"To write the definitive book about Los Angeles would be impossible. In Everything Now, the novelist Rosecrans Baldwin doesn't try. And in not trying, he may have written the perfect book about Los Angeles."
–ALEXANDRA JACOBS, The New York Times Book Review
In his deeply empathetic and insightful book, . . . Baldwin opts not to grasp for some unifying theory of Los Angeles. . . So how does the author wrap his arms around this complex city-state? By delivering poignant miniatures of individuals who make it their business to subvert L.A.'s stasis and apathy. . . An elegant and unflinching observer, Mr. Baldwin digs up an invisible city under layers of pop-culture mythologizing and media cliches.–MARC WEINGARTEN, The Wall Street Journal Everything Now
is a genre-bending work of reportage and memoir that's been lauded as one of the best and most inventive books of the summer. It's a book that delights in the mysteries of the place.–GEOFFREY GAGNON, GQ
[Baldwin] manages to define, and, perhaps, redefine, the most undefinable of cities with a fresh and sometimes startling inquisitiveness. Ambitious in a way that seems to mirror L.A.'s sprawl, the story is told through a series of vignettes, combining deft on-the-ground reporting, hazy personal memories, and snippets of overheard conversations that read, appropriately, like film scripts. . . Like [Mike] Davis, Baldwin peels back the faded myths of stereotypes and boosterism in his effort to source the origins of L.A.'s power.
–ALISSA WALKER, VULTURE
"Baldwin offers an amalgam of voices in the form of stories, conversations, and reflections that add up to a spectacular collage portrait of Los Angeles. The result is a daring and innovative excavation of the City of Angels as 'the Great American City-State.'–ALTA MAGAZINE
Full of surprising facts and anecdotes, this is a compelling, thoroughly researched, and lovingly crafted chronicle of how Los Angeles came to be.
A witty and imaginative survey of contemporary L.A. . . . This multifaceted, openhearted account reveals L.A. as a 'shifting mosaic of human potential' unlike any other place in the world.
Rosecrans Baldwin has created a sharp, convincing work of acute observation. It is as clearheaded and nuanced as it is timely. –MIKE DAVIS
, author of City of Quartz
With Everything Now
, Rosecrans Baldwin maps the superstates of Los Angeles, capturing an immense urban world in all its shifts. Against backdrops of floods and wildfires, loneliness and delight, Baldwin has constructed his own brilliant scenography, a book as lively as the city it describes. – GEOFF MANAUGH
, author of A Burglar's Guide to the City
In brisk and graceful style Rosecrans Baldwin has produced a new and necessary guidebook for contemporary Los Angeles, one that captures the elusive and bewildering qualities of the beautiful sprawling nightmare so many of us call home. Everything Now
should be handed out to everyone who gets off a plane at LAX. –JIM GAVIN,
author of Middle Men
and creator of Lodge 49
Los Angeles invites extreme forms of correspondence, love letters and hate mail, and Rosecrans Baldwin's Everything Now
is a lush amalgam of both. In beautiful and concise prose, he maps a sun-drenched geography that we love to hate and hate to love. With this book, Baldwin cements his status as one of California's finest literary cartographers.
, author of Mean
All the research, all the thinking and wandering and interviewing that Baldwin did to get head and heart, arms and eyes around greater Los Angeles sits barely beyond the sightlines of the beautiful storytelling, the unpacking of myth and memory, the narrative wrestling match with a place that has crushed so many other would-be interpreters. Rosecrans Baldwin tackles a city-state's sprawling past and present across great chunks of chronology and culture, and does it with grace and imagination. This book is a revelation."
, Director, Huntington-USC Institute on California and the West
With a novelist's eye and a searching curiosity, Rosecrans Baldwin has created a sprawling work that explores a place and its people, as well as culture, history, geography and ecology. A feat of imagination that fed my mind, heart and soul.
, winner of the National Book Award for Interior Chinatown
Rosecrans Baldwin's Everything Now
is the rare work that understands L.A. for its Sphinx-like inscrutability and complex history. It refuses to lapse into cheap stereotype or inherited cliché, yet remains skeptical of the cultish lure and sunbaked weirdness. This is the meticulously reported and three-dimensional contemporary history that the city needs.
, Editor-in-Chief, The LAnd Magazine
"I was born in Los Angeles and intend to die here–there's no place in the world I love more. I'm also constantly furious about the many ways it falls short of its promise. Rosecrans Baldwin has taken on the unwieldy task of portraying this unique, enormous city in all its overlapping, contradictory layers, and incredibly, he succeeds. With vivid stories and a ready knowledge of local literature and history, he captures the sunshine and noir of 21st Century L.A.: both the multitudinous roar of life and the untenable, unconscionable inequality."
, winner of the Los Angeles Times
Book Prize for Your House Will Pay
Baldwin's outsider status gives him a perfect vantage point to challenge, embrace or confront what it means to live in LA in the 21st century. ... LA is presented as a place that challenge preconceptions, an endless horizon of possibilities where you're meant to make your own narrative and find your own self, in amongst a crowd of others seeking to do exactly the same thing. This episodic piece of narrative non-fiction sub-divides the urban experience into personal vignettes, filtered through the city's copious literature and the many voices Baldwin meets on his quest to understand LA. It's a book about planning as much as people, and why LA is so utterly resistant to the latter whilst also being such a neophiliac's paradise.
–JONATHAN BELL, Wallpaper*