The City of Lost Angels -- John Rechy
"There is a section in Los Angeles where all its freeways or their extensions converge into a twisted concrete star connecting all the parts of the city, its varied lives and destinations."

There is a section of Los Angeles....   John Rechy
"A memorable feast...powerful, chilling, moving...extraordinary."
--Los Angeles Times
Bodies and Souls -- John Rechy
"So much energy, ambition, humor...A scarred beauty."
--New York Times Book Review

"Epic in scope... astonishing, sensual, wise and often humorous," Bodies and Souls is set in Los Angeles. Its diverse cast includes: the most famous actress in pornographic films; a Chicano teenager who wanders into the punk world; a male stripper for women who faces himself during a make-believe "slave auction"; the doomed family of a prominent judge; a Mister Universe contender who discovers what his physical perfection conceals; a Skid Row woman obsessed with conflicting memories of roses; two teen-aged male hustlers who fall in love amid the violence of the city's sexual streets and alleys; a news anchorwoman researching both in her sex life and for a television series on "vice"--what she calls "the lower depths"; and sister Woman, a mesmerizing, powerful evangelist whose Gothic background suggests incest, suicide.
   Winding through these portraits are three recurrent characters--Orin, Lisa and "Jesse James." They have inherited what the author sees as dominant strains in the dark psyche of America--Orin the sexual repression of the Salem witchburnings; Lisa, the falsely "romantic" and masochistic attitudes of the 1940's cinema heroines; Jesse, the melancholy glory of the outlaw. These three roam the vast city of "Lost Angeles."
   Using an innovative, smoothly integrated style, Bodies and Souls is written in a rich prose which deliberately evokes classic Hollywood movies and in a sometimes somber, inventive style that alludes to the dark views of contemporary European cinema. Through it all a vision of Los Angeles never before depicted emerges.
NEW Grove Press has reissued Bodies and Souls. Read John Rechy's introduction to the new edition. 

"It always astonished him anew, this city of bodies and souls. He did not consider it the flippant land of inherited clichés. To him it was the most spiritual and physical of cities, a profound city which drew to it all the various bright and dark energies of the country. All the strains, of decay and rebirth, repression and profligacy, gathered here in exaggeration--as exaggerated as actors in Greek tragedies. Its desperate narcissism--which acknowledged death in extended summers under seasonless skies--and its vagrant spirituality--which burgeoned into excess--were manifestations of a fury to live, to feel, to be, here on the last frontier before the drowning land--the snuffed sun, the darkened shoreline."

from The Lecturer: "On Nothing"
Bodies and Souls
John Rechy


Buy Bodies & Souls online

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