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L.A. Bizarro: The All-New Insider's Guide to the Obscure, the Absurd, and the Perverse in Los Angeles Paperback – September 2, 2009


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L.A. Bizarro: The All-New Insider's Guide to the Obscure, the Absurd, and the Perverse in Los Angeles + Walking L. A.: 38 Walking Tours Exploring Stairways, Streets and Buildings You Never Knew Existed + Secret Stairs: A Walking Guide to the Historic Staircases of Los Angeles
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Chronicle Books; 2nd edition (September 2, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811865118
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811865111
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 5.9 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #318,523 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Matt Maranian is author of Pad and Pad Parties. A longtime L.A. resident, he now lives in Vermont.

Anthony Lovett has lived in L.A. for over thirty years without losing his mind. His writing has appeared in Rolling Stone and L.A. Weekly.

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Customer Reviews

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The authors write with both authority and humor as they've clearly experienced everything detailed in this book, for better or worse.
Gift Giver Extraordinaire
LOL - admittedly, I was too young and too afraid to visit some of the places listed in the book, so I read it with a sort of voyeuristic wistfulness.
OutlawPoet
Total immersion would include the Bullwinkle Statue, Camera Obscura, the L. Ron Hubbard Life Exhibition, and El Segundo's Old Town Music Hall.
Brent R. Swanson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By OutlawPoet TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 18, 2009
Format: Paperback
Years ago, I read the first L.A. Bizarro. LOL - admittedly, I was too young and too afraid to visit some of the places listed in the book, so I read it with a sort of voyeuristic wistfulness.

Now, Older (not that much!) and braver, I was thrilled to find the new, updated L.A. Bizarro.

This isn't your Grandma's guidebook!

The authors of L.A. Bizarro bring L.A. natives and tourists alike a peephole view into the kitschy, deviant and bizarre L.A. The L.A. you only dream about.

The book is full of information on some of the weirdest and most interesting places in L.A. From stores where you can buy hardcore S&M Furniture, to dive bars, to haunted hotels and nude beaches, L.A. Bizarro brings them all to you.

A quick warning: some of the entries and photos are definitely not appropriate for kids. The book is strictly adults only, but it's a great deal of fun!
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By J. L. Baker on November 28, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm a California native and I thought this book was amazing. It shows a side of LA I never knew about, and it is a spectacular resource to go see this side of LA first hand. It is a creative and unique gift for the holidays. My mother received a copy for her birthday last month. Of course, make sure you have the kind of mom that will appreciate this cult classic before buying it for her.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Crabby Abby TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on April 10, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Bought the first LA Bizzaro......doesn't seem like 13 years ago, but what the heck. In reality, this is not the same book. Rewritten for a new generation or as I prefer to think updated for its original fans, this is a irreverant LA tour guide which celebrates the weirdness of LA in an over-the-top sort of way. Nothing is off the radar with this book. S&M, bondage, nudism, cheesy mannequins depicting movie stars replete with duct tape, porn theaters, retro movie houses, bad eats, good eats, cheap eats, eats with musical performances by lounge lizards, icky movie props, tinsletown dive bars, bondage furniture, the Harry Blitzstein Museum of Art, the venerable Crystal Cathedral, dead folks, live folks,the late and lamented Forrest Ackerman's horror collection,Spahn Ranch, Scientology, free Aids testing (in case you think you might need it), nifty beaches (for those inclined to go au naturel)......I could go on and on.
The charm of this book is not so much that I'd want to check out all of these places, but I can do a lot of it without leaving my beach chair. These guys are terrifically funny, spice their rhetoric with a lot of sexually explicit innuendo and go off on a lot of tangents all in the name of fun and many laughs.
I've been to a lot of weird places, but LA (and I say this with love) is unique and not much is off limits. Lovett and Maranian celebrate all that is strange (i.e., bizarro)in LA while kicking about the bad air, lousy traffic, and the undesirable aspects of living in an over populated, over priced, and stretched out metropolis. This book seems to have a little something for everyone.
This is a great read for most people unless they are sensitive about bad language or alternate lifestyles. Def. not something a minor should get their hands on, though I think my kids have handled the first version.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Brent R. Swanson on February 25, 2010
Format: Paperback
What's a tourist to do after making the all-too-typical (and overworn) L.A. "circuit": Disneyland, Universal Studios, and Hollywood Boulevard / movie stars' homes? Well, if they're already out in Orange County, they can ramp-up with either Medieval Times or Pirate's Dinner Adventure, and then creep into the L.A. experience with stops at Pink's hot dog emporium, the Velaslavaslay Panorama, and the Hollywood Wax Museum. Total immersion would include the Bullwinkle Statue, Camera Obscura, the L. Ron Hubbard Life Exhibition, and El Segundo's Old Town Music Hall. And all this would only be the first meanderings of a lifetime's worth of adventures, all in one city.

Fortunately for us, authors Anthony Lovett and Matt Maranian have been to all of these places ahead of us, and this book gives us words of encouragement. Or words of warning. A city that's been built atop agriculture, show business, get-rich-quick schemes, and fault lines is bound to have more than a few eccentricities within its sprawling square miles. And these eccentricities often make Norma Desmond seem like Shirley Temple in comparison. Name another city in the world where you can grab breakfast under one of several giant donuts, ogle photos of stark naked stars at Baby Jane's of Hollywood, cool off with a visit to the world's largest painting in its own auditorium at Forest Lawn, stop by Beverly Hills for intimate surgical enhancements, and then have an evening cocktail at William Randolph Hearst's booth at the HMS Bounty?

Take warning: some advice and photos are explicit, so steer the kids to the Disneyland guidebooks. Timid tourists will no doubt take one look at this book and retreat right back to Knott's Berry Farm.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Gift Giver Extraordinaire on December 25, 2009
Format: Paperback
This book is hilarious, insightful, strange and definitely unlike any other guidebook every written. It makes the perfect gift for everyone (except kids and grandparents, well, I guess it depends on your grandparents!). It certainly lives up to its title as it takes you on a journey through a Los Angeles that is unknown to most and certainly bizarre. The authors write with both authority and humor as they've clearly experienced everything detailed in this book, for better or worse. There is certainly no other book quite like it! However, be forewarned, this is not for the faint of heart and contains material that is quite explicit in its sexual content and journey into Los Angeles' depravity, but that's what makes it so much fun.
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