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There was a time when no one burned hotter than Eve Babitz. Possessing skin that radiated “its own kind of moral laws,” spectacular teeth, and a figure that was the stuff of legend, she seduced seemingly everyone who was anyone in Los Angeles for a long stretch of the 1960s and ’70s. But there was one man who proved elusive, and so Babitz did what she did best, she wrote him a book. She also pulled off a remarkable sleight of hand- Slow Days, Fast Company far exceeds its mash-note premise. It is a full-fledged and full-bodied evocation of a bygone Southern California. In ten sun-baked, Santa Ana wind-swept sketches, Babitz re-creates a Los Angeles of movie stars distraught over their success; socialites on three-day drug binges, evading their East Coast banking husbands; soap-opera actors worried that tomorrow’s script will kill them off; Italian femme fatales even more fatal than she is. And she even leaves L.A. sometimes, spending an afternoon at the house of flawless Orange County suburbanites, a day among the grape pickers of the Central Valley, a weekend in Palm Springs where her dreams of romance fizzle and her only solace is Virginia Woolf. In the end it doesn’t matter if Babitz ever gets the guy-she seduces us.
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