Wednesday, December 2, 2009

new book - Los Angeles: portrait of a city

"Driving down your freeways
Midnight alleys roam
Cops in cars, topless bars
Never saw a woman so alone"
- LA Woman by The Doors

"Sad sad town, sad sad town
In the burning desert
Shanty town, shanty town,
Shanty town of the millionaire"
- Lost Angeles by Colosseum

As those who are familiar with their books know, the German publisher Taschen doesn't do things by halves. We thought our book Wellington: A Capital Century was a solid historical-pictorial portrayal and it certainly is the biggest and most impressive book that anyone has yet published on a New Zealand city, but this tome on LA makes it look small.

LA, a.k.a. "The Big Avocado", "Carmaggedon" and "Lala Land" is a city people love to hate, but yet have a fascination with. This book presents its growth from near desert to the biggest city in California, and geographically the most expansive in the USA, along with all the glitz, glamour, folies, excesses, transport problems (some self-inflicted) and growth pains. Even the industry that city nurtured and is most identified with - movies - regularly depicts it being trashed, most recently in 2012.

Taschen know that people like big photos and the extra large page format, as well as the number of pictures contained in its 572 pages, should satisfy most who pick it up (and just be prepared for its weight).

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