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L. A. Bizarro! The Insider's Guide to the Obscure, the Absurd and the Perverse in Los Angeles Paperback – May 15, 1997


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin; 5th edition (May 15, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 031215562X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312155629
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.1 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.3 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #918,091 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"A demented guide to the dark side of drinking, dining and whining L.A.-style. A veritable treasure trove of bad, or no, taste." --Michael Musto, columnist for The Village Voice

"Why go to Mars when we've got it all here in L.A.?" --Larry Storch

"Both outrageous and informative--it's why I love L.A." --Steve Edwards host of Good Day L.A.

"I'll say anything you want me to say, about this book. It's fabulous." --Quentin Crisp

"Finally there's a book that tells L.A.'s secrets, secrets I never even knew about. This is a must-read if you live in L.A. or are just visiting. This is a m a a a z i n g." --Rodney Bingenheimer, deejay, KROQ, Los Angeles.

About the Author

Anthony R. Lovett is a full-time cynic and semi-retired bon vivant who sometimes poses as a writer. A musician, artist and actor, Lovett is a wounded veteral of L.A.'s improv scene. The author is ashamed to admit that he has also written rock videos, appeared in Kmart commercials, and co-starred in one of the worst low-budget movies ever made. Lovett's articles have appeared in Rolling Stone, Playboy, L.A. Weekly, and others. A Texas transplant, he lives with his wife and daughter just a stone's throw from the Mason family's old hangout, Spahn Ranch.

Matt Maranian headed straight for Los Angeles in 1984 to pursue an ill-fated acting career. A string of insignificant television appearances culiminated with a brief recurring sting on one of the worst sitcoms ever made, Mr. Belvedere, in which he co-starred with a goat. He immediately switched careers, and immersed himself in what has become an ongoing investigation of just what makes L.A. so damn weird. His writings have appeared in bOING bOING, The Los Angeles Reader, Harper's, and British Esquire. He lives in the San Fernando Valley with his wife, Loretta Palazzo.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By someone_who_reads on October 16, 2003
Format: Paperback
I've lived in and around L.A. for almost all of my life, and I've never been to a lot of the places in this book, nor do I know many people who have been to more than a couple of these places. Having a lot of relatives in the Midwest, the South, and the Eastern Seaboard, I hear a lot about how we Californians are perceived in other parts of the country, and this little guide can only solidify our reputations of being...well...weird. It's easy to become jaded by the perversity that surrounds us all the time, so to have it stare at me from between the pages of this book is quite a jolt of reality, or unreality, or whatever you want to call it. Just think, the people with the kind of imagination that can dream up and create these landmarks have lived (or are still living) among us normal, decent folk....that kind of scares me!
Anyway, even if you never plan to visit the City of Angels, this is a fascinating read. The variations of the old "is that a pickle in your pocket" line gets repetitive, but the subject matter and the authors' deliciously twisted points of view counteract that. As far as I can tell, it's pretty well-researched (I especially enjoyed comparing my own experience with the Men's restroom at the Madonna Inn with that of the authors). Be warned, though: this is not suitable reading for the rugrats, and you wouldn't want to leave it lying around the house if your strict, judgemental Baptist grandmother decides to pay you a visit.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Nelson Aspen on October 9, 2002
Format: Paperback
The only thing more fun than reading this book while planning your visit to Los Angeles, is reading this book if you're already living here! Unexpected and sublimely offbeat... So many reasons to love and hate the City of Angels. Definitely should be on your "must-read" list.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By D. Movahedpour on December 13, 2001
Format: Paperback
I love this book, partially because I have visited many of the oddly endearing sights mentioned in the book, but also because it celebrates L.A.'s less-plastic side. The authors take the gloss of the usual travel tome, and turn it into a dog-eared laugh-riot. I have made it my personal pilgrimage to visit many of the places they mention, and they certainly don't sugar-coat it. The authors can be downright rude, but mostly acerbic and honest, and that is refreshing. Be prepared for a lot of repetitive burlesque-type double entendre, but also a hearty dose of wanderlust from two men who clearly love the town, warts and all.
Be forewarned, you can't take the kiddies to half the places they review. And, they certainly don't "recommend" they just "share the wealth." These are places you might not know exist, or even care to visit except for their appraisals. And, yes, there are even some places you can take the kiddies. There are places tucked into corners, restaurants with lousy food and rude employees that still sound like a great film noir. I have this book at my side whenever I venture to L.A. and its environs, or when I just need a good laugh. And, you will have plenty of those. I highly recommend it.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Michael C. Caulder on September 8, 2000
Format: Paperback
Yes it's a great book. Yes, anyone who couldn't care less about amusement park packaged fun and lives in LA or is visiting LA should read it. The only problem is that some of the coolest spots in the book didn't even exist at the time the book was written, and therfore merely make us long for a simpler time when bartenders could set their bars on fire without getting hassled by the man. Cheers.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By curlygrl on June 14, 2000
Format: Paperback
I sent this to my brother as a birthday gift while he was living in another country, but looking forward to his return to Southern California. He was very homesick at the time, and since he also has a perverse sense of humor (he loved the Dr. Demento Show growing up) this ended up being the perfect gift. Another plus was that it wasn't very expensive to ship, thank goodness.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By David A. Kulczyk on August 3, 2002
Format: Paperback
L.A. Bizarro is must have for anyone who lives in L.A., wants to visit L.A. or has an interest in L.A. Anthony R. Lovett and Matt Maranian know their town better than the police. Infamous places, many that no longer exist, where fortunes, futures and lives were lost are chronicled in L.A. Bizarro in a way that makes you feel like you are riding in a car with the authors. One of the best tour books that I've ever read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 3, 1999
Format: Paperback
Forget Fodor's this is the best guide book to Los Angeles and surrounding environs to be had. With a blunt and irreverent, smart-ass narrative, Maranian and Lovett have succeeded in taking the everyday shmo on the best damn tour of Los Angeles since Lucy and Ethel's bus ride through Beverly Hills. This is a must have for any Angeleno and should be given to every sucker arriving in this fair city.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 5, 1999
Format: Paperback
This is truly a visionary book. Forget Frommers, this is the one essential travel book for tourists and locals alike. Even the businesses you would NEVER imagine soliciting (Naked City? The catalog for amputee fetishists?) are given hilarious treatment. From where to buy a meal on fire (literally!) to where innocents were killed at Disneyland, this is the guidebook for the ages.
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