introducing readers to writers since 1995

July 19, 2005

Gavin Lambert, 1924-2005

by Ron Hogan

I liked Gavin Lambert's books so much I interviewed him twice. But as much as I admired the biographies, including last year's book on Natalie Wood, it was novels like Inside Daisy Clover* I really loved. To my mind, Lambert is an underappreciated genius of the Hollywood novel, pretty much making of Los Angeles what Dawn Powell did New York; he sent up flares for later authors such as Bruce Wagner to follow. The novels can be difficult to find, but they're worth ordering online if need be; in addition to Daisy, I'm also partial to The Goodbye People.

*The movie version of which starred Wood and a young Robert Redford. Lambert also wrote the screenplay--not one of his Oscar-nominated efforts, but still quite good for the "backstage Hollywood" sub-genre.
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