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9/15 ? Serenade: James M. Cain's Southern California Nightmare bus tour


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It all plays out against the bulldozed orange groves packed with new urban sprawl and under the desiccating sun: thwarted dreams and double crossing lovers, mothers, daughters, husbands and speculators. When it goes south, it goes fast. The gun smoking, the bodies piled up, the house foreclosed, and the bitter truth sinks in: you can't eat the sunshine.

 

This Esotouric bus adventure celebrates the life, work, myths and passions of hard-boiled American novelist James M. Cain. In his best known novels (each one also made into a classic film) "The Postman Always Rings Twice," "Mildred Pierce" and "Double Indemnity," Cain painted a jaundiced portrait of a Southern California that was in stark contrast to the orange groves and mission bells sold by the city's boosters. Cain's LA was full of loose women with murder on their minds, lust-drenched cads who'd destroy their lives for a dame, rotten kids, suckers and saps.

 

How did this East Coat sophisticate go from editor of "The New Yorker" to populist novelist accused of writing dirty books? The tour explores Cain's life and work with a focus on his time in Southern California, where his observations on Malibu, Hollywood, Pasadena and the low rent 'burbs of Glendale are as provocative today as they were seventy years ago. The tour will also cover the artisans who transformed Cain's tales into movies, including Billy Wilder, Raymond Chandler, Joan Crawford and Lana Turner. Serenade: James M. Cain's Southern California Nightmare is a complex portrait of a fascinating character who was seduced and transformed by his time in the Southland, a hard working movie industry professional who sank into drink and despair, ultimately a uniquely Californian artist.

 

The tour draws on Cain's essays, short stories, novels, films and the memories of his friends and colleagues to paint a portrait of Los Angeles in the 1930s and 1940s through the eyes of the writer. The tour spans Cain's L.A. from Hollywood to Glendale and along old Route 66, and includes illuminating visits to Forest Lawn Memorial Park (a Glendale institution and site of the funeral of Mildred Pierce's "other" daughter, Ray), the Glendale Train Station where the "Double Indemnity" murder plot played out, and the punch line to a Billy Wilder joke so subtle, it's taken 63 years for anyone to get. Join us on the bus to share in the laughter and the pathos of Cain's SoCal.

 

info http://www.esotouric.com/cain

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