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Jacaranda is a dreamy young woman moving between the planets of Los Angeles and New York City. She’s a beach bum, a part-time painter of surfboards, sun-kissed and beautiful. Jacaranda has an on-again, off-again relationship with a married man and glitters among the city’s pretty creatures, blithely drinking White Ladies with any number of tycoons, unattached and unworried Jacaranda is a dreamy young woman moving between the planets of Los Angeles and New York City. She’s a beach bum, a part-time painter of surfboards, sun-kissed and beautiful. Jacaranda has an on-again, off-again relationship with a married man and glitters among the city’s pretty creatures, blithely drinking White Ladies with any number of tycoons, unattached and unworried in the pleasurable mania of California. Yet she lacks a purpose―so at twenty-eight, jobless, she moves to New York to start a new life and career, eager to make it big in the world of New York City. Sex and Rage delights in its sensuous, dreamlike narrative and spontaneous embrace of fate, work, and of certain meetings and chances. Jacaranda moves beyond the tango of sex and rage into the open challenge of a defined and more fulfilling expressive life. Sex and Rage further solidifies Eve Babitz's place as a singularly important voice in Los Angeles literature―haunting, alluring, and alive.


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Jacaranda is a dreamy young woman moving between the planets of Los Angeles and New York City. She’s a beach bum, a part-time painter of surfboards, sun-kissed and beautiful. Jacaranda has an on-again, off-again relationship with a married man and glitters among the city’s pretty creatures, blithely drinking White Ladies with any number of tycoons, unattached and unworried Jacaranda is a dreamy young woman moving between the planets of Los Angeles and New York City. She’s a beach bum, a part-time painter of surfboards, sun-kissed and beautiful. Jacaranda has an on-again, off-again relationship with a married man and glitters among the city’s pretty creatures, blithely drinking White Ladies with any number of tycoons, unattached and unworried in the pleasurable mania of California. Yet she lacks a purpose―so at twenty-eight, jobless, she moves to New York to start a new life and career, eager to make it big in the world of New York City. Sex and Rage delights in its sensuous, dreamlike narrative and spontaneous embrace of fate, work, and of certain meetings and chances. Jacaranda moves beyond the tango of sex and rage into the open challenge of a defined and more fulfilling expressive life. Sex and Rage further solidifies Eve Babitz's place as a singularly important voice in Los Angeles literature―haunting, alluring, and alive.

30 review for Sex & Rage: Advice to Young Ladies Eager for a Good Time

  1. 5 out of 5

    Rachel Pollock

    I really, really wanted to like this book. It came so highly recommended. However, by modern standards it reads like some stream of consciousness fever dream, like it's poorly edited. She has a beautiful authorial voice, but my god is it tedious to read. I really, really wanted to like this book. It came so highly recommended. However, by modern standards it reads like some stream of consciousness fever dream, like it's poorly edited. She has a beautiful authorial voice, but my god is it tedious to read.

  2. 5 out of 5

    mindful.librarian ☀️

    😍THIS BOOK ❤️ I'm thanking Belletrist from the bottom of my heart for choosing the re-release of this 1979 classic as their July book club pick - I absolutely LOVE THIS BOOK. And I can't write a review of it since it's older than I am (just barely!) and everything I say will be redundant. I will say that there is almost NO SEX (or rage!) though, and it completely defied all of my expectations. This book is whip-smart and lush and I wanted to highlight 90% of it. It's sweet and terse and hopeful 😍THIS BOOK ❤️ I'm thanking Belletrist from the bottom of my heart for choosing the re-release of this 1979 classic as their July book club pick - I absolutely LOVE THIS BOOK. And I can't write a review of it since it's older than I am (just barely!) and everything I say will be redundant. I will say that there is almost NO SEX (or rage!) though, and it completely defied all of my expectations. This book is whip-smart and lush and I wanted to highlight 90% of it. It's sweet and terse and hopeful and real and most of all, timeless. If I weren't done having kids, my next baby girl would 100% be named Jacaranda. If you haven't read it, add it to your lifetime reading bucket list. And I'm keeping this copy forever because I want to be the kind of person who has a book titled SEX AND RAGE on my living room family bookshelf ~ my kids no longer even think twice when they see this one lying around! Loved it.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Linda Robinson

    Sparkling decadence. Faux naïf and picaresque are two new words I learned reading reviews of Babitz's work and life during the time this collection of scenes was written. A memoir/essay/fiction with the names only slightly changed to include the participants in this hedonistic romp from L.A. to N.Y. and back again. Paris Review compared Babitz to Lispector, both in the obsession with the space between words and meaning, and then again that both women were badly burned; Babitz from the hot ash of Sparkling decadence. Faux naïf and picaresque are two new words I learned reading reviews of Babitz's work and life during the time this collection of scenes was written. A memoir/essay/fiction with the names only slightly changed to include the participants in this hedonistic romp from L.A. to N.Y. and back again. Paris Review compared Babitz to Lispector, both in the obsession with the space between words and meaning, and then again that both women were badly burned; Babitz from the hot ash of a cigar she was smoking that fell in her lap. The book I read had entertained a previous reader who began with pencil parentheses sparsely; soon crowding the page. Less than a third through, the reader stopped annotating. You've experienced the delight of language in the hands of a master writer, and thought about taking notes, framing the sentence in pretty punctuation. Open this book anywhere, and you'll find one or two or three of the best sentences you've read, nestled in a paragraph you'll read twice. The word choices describe people who are mesmerizing and who you are glad you never met when you were young and indestructible.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Natalie Rosselli

    I didn't get it. I'm not even sure if there was something to get. I HATED jacaranda. In my opinion she was so problematic and self absorbed when she was a walking disaster. The self pity was REAL. She blamed everyone for her problems and kept manipulating Shelby for no reason at all. Also, her obsession with Max was pathetic and made zero sense. Also, where was the plot? I was waiting for there to be some sort of climax and it never happened. I read in a review that it was supposed to be about h I didn't get it. I'm not even sure if there was something to get. I HATED jacaranda. In my opinion she was so problematic and self absorbed when she was a walking disaster. The self pity was REAL. She blamed everyone for her problems and kept manipulating Shelby for no reason at all. Also, her obsession with Max was pathetic and made zero sense. Also, where was the plot? I was waiting for there to be some sort of climax and it never happened. I read in a review that it was supposed to be about her getting revenge on Max for messing her up, but the revenge never happened? The story was just all over the place as though it wasn't planned, nor executed, very well. I also read somewhere that this was meant to be a loose memoir? If that's true, I would have hated Babitz as a person. Truly.

  5. 4 out of 5

    M.L. Rio

    Babitz has a way with words and a way with character. This--an odd little novel about a California girl's brushes with money, celebrity, and substance abuse--is supremely clever in its subtlety. Each little climax fizzles out in confusion and disappointment, characters persistently misunderstand each other, and the loose ends are, more often than not, left loose. As fiction goes, it's defiantly realistic in that sense, a testament to the fact that real life often refuses to satisfy the way the m Babitz has a way with words and a way with character. This--an odd little novel about a California girl's brushes with money, celebrity, and substance abuse--is supremely clever in its subtlety. Each little climax fizzles out in confusion and disappointment, characters persistently misunderstand each other, and the loose ends are, more often than not, left loose. As fiction goes, it's defiantly realistic in that sense, a testament to the fact that real life often refuses to satisfy the way the movies do. But there's something satisfying in that lack of satisfaction, and the story ends on an optimistic note, stubbornly uncinematic but suggestive of second chances, unlikely and maybe undeserved--a fitting conclusion for a colorful fable of 20th-century survival.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Matthew Huff

    Deathly dull. Literally nothing happens in this book, and its way too much "telling" with very little "showing." The title of this book is far and away the most interesting part. It was helpful in getting me in the right mood to sleep on a bus though. Deathly dull. Literally nothing happens in this book, and its way too much "telling" with very little "showing." The title of this book is far and away the most interesting part. It was helpful in getting me in the right mood to sleep on a bus though.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Chris Eells

    I was provided Sex and Rage from Goodreads in exchange for an honest review. Firstly, I thought this was a new book. It's actually a reprint from the late 70's. Secondly, this was a thinly veiled memoir. I had never heard of Eve Babitz before reading Sex and Rage, and now, having done so, can't really understand why people were so fascinated with her. I get the distinct feeling she was like the Kardashians of her time. I wanted to read Sex and Rage because the blurb spoke of a strong young woman g I was provided Sex and Rage from Goodreads in exchange for an honest review. Firstly, I thought this was a new book. It's actually a reprint from the late 70's. Secondly, this was a thinly veiled memoir. I had never heard of Eve Babitz before reading Sex and Rage, and now, having done so, can't really understand why people were so fascinated with her. I get the distinct feeling she was like the Kardashians of her time. I wanted to read Sex and Rage because the blurb spoke of a strong young woman growing up in LA and taking life head on. Instead, what I got was a strong young woman who makes crappy choices, falls head over heels for a group of too rich, too bored socialites who ended up getting her hooked on drugs and alcohol. This, in itself, is not a disqualifier for a good book, in fact it's actually a very good premise for a potentially outstanding book. This though, was not that book. The book is essentially 3 acts. Young, glowing, full of life 1st act. Rambling, incoherent, stream-of-consciousness 2cnd act... which goes on for way too long. And the 3rd, fairly short, getting my shit together act. Without providing spoilers, the second act dominates the book and while the blurb talks about an unrequited love... all I can say is, if that was anyone's idea of what love was like in the 60's/70's, no wonder the boomer generation was jacked up Sorry, maybe the story is dated, though it didn't really feel like it to me, I just couldn't get past how superficial it all was... including for our main character.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Janelle Janson

    SEX AND RAGE by Eve Babitz - This was the July book club pick for Belletrist - So far I've been so impressed with the thoughtful selections by Belletrist. If you haven't been following, you must go there and follow now! This book was originally published in 1979 and reissued this year. It centers around Jacaranda Leven (such a cool name), who is a surfer and a writer. She makes unapologetic decisions with such ease it will make you envious. I love that Los Angeles and New York City act as charac SEX AND RAGE by Eve Babitz - This was the July book club pick for Belletrist - So far I've been so impressed with the thoughtful selections by Belletrist. If you haven't been following, you must go there and follow now! This book was originally published in 1979 and reissued this year. It centers around Jacaranda Leven (such a cool name), who is a surfer and a writer. She makes unapologetic decisions with such ease it will make you envious. I love that Los Angeles and New York City act as characters and they are portrayed with such honesty. Babitz has such a way with words, it makes me swoon. I LOVE LOVE LOVE this book!! It's a timeless read that I plan to revisit again and again. I really had no expectations when I started, other than what I inferred from the really cool title and cover. And by the way, don't judge this book by it's title, SEX AND RAGE, unless you add its subtitle: "ADVICE TO YOUNG LADIES EAGER FOR A GOOD TIME". I think the next one I'll pick up by Babitz is SLOW DAYS, FAST COMPANY. I really want this ride to continue!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

    beautiful white girl with beautiful white girl problems. too much drugs, alcohol, sex, celebrity, etc. Babitz's writing is lovely, and she has crafted some interesting characters, but still, I was bored. beautiful white girl with beautiful white girl problems. too much drugs, alcohol, sex, celebrity, etc. Babitz's writing is lovely, and she has crafted some interesting characters, but still, I was bored.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Stefani

    I have to admit I was swept up in the seductively glamorous haze of Los Angeles that Eve Babitz concocts, the dreamy unreality of the movie industry an illusion that belies the darker side of the city and its denizens. Sex and Rage mostly takes place in the City of Angels during the late '60s and '70s, and is a thinly veiled memoir of the author, who, as an "It" Girl and groupie during this time, had an insider's view of the beautiful, wealthy, and fabulously eccentric people that populate her s I have to admit I was swept up in the seductively glamorous haze of Los Angeles that Eve Babitz concocts, the dreamy unreality of the movie industry an illusion that belies the darker side of the city and its denizens. Sex and Rage mostly takes place in the City of Angels during the late '60s and '70s, and is a thinly veiled memoir of the author, who, as an "It" Girl and groupie during this time, had an insider's view of the beautiful, wealthy, and fabulously eccentric people that populate her small circle of friends. Jacaranda, the protagonist of the novel, effortlessly moves through life with little consequence or care—after all she is in her mid-20s and a girl born and raised by the beach—and is content to sleep all day and party all night, all while regarding her world and the people within it, with a sense of awe, wonder, and lustful admiration. Cocaine is sometimes a great drug for numbing human emotion long enough to discover the Actual Truth, to face it, and to feel fine for 15 more minutes, until you either come down or can get some more cocaine. By the second part of the book, Jacaranda's had something of a mid-life crisis at the ripe old age of 28; her fancy friends have moved on and the realities of her dependence on alcohol are starting to set in. Like a photograph that's become faded with time, the effervescence of her former life has slowly seeped away and left her sober and shaking with DTs in NYC, the stresses of real life now a vivid tableau of anxieties that she's unprepared for. Jacaranda also realizes that the illusion of her superficial life is not all it seems—when her literary agent describes the downfall of someone she knows she's bemused. Last time she'd seen Lydia Antonia...she was oiling herself up with some sort of magic potion that cost $150 for a tiny tube and smelled like condensed eternal joy. She was forty and looked twenty and was naked and was not a mess...Anyone who's forty and looks twenty naked with hair down to her waist is hard to imagine becoming a mess two years later. I was really expecting this book to be mostly vapid and shallow, which it is a lot of don't get me wrong, though not in a way that I found particularly offensive, more wryly observant of a specific time and place, which both pleasantly surprised me and gave me an intimate glimpse into the author's privileged perch. Is there sex and rage? One would hope in a title with such promise, though, alas, this is deeply, deeply misleading. There are several references in the book to "sex and rage" as a state of being or feeling that someone can evoke in others, but no multipage descriptions of orgies or key parties or whatever people were into in the '70s. Still, the book somehow manages to still be unabashedly sensuous and kind of sexy in a weird way, and also kind of honest and real about the consequences of avoiding reality for an extended period of time. And though a lot of people on here said they wanted to like it (but didn't) I'm not ashamed to say I actually did like this book!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Duke Haney

    The golden statuette of a tangoing couple on the jacket of Eve Babitz's second novel, Sex and Rage, anticipates Babitz's later real-life interest in dance and mirrors the metaphorical tango of Sex and Rage's main characters: a surfer-artist adventuress modeled after Babitz herself, and a sexually ambiguous courtier of sorts to wealthy gadabouts who briefly make Los Angeles their playground. Though besotted with each other on a level that at least one of them will never admit, the adventuress and The golden statuette of a tangoing couple on the jacket of Eve Babitz's second novel, Sex and Rage, anticipates Babitz's later real-life interest in dance and mirrors the metaphorical tango of Sex and Rage's main characters: a surfer-artist adventuress modeled after Babitz herself, and a sexually ambiguous courtier of sorts to wealthy gadabouts who briefly make Los Angeles their playground. Though besotted with each other on a level that at least one of them will never admit, the adventuress and courtier spend much of the first part of the novel passing through nearly every phase of romance, and its bitter aftermath, without ever consummating it. In part two of the novel, the adventuress is forced for business reasons to spend time in Manhattan, where the courtier and gadabouts have since settled, and finds herself confronted with her L.A. past in People magazine, among other surprising venues. (One of her ex-lovers, who may or may not have been coveted by the courtier, has become a movie star and People cover subject.) The third-person perspective of Sex and Rage is unusual for Babitz, and the tight prose shimmers with vivid and painterly similes. The Manhattan section of the book feels protracted, just as the overall book occasionally feels like it can't decide whether it most wants to tell the life story of Jacaranda, the adventuress, or her microcosmic pas de deux with Max, the perplexing courtier. But Babitz knows exactly what she's doing, we finally realize, and Sex and Rage has never truly rambled. This is a much better book than L.A. Woman, Babitz's second and final novel, and because I liked L.A. Woman without loving it, I was in no special hurry to read Sex and Rage after buying a copy on Amazon two years ago for $15 or so. I moved it to the top of my tower of unread books while jonesing for more Babitz on finishing Eve's Hollywood, which goes for $300 on Amazon and elsewhere, as I mentioned in my recent review of it (goo.gl/1TS4up). The bargain-basement price of Sex and Rage has since risen to $50, and I would advise rare-book collectors to grab all of Babitz's out-of-print titles now, before the world discovers what it's been missing.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jim

    Once you've read any of Eve Babitz's books, everyone else writing about Southern California seems to be completely missing the point. She knows L.A. well and can write about its deceptive surfaces better than anyone else. Sex and Rage. Babitz's fiction is only slightly more fictional than her non-fiction, probably because her non-fiction also tends toward the fictional. Unlike most writers who have been sucked into the Hollywood scene, she is at one and the same time observant and literate, which Once you've read any of Eve Babitz's books, everyone else writing about Southern California seems to be completely missing the point. She knows L.A. well and can write about its deceptive surfaces better than anyone else. Sex and Rage. Babitz's fiction is only slightly more fictional than her non-fiction, probably because her non-fiction also tends toward the fictional. Unlike most writers who have been sucked into the Hollywood scene, she is at one and the same time observant and literate, which makes her a formidable threat as a California writer. I've read four of her books and continue to enjoy her, especially in her descriptions of the 1960s when she was an internationally known beauty.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Daniel Polansky

    Reading Eve’s Hollywood a few months ago I found myself flabbergasted that such a vibrant, interesting, commercially viable force had more or less disappeared; this book, Babitz’s third and the first to fictionalize her experience as LA ingenue and rock and roll muse, goes a fair way towards explaining the mystery. It is utter shit—badly plotted, sloppily written, and more self-indulgent than second-rate fan fiction. I could go on for about ten more sentences to this effect but what would be the Reading Eve’s Hollywood a few months ago I found myself flabbergasted that such a vibrant, interesting, commercially viable force had more or less disappeared; this book, Babitz’s third and the first to fictionalize her experience as LA ingenue and rock and roll muse, goes a fair way towards explaining the mystery. It is utter shit—badly plotted, sloppily written, and more self-indulgent than second-rate fan fiction. I could go on for about ten more sentences to this effect but what would be the point? Better to move on awkwardly.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Ylenia

    Eve Babitz is such an extraordinary storyteller. I could read about people living in L.A., drinking their pain away, and talking about nothing ALL DAY LONG. She is able to make every character instantly interesting, even the ones you're supposed to dislike or would dislike in real life. I'm pretty sure Babitz is a cat person so she instantly had my respect as soon as a cat named Emilio was mentioned. Eve Babitz is such an extraordinary storyteller. I could read about people living in L.A., drinking their pain away, and talking about nothing ALL DAY LONG. She is able to make every character instantly interesting, even the ones you're supposed to dislike or would dislike in real life. I'm pretty sure Babitz is a cat person so she instantly had my respect as soon as a cat named Emilio was mentioned.

  15. 5 out of 5

    BookwormLife

    Very dream like quality,but overall I just did not "get it" and for the life of me I don't understand the obsession with Max and the whole book revolving around her "revenge" and fear of him,as I'm very sure he was not straight. To each his own,but this book just wasn't my cup of tea. Very dream like quality,but overall I just did not "get it" and for the life of me I don't understand the obsession with Max and the whole book revolving around her "revenge" and fear of him,as I'm very sure he was not straight. To each his own,but this book just wasn't my cup of tea.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Alyse

    I love immersing myself in the lives of women who would never associate with me, and I seem to be really into California right now. Basically, this was a fun one.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Annie Pontarelli

    I love LA and I love this book

  18. 5 out of 5

    Sheri

    I heard the author in conversation at the Hammer. She was lively, engaging, and the talk was so much fun. She used to be Ed Ruscha's girlfriend. She's the naked, curvaceous young woman playing chess with an elderly, dignified Marcel Duchamp in an unforgettable photograph (apparently, all he said when he saw her was "Alors!"). But this book I did not care for. It had fun and witty moments, but basically it is all about how charming and brilliant and wonderful is the protagonist (clearly the autho I heard the author in conversation at the Hammer. She was lively, engaging, and the talk was so much fun. She used to be Ed Ruscha's girlfriend. She's the naked, curvaceous young woman playing chess with an elderly, dignified Marcel Duchamp in an unforgettable photograph (apparently, all he said when he saw her was "Alors!"). But this book I did not care for. It had fun and witty moments, but basically it is all about how charming and brilliant and wonderful is the protagonist (clearly the author). Almost embarrassingly so because it seemed so transparent, but a combination of warmth and pity stop me from going that far.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Juliet Plouff

    I hate writing bad reviews for books. I tried so hard to like this book. You know the feeling when you read something, and as soon as you finish you forget what you have just read, and have to reread it? That was me throughout this whole book. I really wish I liked it but it just wasn’t engaging enough for me.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Madeline

    this was published in 1979 but could have easily been published in 2019. i was immersed in this novel and it was such a relief after reading essay collections that, while interesting, break up your flow and prevent you from being totally submerged in a world. eve babitz was able to describe feelings and landscapes in such poetic, deep detail that i forgave the plot's stream-of-consciousness shortcomings. durga chew-bose has a quote summing up this particular orientation of experience, on p. 37 " this was published in 1979 but could have easily been published in 2019. i was immersed in this novel and it was such a relief after reading essay collections that, while interesting, break up your flow and prevent you from being totally submerged in a world. eve babitz was able to describe feelings and landscapes in such poetic, deep detail that i forgave the plot's stream-of-consciousness shortcomings. durga chew-bose has a quote summing up this particular orientation of experience, on p. 37 "I care little for plot and prefer a lingering glow, and often flip back a few pages because I overlooked a crucial turn while half reading on the train, distracted by a group of French teenagers." eve was able to dust her world in a glow. the epigraph is an agatha christie quote about how people are categorized and evaluated based on their coterie. honestly it just made me want to have a coterie, even though babitz goes on to expose the toxicity of closed system communities in the book. part I of the book takes place in Los Angeles while part II of the book is in New York City. Non-sober vs. sober, within a scene vs. an item around whom scenes are made. i paid attention to the use of the tides, of the balance demanded by surfing, and the parts of jacaranda's life where surfing is present. it's interesting how she even referred to the coterie as a barge, a more unwieldy sea vessel but one nonetheless. quotes ---- tk p. 67 "People go through life eating lamb chops and breaking their mother's hearts." p. 92 "The Salton Sea didn't move unless you touched it; it was unbidden by the moon, it had no tides, it lay there in perfect beauty, perfect stillness, out in the middle of the desert. The Salton Sea had been like a barge of the ocean floating atop the sandy desert. And those years -- pickled in vodka and white wine and money and Rolls-Royce limousines and the soft clear white ease of the barge, the informality and the private comforts -- had all been hosted by that drawl, shimmery and turquoise and eternally surprised "You're here!" p. 109 "What was going on between Shelby and Jacaranda must be what is meant by "love. She'd read about love and heard about how people loved each other even when they got old and weren't pretty anymore. Jacaranda could never imagine it; she thought it was for people with something extra inside them, or something less -- she never knew it was for her. Only suddenly, driving down the street one day, she knew that if Shelby was ever to go away, or die, she would never be the same. She and Shelby kissed; she felt them swimming at their leisure in a lagoon safe from the ocean but in and part of the ocean. Safe from dry land." p. 142 "Heretofore she'd lived with an image of champagne sipped from the glass slipper and an idea, too, about the seacoast of summer with cool white whine and hot white love." p. 169 "A moment of decision. She could call Max and wreck everything, go over and have nineteen Bloody Marys, a gram of coke, and catch the clap from some darling English prince, or she could gloat." p. 171 "The city was so madly beautiful and nobody could do anything but go along with it." p. 171 "...all that red, and she went straight into shock, sprialing out into the feeling that she and the Russian Tea Room were one. A kindly numbness allowed her to sit at the table talking and observing and otherwise fooling people, but in truth she was looking out through a windswept, cool glaze." p. 183 "...she had been a happily married woman living in Connecticut and then her husband realized his life had no meaning, so he moved to Big Sur with his eighteen-year-old boyfriend, and she was alone." p. 198 "When Jacaranda realized she was leaving New York the very next night, she felt suddenly tragic for a moment." p. 232 "The last time she'd seen Sonia, in her villa blooming with birds of paradise and geraniums in Beverly Hills, he had just died and Sonia simply glowed away, only stronger, so strongly that Jacaranda had a feeling that Sonia's blood -- which was probably made of pink roses -- was, each evening at twilight, bled into the sunset so that she could live forever." p. 243 "Waves that might have appeared the same to those who had never surfed would swell up and pass by. Then, as though by some commonly understood alert, the few in the water would position themselves deftly, putting their boards in the way of one particular swell, which, from afar, would seem not different to most people from the twenty or so before. But this wave would be different, it would shoot them a glance from across the waters. It would grow larger and larger, sucking in its cheeks, and, unable to contain itself, finally it would break, thundering with a passion so ruthless that nothing in its way prevailed. To ride such a stampede you had to be alive with balance, for the speed welled up beneath your feet, blooming faster and faster, as the green glass smashed into foam, throwing you into its tangoes embrace forever and ever. If you lasted and kept on your feet, the wave unrolled and unrolled until finally it exhausted itself, spent upon the wet shore, softly uncurled like a baby's smile. All waves are the same, pulled by the moon, spent at the end. But no two are alike even more."

  21. 4 out of 5

    Leah

    Chatty, vibrant, insightful, and devourable. The kind of book about someone growing up and discovering life and getting it wrong and getting slightly better at it that I really respond to. Will undoubtedly read more of her books very soon.

  22. 4 out of 5

    carissa

    "She'd read about love and heard how people loved each other even when they got old and weren't pretty anymore. Jacaranda could never imagine it; she thought it was for people with something extra inside them, or something less-she never knew it was for her." "She'd read about love and heard how people loved each other even when they got old and weren't pretty anymore. Jacaranda could never imagine it; she thought it was for people with something extra inside them, or something less-she never knew it was for her."

  23. 4 out of 5

    Val

    wasn’t a big fan. I liked part 2 way more than the first one, but still, not a big fan of it. I liked how she describes New York and LA but the problem for me was that I wasn’t really envolved with the characters. I didn’t feel that mental connection with any of them... if you know what i mean.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Anna

    after peer pressured into this - DNF it is. as a great philosopher once said ‘so many good books, so little time’. onwards & upwards.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Umi

    Eve Babitz kind of writes one book over and over but I really delight in that one book so whatever

  26. 4 out of 5

    Amelia

    Four stars only because it's not my favorite Eve. But it's still Eve, and it's wonderful. Four stars only because it's not my favorite Eve. But it's still Eve, and it's wonderful.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    I was introduced to Babitz recently via a recent article about her in Vanity Fair. The idea of an intellectual good-time girl intrigued me as it should, and I was dismayed to find that her work is not only largely unknown but also out of print. I was able to get a first edition copy o fSex and Rage via interlibrary loan to read and boy, am I ever glad I did. Babitz is glorious as a writer, the work hums with the fastness of the era, of the good time unapologetic choices that Jacaranda makes, doi I was introduced to Babitz recently via a recent article about her in Vanity Fair. The idea of an intellectual good-time girl intrigued me as it should, and I was dismayed to find that her work is not only largely unknown but also out of print. I was able to get a first edition copy o fSex and Rage via interlibrary loan to read and boy, am I ever glad I did. Babitz is glorious as a writer, the work hums with the fastness of the era, of the good time unapologetic choices that Jacaranda makes, doing so with such easy going nature you are desperate for the drugs she’s on. The book has several main characters, two of them cities (LA and NYC), who are plumped up in their finery to show you what they are really like. Make no mistake, this is very much a roman à cléf of Babitz’s life and I don’t think this book would have been successful any other way. The only way to capture the essence of the era and the city would have been to live it as wildly and as fully as Babitz.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Lorena

    1. You will fiercely fall in love with the real California. The California of beaches and sunrises, of cotton dresses and sandals, of girls with no make up on, and waves, a sea of waves. 2. A lot of life is like surfing. Not two waves are the same, and you cannot really predict how a wave is going to crash, yet you prepare, and you can tell, because you feel it in your gut. 3. Everybody feels like an impostor. Or anyone who is actually human. 4. The 70ies were a lot like the 2010ies. They had hipste 1. You will fiercely fall in love with the real California. The California of beaches and sunrises, of cotton dresses and sandals, of girls with no make up on, and waves, a sea of waves. 2. A lot of life is like surfing. Not two waves are the same, and you cannot really predict how a wave is going to crash, yet you prepare, and you can tell, because you feel it in your gut. 3. Everybody feels like an impostor. Or anyone who is actually human. 4. The 70ies were a lot like the 2010ies. They had hipsters. They had vintage clothes, and "I liked it before it was cool", and healthy food shops with evocative names. They did not have Instagram, but to be fair, the lived in Instagram, so everything is squared out. Loved it.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Yasmin

    I really wanted to like this book and was eager to get it from the library, so that is why I’m so upset that it wasn’t a great book. I was into it in the beginning, jacaranda the surfer exploring people and personalities but then the plot started straying and the story momentum stalled. I had high hopes but was sadly disappointed.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jen

    If Joan Didion and Shonda Rimes wrote a book together, you might get something like this. Little sex and little rage are present here in their literal forms - but the California ocean waves, Hollywood soapiness, and drama of publishing and the LA and NY elite abound in dreamy vignettes. So thrilled that I encountered this book, and I'm about to go read every other thing Babitz has written. If Joan Didion and Shonda Rimes wrote a book together, you might get something like this. Little sex and little rage are present here in their literal forms - but the California ocean waves, Hollywood soapiness, and drama of publishing and the LA and NY elite abound in dreamy vignettes. So thrilled that I encountered this book, and I'm about to go read every other thing Babitz has written.

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