Venice in Books D-K
In alphabetical order by author's last name
Mark Z. Danielewski - House of Leaves
One of Johnny Truant's female conquests, Ashley, lives in Venice in a
house with a patio surrounded by rubber trees and banana plants. In Appendix
D. a letter to the editor is signed by Zampano in Venice.
Sara Davidson - Real Property
I can't remember if this is a novel or a memoir. Davidson moved to
Venice in '75. She describes the boardwalk and the real estate boom, the
cult of idleness, the upper and lower classes. On the boardwalk, all the
wheels make her nervous. Any property available for sale is outrageously
expensive and in appalling condition. But she does buy, and is rewarded
by making, only a year later, more money on the house than on her entire
writing career to date. (Davidson also wrote a very favorable piece for
Esquire about Venice, but later moved to Malibu and said in a 1981
interview that you couldn't pay her to live in Venice, which is kind of
funny because someone already had.) But a real estate coup wasn't the
whole story. During her residency, she was burglarized three times, once
by a young man who left behind the jacket he'd wrapped around a brick
before using it to break a window. She found a Mothers Day card in the
pocket. It said, "I like Venice a lot. I've been sleeping on the
beach...." Davidson's Loose Change, a memoir of the '60s,
took four years to write and was finished in Venice in July '76.
Mike Davis - Ecology of Fear
This scholarly study of LA notes that 35 people died in a Venice residential
hotel fire in 1924. Mentions Venice as one of the areas where landlords
pay armed mercenaries to rid their properties of undesirables. Likewise
the authorities. In 1997 three Venice mothers sued the federal government
for wrongful eviction under the "one strike and you're out"
regulations designed to clean up public housing.
Joan Del Monte - Plonk Goes the Weasel
is a film industry mystery; part of the action takes place in Venice
Joan Del Monte - Mud Blood
is partly set in the Venice canal district.
Thomas B. Dewey - The Love-Death Thing
In the '60s, a detective comes from Chicago to look for a 17 year old
girl whose last known address was a house on one of the walk streets.
Eric Jerome Dickey - Friends and Lovers
They arrange a date at "a reggae club down by the Venice waterfront,"
though they actually go to Marina del Rey. A couple of other glancing
references to Venice.
Mark Di Suvero - Archive of Color Photographs
of Various Sculptures (1991)
Suite of 14 original color prints of several of the artist's sculptures,
focusing on his installations in Nice, France, and on Venice Beach
Carol Doumani - Untitled, Nude (1995)
A novel of passion and greed in the Venice art world
Debra Dresbach - Skate Away L.A.
"There's hardly a skater who lived in Venice three years ago who
hasn't seen his/her picture in an article or on the screen at least once
Donald Duke - Pacific Electric Railway Vol.
4 - The Western Division
includes Venice Short Line
Linda Eber - Changing Venice: Community
or Commodity (1982)
photos and interviews
Claudio Edinger - Venice Beach
Pictorial - 86 duotones. Edinger took these pictures when he lived on
Ocean Front Walk for a few months in 1984. Some of his subjects lived
in Venice, others were typically found there. Artists, a drag queen, Sikhs,
a man who keeps snakes and alligators in his apartment, bodybuilders,
street performers, a skateboarding senior citizen lady, the alternative
clergyman who performed my wedding, yogis, boardwalk vendors, healers
who set up shop on the boardwalk, chainsaw juggler, tattoo artist, models,
a youth who kid who explains why one area of Venice is called Dog Town.
Environmental Communications - Big Art:
Megamurals & Supergraphics (1977)
Editors: David Greenberg, Kathryn Smith, and Stuart Teacher. Shows several
Venice murals, including:
***Ocean Park Boulevard at Main -
by Jane Golden - Venice in its amusement park heyday, with rollercoasters,
lots of people and bright umbrellas, etc.
and Speedway on the side of an apartment building - by the LA Fine Arts
Squad - "Venice in the Snow". Ocean Front Walk after a snowstorm,
including "several well-known local characters." There's a photo
of it with a banner: "Save This Painting - Be Here Sun. 2:00",
but the effort failed and another building was put up about a foot away.
and Neilson - by Wayne Holwick - "Groupie," which was whitewashed
over. The same artist painted "Rimbaud" in the same location,
and it too was destroyed.
***Ocean Front Walk - by Environmental
Communications - on a stucco bungalow, "Pink House," which has
since been destroyed.
***Brooks and Pacific - by the LA
Fine Arts Squad,
***West Washington Blvd. - by Arthur
Mortimer and friends - "Brandelli's Brig," 1973, shows the owners
of the tavern standing in front of the place, which has a picture on the
side of the owners standing in front of the place....
***1423 6th St. - by Keith Tucker
- painted on the wall of Bug Builders in 1973, in return for repairs on
the artist's Volkswagen.
***Venice Pavilion - by Arthur Mortimer
- one of several murals painted all around the Pavilion in 1970
Delia Ephron - Hanging Up
The protagonist's sister calls to say, "Ruby Tuesday, this neat store
in Venice, took thirteen sets of my bead earrings on consignment."
Amy Ehrlich - Joyride
A mother and daughter travel from Vermont to Venice, and the mothers
secret is revealed.
Leslie Epstein - San Remo Drive (2003)
The protagonist visits a writer who lives around Speedway and 29th, in
an old house in bad repair and overgrown with vegetation. There's some
nice writing in here.
Leslie Epstein - Pandaemonium (1997)
Atmospheric descriptions of Ozone Ave. and the Boardwalk in the Forties.
Carl A. Faber - On Listening
On the Acknowledgements page of this book it says "Venice California
Dan Fante - Chump Change
By the author's description, "the book jacket from my first novel
was shot on the boardwalk...Chump Change has a long section about the
Sunset Saloon and drinking on the beach, etc." The sequel is Mooch,
a novel the author says is "about 30-40% Venice and features Small
World Books on a page or two as well as Ocean Front Walk." The official
blurb says it's about "a drunk in 7-Elevenland who gets a job as
a telemarketer and becomes involved with a half-Mexican half-Iranian blue-eyed
blowjob crack-whore with a sensational ass.....The pace is frantic with
a sense of humor and in-your-face language....It's also a serious novel
about a guy who finally pulls his head out of his ass and accepts responsibility
for himself, as well as others."
Terry Fisher - Good Behavior
A woman falls in love with a sensitive, artistic ex-con. She moves into
his dilapidated house in Venice near the beach. When they pull off their
million-dollar job, a modern art heist, the paintings are to be ransomed
by throwing money in a waterproof duffel bag from the Santa Monica Pier,
and the guy is there with scuba equipment waiting to retrieve it. But
he runs out of air, and a lot of other stuff goes wrong, and they get
caught and do time at Terminal Island. When they get out they return to
a rented apartment in Venice.
Noel Riley Fitch - The Erotic Life of
Anais Nin (1993)
Nin adored Venice, often went to the beach with experimental filmmakers
Kenneth Anger and Curtis Harrington, and somehow found a spot secluded
enough to sunbathe nude. This seems to have been 1948 or thereabouts.
Skipping ahead twenty years, during the Summer of Love (1968) many of
her friends lived there including poet Lawrence Lipton and disgruntled
Venice Post Office employee Charles Bukowski. One of her gang, Harold
Norse, worked out at Gold's Gym with Arnold Schwarzenegger who had yet
to be discovered.
Sid Fleischman - Disappearing Act
In this book for 3rd and 4th graders, two children whose mother has disappeared,
and who know they are also in danger, run to Venice to hide out and assume
Ruth Francisco - Good Morning, Darkness
Some of the action takes place in Oakwood.
J. F. Freedman - Fallen Idols
Tom goes to a club in an industrial area of South Venice and tries
to pick up a woman called Renee but gets in a fight with one of her other
Helen K. Garber - Venice Beach, California
the full surreal experience of spending a day at Venice Beach. The official
commerative book of the Venice Centennial 1905 - 2005
George Garrigues - He Usually Lived with a
Female: the Life of a California Newspaperman
the story of C.H. (Brick) Garrigues,
editor of the Venice Vanguard
Libby Gelman-Waxner - If You Ask Me
Says that in the remake of Robin Hood, Kevin Costner "looked
scraggly and smelly, like a Venice Beach drug dealer after a night in
William Gibson - Virtual Light
Some of the action takes place in the Venice of 2005. One character is
a film buff who mentions Forbidden
Zone, the quintessential Venice movie.
Roland Gilbert and Robert Lia - 72 Market
St. Dishes It Out!: A Collection of Recipes and Portraits from a Classic
Venice Restaurant (1998)
Joseph Giovannini - Real Estate as Art:
New Architecture in Venice California (1984)
photos by Daniel Martinez, produced by Tom Sewell. The stories of unique
buildings and their makers. Doing a thorough job, the author interviewed
the building inspector who had to deal with these unorthodox designs.
Lots of pictures of innovative architecture and its creators.
Herbert Gold - Bohemia: Where Art, Angst, Love,
and Strong Coffee Meet
Visits Bohemian meccas of the past and present, all over the world,
including of course Venice. Warning: one critic says it manages to make
Gerald Jay Goldberg - Heart Payments
In this novel, collagist Dan Asher lives in Venice, so much of the action
takes place there. There is also a stolen Rembrandt and a humanistic detective.
Albert Goldman - The Lives of John Lennon
Gives details of the famous sanitary napkin incident. Briefly, that day
Lennon came over to where Jesse Ed Davis lived at Venice Beach. He was
in a very bad mood from hassling with his wife Cynthia and wanted any
kind of dope that was around. Davis gave him a bunch of speed and Lennon
went to the liquor store and bought a bottle of vodka and they went to
dinner at some restaurant called Lost on Larrabee - a trajectory that
culminated later at the Troubadour when a waitress refused to serve the
party. According to witnesses, Lennon demanded, "Do you know who
I am?" and the waitress said, "You're some asshole with a Kotex
on your head."
Jan Goldstein - All That Matters
Brought low by her mothers death, deserted by father and lover,
a woman comes to Venice Beach with suicide on her mind.
Alan Gorg - The Sixties: Biographies of the
At least one person from Venice is interviewed.
Sue Grafton - Q is for Quarry
There's a character names Frankie Miracle who used to live in the
canal district with his girlfriend Iona. He was a handyman's helper -
this was in the days when the canals were a watery slum - so anyway on
a meth binge Frankie killed a neighbor named Cathy Lee, and years later
a vehicle connected to that case turns up in another case.
Kimberly Gray - Love's Bounty
Police officer working Venice Beach is threatened by a man from her past.
Matt Groening- Life in Hell
This 1990 comic strip titled "The Law of the Briny Deep" commemorates
a true incident where an avenging grownup saw two bullies picking on a
younger kid, and threw their bicycles in the canal from a footbridge.
There's a 1984 one called "Storefront of Doom" where a premises
is successively Cafe Bongo, slot car racing palace, Psychedelic Hut, 8-track
tape emporium, Z.E.S.T. (Zeal Enrichment Selfhood Training), House of
Smileys, Punky's Punk Shop, a tanning salon, and a breakdance lesson shop.
Matt Groening - Big Book of Hell
cartoon of a grafitti wall, one slogan is VENICE SLEAZEBALLS RULE
Katherine Haake - title unknown
Fiction piece in June 1983's LA Reader. A girl is stuck with a
no-good stepfather who brings her to Venice to live in an apartment on
the boardwalk where he paints all the interior walls black.
Delores Hanney - Venice, California:
A Centennial Commemorative in Postcards, 1905-2005
Pat Hartman - Call
Someplace Paradise and Ghost
Town: A Venice California Life
Charlie Hauck - Artistic Differences
In this novel, the main character's ex-wife has a lover named Emory
who is minister of a hip Episcopalian church in Venice, that has a gay
and lesbian choir and a female Christ on the cross. He wears Hawaiian
shirts to conduct services.
Steve Hodel - Black Dahlia Avenger
This non-fiction book includes information about Amilda Kiyoko Tachibana
McIntyre - actress, dancer, musician, astrologer who lived in Venice.
She was the mistress first of Hodel then on his father, who allegedly
killed her as well as several other women.
Cecelia Holland - Home Ground
"At the end of the trip she crashed off the speed on a stranger's
couch in a living room in Venice, reading Kazantzakis and drinking orange
Jerry Hopkins and Daniel Sugarman - No
One Here Gets Out Alive (1985)
Plenty of material about Jim Morrison's eventful residency in Venice.
Norman Howard - Kiss in the Hotel Joseph Conrad
Collection of stories, one set in Venice
Angela Hynes - California Natural
Main character is Brighton Doyle, a private investigator with
on office on the Boardwalk
Karla Jay & Allen Young - Tales of the
Lavender Menace : A Memoir of Liberation (1999)
"Early 1970s feminist and sexual radicalism, from communal living
to group sex to life in Venice Beach until the infamous Lesbian raid and
the Venice 8."
Ava Kahn - California Jews (2003)
Includes the Jewish community of Venice
Anna Kashfi - Brando for Breakfast
The author quotes Louella Parsons, who was annoyed by Brando's conceit,
gall and bad manners - "As far as I'm concerned, he can just ride
his little motorcycle right off the Venice pier."
Faye Kellerman - Grievous Sin
Police detectives are looking for a man who disappeared from Berkeley,
changed his name and moved to LA. "What's the closest place ideologically
to Berkeley in LA?" they ask themselves. Venice, of course. At 6:30
in the morning, they are able to park on the street at Rose and Speedway.
Decker finds something rejuvenating about the boardwalk, and notes that
nobody bothers to ask for handouts in the morning when only the locals
Jonathan Kellerman - The Murder Book
The protagonist receives a book full of pictures of dead bodies.
One is that of a woman artist attacked by the neighbor's dog after three
years of arguments, on Ozone Ave. One of the characters is busted for
selling dope in Venice, and there is mention of a drive-by shooting on
Kenney - Mapping Gay LA: The Intersection of
Place and Politics
Marian Keyes- Angels
Lara the lesbian actress lives close enough to the ocean to hear the waves.
Abbot Kinney - Tasks at Twilight
The webslave got all excited about this web excerpt, which claims that
Kinney was "known in real life for practicing a particularly free
form of Free Love, keeping two different families on separate Venice canals,
and penning a book on his sexual theories and practices entitled Tasks
At Twilight in order to give vent to his amorous inclinations
" As it turns out, this was written by Theresa Duncan, so its
probably made up. She was famous for that.
Robert T. Kiyosaki and Sharon L. Lechter C.P.A.
- Rich Dad's Success Stories
One of the case studies they examine is that of Ed and Terry Colman of
Venice, described as "1960s free thinkers morphing into twenty-first-century
Alan M. Klein - Little Big Men
Set in a Venice gym in the early 1980s, speaks unkindly of the bodybuilding
culture and its people.
Judith Krantz - Dazzle
The novels title is the name of a photography studio in Venice owned
by Jazz Kilkullen, who is beautiful and of course headstrong.
Maryjane Kwan - A Seashore Memoir
The author is "a person who has dedicated her life to Venice"
and the book is illustrated with her drawings.
go to books L - P