In December Esotouric, the eclectic bus adventure company whose tours reveal L.A.'s secret history, rolls out a quartet of tours in honor of the city's great noir authors living and dead: James Ellroy, Raymond Chandler and James M. Cain. The days are getting shorter, and the nights colder, and it's the perfect time to curl up with a classic LA book or to get on the toasty Crime Bus.
On December 22 with a repeat performance on December 29 both of which sold out within a day of being announced-- James Ellroy hosts "James Ellroy Digs LA," a new tour through the city that haunts his dreams and inspires his art. Passengers will gather at Arnie Morton's downtown bar, then accompany the author in a luxurious coach class bus on an uncensored time travel journey to tony Hancock Park, where he stalked his teenage classmates and later broke into houses. . . to the Hollywood flats to explore some of the heinous 1950s murder cases that fascinated him as a youth and continue to feed his obsessions. . . and out to El Monte, where his mother Geneva was murdered, the unsolved crime that runs through all his work, from "The Black Dahlia" to "My Dark Places."
James Ellroy says, "I dig L.A. because I'm from here. My parents hatched me in a cool locale. I'm desperate to impress people, I'm a good talker, I know a shitload about L.A. and I want to share it. On this tour, you'll get L.A. crime and social history on an unparalleled AND intimate scale."
On December 15, Richard Schave hosts "Serenade: James M. Cain's Southern California Nightmare." 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. The tour explores Cain's life and work and how both were transformed when he reached the Southland, as well as the artisans who transformed Cain's tales into movies, including Billy Wilder, RaymondChandler, Joan Crawford and Lana Turner.
And on December 8, Richard Schave hosts "Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: In A Lonely Place." The tour spans Chandler's L.A. from downtown landmarks that appear in thinly disguised form in his fiction to his favorite Hollywood haunts, and includes some off-the-bus-adventures, including a stop in the Barclay Hotel lobby to talk about the ice pick murder from "The Little Sister" and a visit to Scoops for complementary Chandler-themed gelato. From his pre-literary career as a failed, fired oil executive in boomtown 1910s downtown to his glory years penning pristine magazine pulp to the creative conflicts that dogged his highly paid, miserable years as a screenwriter and the boozy whirlwind that pulled him into the grave, the tour is a complex portrait of a compelling, brilliant and haunted soul.
It's a noir December in Los Angeles, and Esotouric is there to provide the backdrop. Get on the bus this month to see the unexpected and learn why the editors of the Downtown News named Esotouric "Best Downtown Tour."
Upcoming Esotouric bus tour schedule:
Sat Dec 8 - Raymond Chandler's LA
Sat Dec 15 - James M. Cain's So California Nightmare
Sat Dec 22 James Ellroy Digs L.A.
Sat Dec 29 James Ellroy Digs L.A.
Sun Jan 15 - Vroman's Bookstore presents The Real Black Dahlia
For more info on Esotouric, please visit http://www.esotouric.com