The Los Angeles Diaries: A Memoir

The Los Angeles Diaries A Memoir Plagued 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 addiction broken promises and despair In The Los Ang

  • Title: The Los Angeles Diaries: A Memoir
  • Author: James Brown
  • ISBN: 9781582438733
  • Page: 452
  • Format: ebook
  • Plagued 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 addiction, broken promises, and despair In The Los Angeles Diaries, he reveals his struggle for survival, mining his past to present the inspiring story of his redemption Beautifully written and limned with dark humor, these twPlagued 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 addiction, broken promises, and despair In The Los Angeles Diaries, he reveals his struggle for survival, mining his past to present the inspiring story of his redemption Beautifully written and limned 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 In Snapshot, Brown is five years old and recalls the night his mother sets fire to an apartment building down the street In Daisy, Brown purchases a Vietnamese potbellied pig for his wife to atone for his sins, only to find the pig s bulk growing in direct proportion to the tensions in his marriage Harrowing and brutally honest, The Los Angeles Diaries is the chronicle of a man on a collision course with life, who ultimately finds the strength and courage to conquer his demons and believe once .

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      Published :2019-01-26T16:34:00+00:00

    One thought on “The Los Angeles Diaries: A Memoir”

    1. 5/20/16: 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 one.Two things about The Los Angeles Diaries stand out to me. The first, appropriately enough [...]

    2. 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 feel…)The 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 [...]

    3. 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 quick, 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 chapter:"Midair." It is stunning. The entire book is sc [...]

    4. 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 more difficult (and creative) than acting if you ask me. Only painting comes close. And I still think writing prose is more complex. Okay, so what doe [...]

    5. 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 choice.Now, 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 requested that they do so. I'm crossing my fingers that they'll also add Brown's companion memoir, This River, from 2010AD is a life-spanning series of autobiogr [...]

    6. 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 [...]

    7. 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 subsequent 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 tog [...]

    8. 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 ev [...]

    9. I had ordered this book from my library because I had won the follow-up to this book, This River: A Memoir on First Reads and wanted to have a good understanding of the author's life. I had anticipated simply reading this book, as a former addictions counselor, more from a bibliotherapy perspective and not putting much thought into it. What ended up coming out of this is that I have thoroughly enjoyed the book and read a little less than half of it in one day because the author has a real talent [...]

    10. I won the sequel to this book on so I checked this one out of the library to prepare for it! This was an unexpectedly good book. It gives the reader a real look at the life of someone with addictions. After reading the book and learning about the author's childhood,I could understand how he could have gotten to such a low point in his life and was glad to see he had reached a turning point. I am looking forward to the sequel!

    11. One of my favorite books ever! James is a great guy and awesome author. This memoir is very powerful and loaded with tragic emotions of hard reality and drug addiction.

    12. In the middle of reading Andre Dubus the III's Townie, I got this book in the mail. Partly because I misplaced Townie and partly because from the first paragraph through I couldn't stop reading James Brown's autobiographical Diaries, I still have to go back and finish Dubus' memoir/autobiography. But, when I do finish Townie, I want to go back through both these books and see why it is that I like Brown's Los Angeles Diaries and consequently Brown, as both a person and a writer, so much more tha [...]

    13. James Brown begins with that phenomenon of nature that all of us here in the Inland Empire know: the Santa Ana winds. We’ve seen the uprooted trees and downed powerlines in front of our schools, the smashed fences in our backyards. And we know about and fear the fires, and that less natural phenomenon, the arsonist.And so Brown begins by speaking directly to our experience, and continues to do so. Though heartrending, many of the details of his biography are not so uncommon. There are the craz [...]

    14. Sometimes, there are no happy endings. This is a powerfully written, dark and troubled book. The author describes his life in unflinching details, and makes no effort to sugar-coat the troubles he has as a result of his family, his drinking, and his drug use. Written in the present tense, the memoir takes on a very current feel - the doom about to befall the narrator seems imminent at every moment. Brown's writing is very sharp, and although the subject matter is difficult to read, I found mysel [...]

    15. The best addiction memoir out there. Brown has a talent for my favorite, very hard to achieve, kind of writing - literary but accessible. I'll give you the gist of what to expect with two awesome lines that stand out.While describing the depths of his own desperation, Brown makes a poignant observation about an event we are all familiar with – the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. When Jackie begins to climb out of the car “all she’s concerned about is gathering up the pieces of [...]

    16. This book was highly recommended to me by a friend at the publishing house. She told me it was harrowing and difficult to read but very well written--and this from someone who has long been disillusioned by the poor quality of manuscripts passing through production.My friend was quite right: this is an all-warts-exposed view of life on the fringes in Southern California, told through a series of vignettes from various years--1970, 1994, 1977--in which the author recalls the suicides of his broth [...]

    17. Just when you think you are seeing the worst in human weakness 13 come on, we 19ve all seen and heard of our own friends throwing their lives away through alcohol and drugs 13 that 19s when James Brown burns down the house. Things get worser. Times get tougher. And the human pain and misery reaches suicidal depths.I like 1CThe Los Angeles Diaries 1D because of the element of self-fufilling prophesy. James Brown, the person, and James Brown, the writer, is much too street smart and insightful to [...]

    18. Picked this up on a total whim. It's no secret that I am kind of a memoir junkie (no pun intended, given the subject matter of this book), although I am usually ambivalent at best about the author of any given memoir by the last page. This book is awash in the usual memoir fodder: drugs, depression, divorce, etc but something about the author's straightforward, no excuses or apologies presentation made the book both extremely readable and extremely sympathetic. I am putting this one on a "future [...]

    19. Oh where to I start. I had to read this book as a requirement for one of my classes. I go the the school where Mr. Brown teaches now, and at first I didn't want to be all up in a teacher's mind but God how wrong i wasis book isn't easy at all, it's not a light read, there is drug and alcohol abuse, there is suicide, there is everything you don't want to wish on people, and imagine how I felt knowing it's practically the live of one of my teachers. I really don't know what to say, I learn't so mu [...]

    20. This book was recommended by my professor last winter. I started to read the book and couldn't put it down. I never cared for memoirs but this book was simply wonderful. It is gripping to say the least, no one could ever say that it was a boring read. Your heart can't help but to go our to Mr Brown. Even though he is a drug abuser and alcoholic you can't help but to root for him. You develop a desperate desire to want to see this guy succeed. I recommend this book to all mature readers (i.e. any [...]

    21. It takes a great deal of courage to peel away the surface and write about the core of who we are as human beings--without metaphor or exaggeration, without literary fabrication. 'The Los Angeles Diaries' doesn't have the space, or the time, to meditate on anything other than life or death. Brown's story is too urgent, too special, too honest to bother. Even the best writers, the writers I admire beyond comprehension, seem to have difficulty in getting down to the bare bones of our sometimes triv [...]

    22. First and foremost this is a beautifully written book. The story is about the life of James Brown, a writer struggling with addiction and dysfunctional relationships. Each chapter is a certain point in his life, going back and forth between his childhood and his adult life. I finished this in two days, although I think I would have read it straight through if I hadn't started it in the evening. James Brown's story is tragic, but there are glimmers of hope in it as well. This was just a wonderful [...]

    23. One of my very favorite memoirs isThe Los Angeles Diariesby James Brown. While—for reasons that I’ll never fathom—it wasn’t a commercial success, it has garnered a well-earned cult following. In it, Brown writes about his life as an alcoholic and drugad more

    24. I stumbled upon this memoir on a sale rack in a Los Angeles record store. It was only $2 and seemed slightly interesting so I figured why not. I was surprised to find I thoroughly enjoyed the story of writer/teacher James Brown and his struggles with addiction. I finished it the same day I started and immediately bought the sequal, This River. I wish there were more pieces of writing from this author because he truly has a voice and story like none other.

    25. Quite moving and jagged--and just (I think) does manage to avoid the disaffection that can be caused by raspy characters. Perhaps most moving the last section ("Midair")--where he addresses directly his dead sister. Interesting that he does away with Going Fast (presumably his first novel)--poetic license in such a personal memoir? Hmm. But an ultimately uplifting read (somehow or other)--I only hope he's continued the same way it ended.

    26. It's wildly hard to write about depression, suicide, and addiction in a brave, new way in a memoir. Brown does it. I think his second "memoir" (read: essay collection) This River, is superior, because in that form (even if he doesn't claim it), he has more room to ruminate on meanings, but this dark freight train of a memoir will carry you deep into the mind and soul of an addict who's willing to rip himself wide to warn others as much as heal himself. elihastings

    27. One of my favorite memoirs. Brown's life, and descriptions of his life was so real, and raw and human. I chuckled a few times throughout the book because he recalls details that are so heart wrenching yet he recalls so matter-of-factly. I think anyone who had or even still has addicition in their life should read this!

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