Book Review: L.A. Exposed: Strange Myths and Curious Legends in the City of Angels by Paul Young

Before I say anything about this book, I have to give out a shout out to Recycled Books of Denton, Texas.  Recycled Books is a huge used bookstore.  When I was going to college, I used to visit Recycled Books nearly everyday.  I loved the books.  I love the atmosphere.  I even loved the shag carpeting.  I’ve recently been trying to organize and read all of the books in my collection. As I’ve been going through them, I couldn’t help but notice just how many of them I purchased from Recycled Books!

And yes, L.A. Exposed is one of those books.

First published in 2002, L.A. Exposed is an enjoyably gossipy look at all of the legends and mysteries surrounding Los Angeles.  The book provides a nice mix of celebrity gossip, rock star decadence, and — most importantly — supernatural speculation.  I mean, yes, it was interesting to read about whether or not John Barrymore’re body was stolen from the morgue.  And I’m sure some people will automatically turn the chapter about whether or not Courtney Love had Kurt Cobain murdered.  There’s a lot about OJ Simpson and the corruption of the LAPD as well.  The deaths of Marilyn Monroe, Sam Cooke, and Bobby Fuller are all examined.  Was Charles Manson an FBI informant?  Read the book for yourself.

But, for me, the most interesting parts of the book were the sections dealing with haunted Hollywood, sea serpents, UFO sightings, Bigfoot spottings, cult activities, and the Lemurians.  Do you know who the Lemurians were?  They were like the people of Atlantis but, if you believe the legend, they were smart enough to sail for California before their continent sank.  And, according to some, they currently live inside a mountain near Los Angeles.  I imagine that’s a good way to avoid the IRS.

By this point, our regular readers should realize that I’m a natural skeptic.  I don’t believe in UFOs, ghosts, sea serpents, or Lemurians.  But they’re still a lot of fun to read about.  In fact, it’s even more fun when you don’t believe because you can enjoy the idea of Bigfoot without worrying actually meeting him.

Anyway, this is a fun book and good read.  Order a copy before your next California vacation.  And thank you, Recycled Books, for stocking it where I could easily find it, all those years ago!

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