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Slow Days, Fast Company: The World, The Flesh, and L.A. (New York Review Books Classics) Paperback – August 30, 2016

4.3 out of 5 stars 544 ratings

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  • Slow Days, Fast Company: The World, The Flesh, and L.A. (New York Review Books Classics)
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Editorial Reviews


"One of the truly original writers of 20th-century Los Angeles." —Kevin Dettmar, The Atlantic

“Los Angeles-born glamour girl, bohemian, artist, muse, sensualist, wit and pioneering foodie Eve Babitz...reads like Nora Ephron by way of Joan Didion, albeit with more lust and drugs and tequila...Reading Babitz is like being out on the warm open road at sundown, with what she called, in another book, '4/60 air conditioning' — that is, going 60 miles per hour with all four windows down. You can feel the wind in your hair.” —Dwight Garner,
The New York Times

“Her writing took multiple forms. . . . But in the center was always Babitz and her sensibility—fun and hot and smart, a Henry James–loving party girl.”  —Naomi Fry,
New Republic

“Babitz takes to the page lightly, slipping sharp observations into roving, conversational essays and perfecting a kind of glamorous shrug.” —Kaitlin Phillips,

"[Babitz] achieved that American ideal: art that stays loose, maintains its cool, is purely enjoyable enough to be mistaken for simple entertainment. It’s a tradition that includes Duke Ellington, Fred Astaire, Preston Sturges, Ed Ruscha, and, it goes without saying, Marilyn Monroe.” —Lili Anolik,
Vanity Fair

“What we now call a ‘fictive memoir’ comes in the form of ten extended anecdotes about Los Angeles, delivered with all the gossipy
sprezzatura of the most desirable dinner guest. Food, drink, drugs, sex, sunsets and a surfeit of move stars soak these tales with colour, while the most colourful component of all is our narrator herself.” —Hermione Hoby, TLS

“Babitz' collection of essays,
Slow Days, Fast Company, the best non-fiction written about the Joys of Sensuous LA, I have always thought right up there with Joan Didion's Slouching Towards Bethlehem.”—Lee Grove, Boston Globe

“Imagine the incisive wit of Virginia Woolf mingling with the listlessness of Françoise Sagan—this is the work of Eve Babitz, an ingenue and poet. Her lyrical sensuality is both sexy and cerebral…this book sizzles with hedonistic abandon, sex, drugs, and rock’n’roll…it is the clarity of her language and her painterly style that cement her place in the pantheon of American literature.” —Sarah Nasar, bookseller at Atlantis Books (Santorini), British Airways High Life Magazine
“Eve Babitz was Los Angeles' greatest bard. Promiscuous but discerning, the bombshell with a brain bonded with Joan Didion and bedded Jim Morrison… Babitz is finally getting the literary comeback she deserves.” —Lili Loofbourow, The Week

"[The] radiantly specific
Slow Days, Fast Company...might serve to explicate LA better than any other book I’ve ever read... Like her generational and aesthetic peer Renata Adler, Babitz has a nervous, windblown eye, a knack for perceptual and associative leaps. Like her West Coast fellow Joan Didion, she has a stringent–in fact, rather stark–intelligence...Babitz’s perceptions, her aphoristic formulations, are legion and strike me as both startling and profound.”—Matthew Specktor, Tin House blog

“Babitz’s sentences—fluffy, golden, and spunky—which appear flippant…but like Marilyn Monroe infusing the ditz with closeted intellectualism, Babitz has a genius for revealing the depths of ostensibly shallow waters.” —Monica McClure,The Culture Trip

“Her dishy, evocative style has never been characterized as Joan Didion-deep but it's inarguably more fun and inviting, providing equally sharp insights on the mood and meaning of Southern California.”—Laura Pearson, Chicago Tribune
"Undeniably the work of a native, in love with her place. This quality of the intrinsic and the indigenous is precisely what has been mising from almost all the fiction about Hollywood...the accuracy and feeling with which she delineates LA is a fresh quality in California writing."—Larry McMurtry,
Washington Post
“In these ten cajoling tales, Los Angeles is the patient, the heroine, hero, victim, and aggressor: the tales a marvel of free-form madness. Like Renata Adler, Eve Babitz has fact, never telling too much”—

"Babitz loves LA. These ten pieces are a love story about her city...slick and clever as ever, and keenly perceptive as ever."—Michele M. Leber,
Library Journal

About the Author

Eve Babitz is the author of several books of fiction, including Sex and Rage: Advice to Young Ladies Eager for a Good Time, L.A. Woman, and Black Swans: Stories. Her nonfiction works include Fiorucci, the Book and Two by Two: Tango, Two-Step, and the L.A. Night. She has written for publications including Ms. and Esquire and in the late 1960s designed album covers for the Byrds, Buffalo Springfield, and Linda Ronstadt. Her novel Eve’s Hollywood is published by NYRB Classics.

Matthew Specktor is the author of the novels American Dream Machine and That Summertime Sound, as well as a nonfiction book of film criticism. He is a founding editor of the Los Angeles Review of Books.

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ NYRB Classics; Main edition (August 30, 2016)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 184 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1681370085
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1681370088
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 6.7 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 5.03 x 0.4 x 7.99 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.3 out of 5 stars 544 ratings

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Customer reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5
544 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on January 22, 2023
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5.0 out of 5 stars As if to dream...
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on August 23, 2022
With some books, one read just isn't enough. That's how I've always felt about this one. Every year or so I pull this slim volume off my shelf and read it again--sometimes cover-to-cover, sometimes just chapters that I'm especially in the mood for. Yes, I know it's not PC to love L.A., but having gone to high school in the Valley (before the invention of Valley Girls) I can't help it. L.A. is and always will be a part of me. And Eve Babitz is L.A. I’m so glad I bought this edition when it came out because the other covers are exceedingly boring compared to the amusing and arresting drawing of an Afghan Hound in a turtleneck sweater, sitting in a café. The ten jewel-like memoirs/stories take me to a different place that no longer exists except in my dreams. Babitz is a fabulous writer and a fascinating woman. Read it. I can say no more.
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Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on October 18, 2016
9 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on October 11, 2022
Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on December 26, 2016
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Reviewed in the United States 🇺🇸 on January 19, 2022
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Top reviews from other countries

Nicola Roberts
5.0 out of 5 stars Glamour
Reviewed in the United Kingdom 🇬🇧 on July 2, 2019
Nikita Poddar
5.0 out of 5 stars Witty, sarcastic and full of vigour
Reviewed in India 🇮🇳 on March 17, 2019
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Nikita Poddar
5.0 out of 5 stars Witty, sarcastic and full of vigour
Reviewed in India 🇮🇳 on March 17, 2019
Read Babitz when you're not in a mood to read, when you want to give your dilapidated heart another chance, when you're craving a cocktail of sensible conversations, when you are mobbed by insecurities and when the flashy world seems too flashy.

Babitz observes and delivers in a way that seems like a prerequisite for commentary on the obvious as well as the not so obvious course of actions.
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4 people found this helpful
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Nickolette Stefanova-Kiryazov
5.0 out of 5 stars Hot & Glamorous Without Being Stupid
Reviewed in Germany 🇩🇪 on April 26, 2021
jose luis pissarro
4.0 out of 5 stars the taext and the craft quality of the book, which are very high quality
Reviewed in Spain 🇪🇸 on January 15, 2019
Sal Hrycyk
5.0 out of 5 stars Eve Babitz! Eve Babitz! Eve Babitz!
Reviewed in Canada 🇨🇦 on April 23, 2017
4 people found this helpful
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