism at UCLA, saw thousands of movies, but was oblivious to the flower-scented air, redolent with night-blooming jasmine.

Now
...more
Anna
Oct 17, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir
I feel wholly indifferent to this book but I admit that I never have had a lot of affection for/fascination with Los Angeles in the '60s. Maybe you had to be there? It is very much of a particular time and place, and has aged unevenly. The tone can be at best patronizing and at worst insufferable, and the subject matter often feels a lot more vapid and a lot less interesting than I suspect Babitz and her various admirers thought them to be. The essays that recall her teenage years at Hollywood H ...more
noosha
Jul 26, 2019 rated it did not like it
could not finish bc this big titty bitch is insufferable
Andy
This is a review of the audiobook edition of Eve Babitz’ legendary memoir, Eve’s Hollywood. It was very well read by Mia Barron, who bites off every word like Kirk Douglas in a shitty mood. I enjoyed her derisive tone as it served Eve’s writings perfectly. In fact, there were times when I forgot a third party was reading this work and I believed it was Babitz herself doing the reading. Well done!

While I think it’s rude to compare the work of one writer against another, I’m going to break that ca
...more
Duke Haney
This fabled book, the first by its equally fabled writer, can't be bought anywhere, online anyway, for less than $300, and my copy was a gift from a generous friend who knew how much I craved one. On the jacket but not, interestingly, on the title page, Eve's Hollywood announces itself as "a novel," but in fact it's a collection of pieces about Los Angeles and the life lived there since birth by Eve Babitz, the goddaughter of Igor Stravinsky (who's mentioned in the book), lover of Jim Morrison ( ...more
Christopher McQuain
****1/2 - This book is delightfully insouciant and opinionated - the collage-like and deceptively artless- and conversational-seeming memories, observations, musings, and evocations of a smart, half-confident/half-neurotic, dyed-in-the-wool L.A. girl who seems to transmute her immersion(s) in her milieu(x) directly from her mind's roving eye onto the page. ...more
Michael
The fact this book ends at Benihana is just so fucking perfect.
lapetitesouris
Jun 22, 2018 rated it liked it
3.5 if I could as some stories were just golden, and it really picked up near the end though a little too late.

Most of these stories felt like they were written by a very smug & privileged teenager who couldn't stop name dropping. The stories didn't flow together well as they do in her later books & there was a lot of rambling going on. At one point she says she read Virginia Woolf's "Otello" - were all the editors high during this period, too?

But there are little gems here & there (A Confusing
...more
Deandra
DNF
appallingly bad. has made me stop reading altogether this month because of the dread I feel every time I pick up my eReader to read this. I can't finish it. Get me out of this reading nightmare.
...more
julieta
Nov 12, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: young-americans
I loved another book by Babitz called Slow days, fast company, but this one I think is mostly repetition of the themes she touches in her stories. L.A. which is great, since I had not really read too many books about LA, but other than that, her themes are the same: Beauty, now that is an important element in her writing, all about beautiful friends, her own beauty, the beauty of strangers, the importance of it growing up in the city where so many people are actors, the beauty of movie stars, et ...more
Sophie
Feb 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Confessional tales that seem to oscillate between the real and the fantastical. What actually happened? What is a mere myth? Eve's Hollywood comes under the fiction section in bookshelves but it is a series of autobiographical short stories/essays I suppose about Babitz's upbringing in LA. Her time at Hollywood High, her love of jacarandas, the sometimes eccentric characters she encountered and the many forces in her inner circle. I loved this book and read it somewhat religiously. I read it and ...more
Jessica
Well now I must read everything Babitz has written. What fun; what a proto-type for women's writing today (i.e., bloggers). What a woman's voice that took decades to be re-published probably because her point of view was so distinctly female as to be passed over. ...more
Ted Morgan
Jul 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Enchantingly humorous and engaging. A masterwork.
Caroline
Mar 31, 2020 rated it really liked it
I read this over months on the 86-bus, time enough for Babitz's LA girls to raise glinting, acid-laced walls between campaign girls and me. It was 15 min of relief. I should have known from the TOC alone, right?

To the Didion Dunnes for having to be who I'm not.

INGENUES, THUNDERBIRD GIRLS AND THE NEIGHBORHOOD BELLE: A Confusing Tragedy
The Hollywood Branch Library

-- For the record, Thunderbird girls don't read, but Babitz's list of books is perfect:

"Or I’ll be talking to an English professor and h
...more
Daniel Polansky
Love is about half a sham, even in the best cases, a conscious and deliberate effort to keep the wool tight over the top of your face, but what’s the alternative, really? I did not love New York when I first moved there – that was why I wrote City Dreaming, in fact, as a deliberate effort to intoxicate myself on the metropolis and my brief time in it. The same effort will be required to become an Angeleno, to view my stay here as being valuable, as valuable as something can be in the stew of mea ...more
Dorrit
Jul 04, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2019-bitchess
This book and me just could not get it ON. A shame really, for all our intents and purposes, this could have been an average -above average even!- one night stand, but we ended up on two sides of the bed, me, painfully embarrassed trying not to stare or gape, him, jerking off.

It's an embarrassing story but I suppose we were both responsible. I didn't bring any much knowledge of 1950s LA to the table, all I had was a ebbing intrigue of artist and celebrity circles in the revolutionary times. And
...more
Freesiab
Mar 06, 2018 rated it it was ok
I was really surprised I didn’t enjoy this book. There were some chapters I enjoyed more than others but mostly it all sounded the same. “This one time at Chateau Marmot..” but she made an effort to sound a little street by mentioning “driving down to Watts..” at times. No doubt she had a fascinating life but for me it didn’t unfold in a compelling way. I still have a nonfiction book by her I plan to read. Maybe it will suit me better.
Alex
Jul 17, 2017 marked it as to-read
New Yorker profile, okay let's go ...more
Allison
Jun 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
Would be five stars but there was some weird xenophobia in “The Answer” that I couldn’t abide
Lindsay
Feb 26, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: dnf
I read Slow Days, Fast Company by Eve Babitz and just loved it. I was looking forward to something similar here. The problem is she spent so much of it talking about her childhood (instead of her 20s, the focus of Slow Days, Fast Company), and honestly her childhood was boring. Skipping the rest of this.
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Babitz was born in Hollywood, California, the daughter of Mae, an artist, and Sol, a classical violinist on contract with 20th Century Fox.Her father was of Russian Jewish descent and her mother had Cajun (French) ancestry.Babitz's parents were friends with the composer Igor Stravinsky, who was her godfather.

In 1963, her first brush with notoriety came through Julian Wasser's iconic photograph of
...more

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