Sheila Weller takes us back to the 1960s, where a tiny cult of personality born in the early days of California’s surfing craze became a plunge into dysfunction and criminality.
Juicy reading, regardless of whether you grew up in that era, especially if you knew or were a part of the surf culture yourself growing up (as were many of us who went to high school within an hour’s drive of a SoCal beach.)
In an engrossing time-capsule of writing,Vanity Fairoffers us James M. Cain‘s August 1933 article of the birth of Malibu and the early stages of its development as a suburb of Hollywood.
The article came out before the novels (The Postman Always Rings Twice, Mildred Pierce, Double Indemnity)for which Cain’s name would enter the American canon. As a literary curiosity it is an example of some of Cain’s best journalism, and as history it provides a snapshot of the L.A. Gold Coast uncluttered by what it later became.