The Los Angeles Diaries: A Memoir Epub Æ Angeles

The Los Angeles Diaries: A Memoir Epub Æ Angeles

  • ebook
  • 225 pages
  • The Los Angeles Diaries: A Memoir
  • James Brown
  • English
  • 03 May 2015
  • 9781582438733

10 thoughts on “The Los Angeles Diaries: A Memoir

  1. Julie Ehlers Julie Ehlers says:

    52016 There are so many addiction memoirs out there Don’t they all begin to sound the same after a while? Well not this one Aren’t they all just focused on what’s in the narrator’s head—the constant search for the next fix? Not this one Don’t they mostly just invoke horror at what the addict goes through with little room for the subtler emotions? Definitely some of them But not this oneTwo things about The Los Angeles Diaries stand out to me The first appropriately enough given the title is the setting James Brown grew up in Hollywood with an older brother and sister who tried their hand at acting his brother with some success and Brown himself eventually tries mostly without success to become a screenwriter His depiction of his town was successful on every level I was there for the traffic jams I felt the desert heat I could picture the various seedy neighborhoods Although Brown never describes it explicitly I sensed his flop sweat in every awkward meeting with a Hollywood executive and I sympathized with his struggle to be creative in such a soul killing atmosphere The vividness of the writing made it much easier to put Brown in context to recognize that even in the throes of addiction he’d had a life and was still trying to have oneBy the same token Brown’s relationship with his two siblings both of whom had their own struggles provided valuable context and some of the most moving moments in the book So often other characters in addiction memoirs are shadowy figures—again the focus tends to be centered solely on the addict himself But not here Brown’s sister and brother are extremely well drawn and I was as invested in their stories as in the main story of Brown himself The troubled nature of these relationships made the conseuences of addiction all too real and I was left wondering why most authors of addiction memoirs seem unwilling or unable to write authentically about the people who matter most to them As The Los Angeles Diaries shows clearly this context can make the difference between a pretty good memoir and a great oneIt’s possible that many addicts by the time they get around to writing about their experiences have laid waste to most aspects of their lives or at least to their memories of their lives and therefore tend to focus mostly on the destruction to redemption arc of their stories But James Brown makes a convincing case that casting a net that captures all the elements of a life makes for a satisfying reading experience I thought this book would be a run of the mill addiction memoir; instead it has left an indelible mark3616 In addition to making me weep this book made me think a lot about what makes some addiction memoirs successful than others Review to follow

  2. Nina-Marie Gardner Nina-Marie Gardner says:

    I loved ‘The Los Angeles Diaries’ so much I put off my review—just felt so anxious about how I could possibly do it justice Whenever I’m bowled over by a book I get completely insecure in my own ability to string together words that might express how deeply it has made me feelThe minute it arrived from I pretty much devoured it in a sitting With Brown’s most recent memoir ‘This River’ which I read last week still resonating in my mind I found I could not put ‘The Los Angeles Diaries’ down At the risk of repeating much of what I already said in my review of ‘This River’ Brown’s writing is simply gorgeous—the language was like this gentle confident steady thread capable of guiding even the most sueamish or apprehensive of readers through the hairiest of moments And that’s not to say ‘The Los Angeles Diaries’ wasn’t a visceral read—it most definitely was What I loved about reading this book immediately after the ‘This River’ was how much closer it brought me to his family especially his brother Barry and sister Marilyn I could see them felt for them—and had such a powerful sense of their intense bond as siblingsI cannot remember the last time I cried reading a book but midway through the second to last chapter 'Midair' it was like something burst in my chest The way it was written Marilyn's story—so incredibly tragic so heartbreaking and a reminder of how insidious addiction can be I really was just blown away completely overwhelmed by it Since finishing ‘The Los Angeles Diaries’ I’ve been thinking a lot about memoirs—what’s so cool about the best ones is that the people who have mattered most to an author become important to so many others—they live on in the work to affect this vast sea of relative strangers forever As a reader we don’t just get to meet them on the page if the memoir is as stunning as either ‘This River’ or ‘The Los Angeles Diaries’ we fall in love with them What a gift And Brown has given an incredible one to his family They are so vividly alive for these books I am so grateful to have found themIf you haven’t discovered James Brown’s work you are missing out I am also grateful to Naomi B from Goodreads for introducing me to his work bless you

  3. Patrick O& Patrick O& says:

    For his prose alone I'd recommend James Brown's The Los Angeles Diaries It is so beautifully written the sentence structure sparse the rhythm uick the imagery intense He makes some brilliant choices with his narration I have never before read a second person narrative where the author uses it to portray empathy Brown does it well and if you're not into this type of memoir which not everyone is I suggest you skip ahead and read the chapterMidair It is stunning The entire book is scene driven there really isn't much reflection Other than the author allowing the reader to make their own conclusion as to his behaviors And I'm all for trusting the reader to get it However there are times when it feels as if Brown is too distant He never uite takes responsibility for his actions He says look at that look how fucked up it was now on to the next chapter I don't need him to ask forgiveness or look for absolution But not saying anything is sort of weird Addiction is messy There's a lot of lose ends There's a lot of resentments fears anger hatred basically a LOT of emotions and to just show the reader and not acknowledge them doesn't really sit well Nor does the book's final chapter it is un satisfyingly vague Yet with such beautiful use of language I can forgive these issues

  4. Chad Chad says:

    Wow Where did this book come from? Frankly I should've read this years ago It's a perfect book I realize I can be overly approbative when it comes to literature I can lay on the praise in thick greasy layers immediately pronouncing the writer a genius who fell from the heavens But shit it's prose this stuff is hard Really hard Ten times difficult and creative than acting if you ask me Only painting comes close And I still think writing prose is complex Okay so what does this have to do with James Brown's searing autobiography about his troubled family substance abuse and life as a struggling writer in Los Angeles? Simple The guy's brilliant His sentences are tight compact filled with emotion and verve The narration moves at a breakneck speed The story itself? Amazing Except it's not a story it's his life and it's one of the saddest existences I've ever read about Even incredible is that he's alive to tell it A struggling writer from a seriously fucked up family comes of age in a sprawling Los Angeles landscape His brother an actor who actually makes it for awhile succumbs to alcoholism and suicide His sister an aspiring actress follows the same road And here's James doing his best to get his novels optioned into scripts constantly being told by the Hollywood factory that they're too dark while struggling to hold on to his sanity and master a major alcohol and cocaine addiction Addiction never sounded real and miserable It's not written with self pity or pride like the book I just finished Jack Grisham's American Demon which was frankly full of shit totally filled with false pride This book is real James Brown truly came out of hell to tell his story He does so with a humbled simplicity which is much interesting than a series of I did this and that and man it was crazy bullshit see American Demon No James Brown's narrative exudes and incredible knowledge and wisdom He is ten years ahead of most memoir writers Augusten Burroughs couldn't lick his boots There are passages in this book that will break your heart If I met someone who didn't like this book frankly I wouldn't like them This book is like Led Zeppelin or The Rolling Stones or Van Gogh it's an absolute that's a nounnot an adjective It is an absolute There's no way you couldn't like it Thank you Goodreads for having this book pop up as a recommendation I'm going to read it again and again and again AS a native of Los Angeles this book just splits you open and makes you reevaluate everything in your life and spurs you to create Thank you James Brown for your courage I hope he's kicking ass out there wherever he is Freaking amazing Read it today

  5. Andrew Hicks Andrew Hicks says:

    Sentence one of every review of this book must include the phrase No not that James Brown lol So that's why I led with that; it's not like I had a choiceNow paragraph two of my review must include mention of the fact that The Los Angeles Diaries is to date the only book my library system has added to their collection because I reuested that they do so I'm crossing my fingers that they'll also add Brown's companion memoir This River from 2010 TLAD is a life spanning series of autobiographical essays bouncing around in time and theme but adding up to a compelling coherent whole that's still only 224 pages long It is highly readable and highly lovable Brown's language is poetic but not overtly academic unflinching but not maudlin hilarious and still 100% seriousThe book opens on two of my favorite chapters The first has the adult Brown with three published novels under his belt getting his heart broken again and again by Hollywood which keeps optioning and adapting his books into screenplays but never actually shoots them In the second chapter little 5 year old James tries to make sense of his mom's clandestine pyromaniac activity As the book progresses we get to know Brown's older brother and sister who each travel paths depressing than his Ultimately TLAD functions best as an addiction memoir a slightly less toxic cousin to Jerry Stahl's Permanent Midnight I'm an addiction memoir enthusiast I've spent most of the past 5 years sober and it's been a steady struggle Reading these types of books you get numb to the play by plays of bad behavior Brown though has a tactic of dialing back the obvious He doesn't over romanticize or over apologize He paints the picture and you as the reader have the reaction whatever it may be It serves to make you care about him and the true characters in the book Without using any cheap tricks Brown paints himself as a pretty likable guy and you can occasionally find him hanging out on Goodreads He may even read and like this review and shit I may just go message him a link to it right now which would be a cheap trick

  6. Tim Devore Tim Devore says:


  7. Melinda Melinda says:

    Brown's harrowing background includes a highly dysfunctional mother who committed murder and secretly bankrupted her family as well as two older siblings who suffered from alcohol and drug issues as did Brown The difference between Brown and his siblings is that they eventually succumbed to their demons both dying by suicide Despite living a lifestyle that should have killed him as well Brown eventually came to the realization that he had to change although it took years the horrific deaths of his brother and sister a shattered marriage and countless lost professional opportunities Brown is a gifted writer and this book is highly recommended

  8. Brooke Eppert Brooke Eppert says:

    The Los Angeles DiariesBy James BrownReview by Brooke EppertThe Los Angeles Diaries by James Brown is a fascinating story about his struggle with drug and alcohol addiction and what kind of events occurred throughout his life that changed who he was My favorite thing about this book is that it is very “eye opening” to some of the things that happens that I will probably never experience in my life such as watching as my mother is put into jail The book was very straightforward with topics and James Brown writes his life story in a miraculous way that makes the reader feel the pain disappointment or happiness he describes This book also teaches many life lessons such as to never give up on something and to always think before you act Another life lesson taught was that it is never too late to change your self and be a better person which is what I think James Brown wanted the readers to know the most I enjoyed reading this book mainly because there are some topics that I cannot relate to so it was almost a “learning experience” for me One of the topics that I could relate to that James Brown described in his book was breaking promises to people or having someone break a promise to you Another topic I could relate to was personal failure James Brown describes personal failure when many of his novels are optioned to become published but are later rejected He became a role model for the reader in this situation however because he always kept trying to improve him novels and himself and he never gave up on his dream Although James Brown might not seem like a role model because of his life long battle with drug and alcohol addiction I admire him for never giving up on his dreams and always trying again even when he had lost a lot of self esteem and had gotten a little bitter He had a tough life growing up and he has made some very careless decisions but he was given a second chance to change and I applaud him for taking that chance even when he knew it would be difficult I personally enjoyed this book because of the descriptive details and confessions that I could either relate to or just read about and try to understand However I would not recommend this book for everyone because of the mature content of the book that may be difficult for some people to read Also the book was sometimes a challenge to follow along with because it would jump back and forth from different years For example the first chapter of the book was in the year of 1994 and then the next chapter was in the year of 1961 and later back to 1995 Overall The Los Angeles Diaries was an admirable book because of the events that James Brown went through and how much the reader could relate to some of the situations and its descriptive details

  9. Lain Lain says:

    James Brown the author of several novels including Final Performance and Lucky Town has mined his dysfunctional childhood many times for material And he's had plenty to choose from including an arsonist mother who bankrupted the family the alcoholism and drug addiction and subseuent suicides of his brother and his sister and his own battles with alcohol and drugs and failed marriage This book is less a chronology of his life than a series of vignettes from his childhood strung together with scenes from his adult years So much pain so much tragedy it makes the reader wonder how he was able to redeem himself and recover While Brown writes clearly and clear eyed it's from a distance He relates the stories of his life with a detachment that leaves the reader unaffected by even some of the most horrific events And when he finally comes to the point where he must choose between life and death it's almost anticlimactic there's no sense of the torment that must have gripped him Perhaps though it's this very detachment that has allowed him to survive This is the book that James Frey might have written if he'd stuck to the truth There's not as much high drama and not as many memorable characters but it rings true And these days there's a lot to be said for that

  10. Antonia Crane Antonia Crane says:

    This is a beautiful book and I read it start to finish on the plane from Burbank to New Orleans You know a book is good when you have to hide your face in a sweatshirt on a plane to avoid the shame of tears The prose is simple honest and true It's the most effective first person memoir I've read in a long time Brown's sentences sting without trying too hard like Everything I tell myself is under control The beginning sucked me in right away and held me there The fires that burn LA every summer The Santa Anna ash blowing Then this crazy woman Jim Brown's mother lights a building on fire for no apparent reason I would've like to return to that thread in the book I realize there was alcoholism to cover and suicides to show and I was satiated I recommend this book as a great uick read

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The Los Angeles Diaries: A Memoir❴Reading❵ ➸ The Los Angeles Diaries: A Memoir Author James Brown – A man overcomes the trappings of his family's history of suicide and addiction in this grimly exuisite memoir that reads like a noir novel Publishers Weekly Best Book of the YearOne of the toughest me A man Angeles Diaries: PDF ☆ overcomes the trappings of his family's history of suicide and addiction in this grimly exuisite memoir that reads like a noir novel The Los PDF \ Publishers Weekly Best Book of the YearOne of the toughest memoirs I've ever read at once spare and startlingly admirably unsparing It glows with a Los Angeles Diaries: PDF º dark luminescence James Brown is a fine fine writer Michael Chabon Pulitzer Prize winning authorPlagued by the suicides of both his siblings and heir to alcohol and drug abuse divorce and economic ruin James Brown lived a life clouded by despair In The Los Angeles Diaries he reveals his struggle for survival mining his past to present the inspiring story of his redemptionBeautifully written and filled with dark humor these twelve deeply confessional interconnected chapters address personal failure heartbreak the trials of writing for Hollywood and the life shattering events that finally convinced Brown that he must change or die Harrowing and brutally honest The Los Angeles Diaries is the chronicle of a man who ultimately finds the strength and courage to conuer his demons and believe once A gemlike collection San Francisco Chronicle Best books of the YearProfound unsparing and clear eyed a heartbreaking story and yet oddly inspirational Janet FitchA darkly bright hugely compassionate and oddly redemptive story of loss and failure guilt and addiction The IndependentAn unpretentious very profound book Carolyn See The Washington PostA grimly exuisite memoir that reads like a noir novel but grips unrelentingly like the hand of a homeless drunk begging for help Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year.

About the Author: James Brown

James Brown Angeles Diaries: PDF ☆ is the author of several novels and the memoirs The Los Angeles Diaries This River and Apology to the Young Addict to The Los PDF \ be published March He is the recipient of a National Endowment of the Arts Fellowship in Fiction Writing and the Nelson Algren Award in Los Angeles Diaries: PDF º Short Fiction His work has appeared in the New York Times Magazine G The Los Angeles Times Magazine Ploughshares and.