Synopses & Reviews
New in town, huh? Look around, kidpalm trees, movie stars, glittering promises of fame and fortune....Now look closer, and you'll see the real action in the City of Angels: goons and thugs, backroom dice clubs, motel room cheesecake shots, crusading cops, and a few unlucky saps who didn't make it out alive. Sins of the City is a daring photographic compendium of vintage vice in Los Angeles from the '20s to the '50s, the true-life pictures of a milieu immortalized in the hard-bitten novels of Raymond Chandler, Walter Mosley, and James Ellroy, and such films as Criss Cross, Double Indemnity, Chinatown, and LA Confidential. Pore over 200 shots of the people, places, and events that only tabloids such as Hush-Hush, Confidential, and Whisper dared publish. Witness the LAPD bust a floating casino, see a dapper Bugsy Siegel "before" (living) and "after" (deeply deceased), and marvel at the criminal excess of marijuana-stuffed suitcases. Author Jim Heimann has scoured archives and newspaper morgues for prime examples of Southland's inglorious past, presenting a compelling history of its notorious corruption. Sure, it's a tough city, but thankfully someone was there to record it all.
"So you've seen L.A. Confidential more than a few times and you're itching to know more about the City of Angels' seedy side? In Sins of the City, Jim Heimann collects tabloid shots taken at morgues, mafia murder scenes and marijuana heists plus some sweet ol' amateur porn thrown in for good measure. Perfect browsing material to keep next to the can at your swing club." Ray Gun
"Heimann's remarkable skill set is put to good use in Sins of the City: The Real Los Angeles Noir, a beguiling collection of black-and-white photographs that depict the demimonde of Los Angeles from the '20s to the '50s. What the photographer Weegee did for New York in his classic Naked City, Heimann now does for Los Angeles." L.A. Times
Los Angeles is recognized as much for its history of civic corruption, criminal excess, and common degeneracy as for its glamorous facade. From the days after the First World War to the dawn of the Cold War era, the transition from coarse rural outpost to chaotic urban center was underway, resulting in a mysterious and charismatic nether-world that has been immortalized in countless books and films of the noir genre. Now, Jim Heimann collects hundreds of real photographs from the golden age of Southland vice in Sins of the City: The Real Los Angeles Noir
Culled from historical archives, newspaper photo morgues, and personal collections, this visual histroy traverses the mean streets of Angel City, taking you into the heart of the grit and grime. From gin joints to waterfront tattoo parlors, casino barges to the back alleys of Chinatown, a hopped-up Sunset Strip to jazz-drenched Central Avenue, Sins of the City presents a rare view of a confidential Los Angeles.
For those fascinated with the myth as well as the reality, Sins of the City delivers the visual documents and fascinating details of a city looking for redemption.
About the Author
Jim Heimann is a graphic designer, illustrator, and educator whose previous books include California Crazy: Roadside Vernacular Architecture, also published by Chronicle Books.