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Download The Mirage Factory: Illusion, Imagination, and the Invention of Los Angeles Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Mirage Factory: Illusion, Imagination, and the Invention of Los Angeles Audiobook, by Gary Krist Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Gary Krist Narrator: Rob Shapiro Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: May 2018 ISBN: 9780525526520
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From bestselling author Gary Krist, the story of the metropolis that never should have been and the visionaries who dreamed it into reality
 
Little more than a century ago, the southern coast of California—bone-dry, harbor-less, isolated by deserts and mountain ranges—seemed destined to remain scrappy farmland. Then, as if overnight, one of the world’s iconic cities emerged. At the heart of Los Angeles’ meteoric rise were three flawed visionaries: William Mulholland, an immigrant ditch-digger turned self-taught engineer, designed the massive aqueduct that would make urban life here possible. D.W. Griffith, who transformed the motion picture from a vaudeville-house novelty into a cornerstone of American culture, gave L.A. its signature industry. And Aimee Semple McPherson, a charismatic evangelist who founded a religion, cemented the city’s identity as a center for spiritual exploration.

All were masters of their craft, but also illusionists, of a kind. The images they conjured up—of a blossoming city in the desert, of a factory of celluloid dreamworks, of a community of seekers finding personal salvation under the California sun—were like mirages liable to evaporate on closer inspection. All three would pay a steep price to realize these dreams, in a crescendo of hubris, scandal, and catastrophic failure of design that threatened to topple each of their personal empires. Yet when the dust settled, the mirage that was LA remained.

Spanning the years from 1900 to 1930, The Mirage Factory is the enthralling tale of an improbable city and the people who willed it into existence by pushing the limits of human engineering and imagination. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • [Krist’s] dramatic portrayals of politics, scandals, sabotage, and bombings make for a rich, rewarding read….An entertaining, intertwined tale of triumph, hubris, and Manifest Destiny in the city of angels. Kirkus
  • Gary Krist is a city whisperer as well as a brilliant writer. He shows the soul of L.A. through the lives of three dreamers who helped conjure out of a sleepy town the foundation for an improbable and profoundly influential metropolis. A vastly entertaining and informative book, even for someone who has spent more than half his life here. Eric Lax, author of Start to Finish
  • Gary Krist, who earlier portrayed crises in early-20th century New Orleans and Chicago, now vividly captures booming Los Angeles in all its emerging glory.  He does it through well-chosen and keenly-executed portraits of three famous (and deeply flawed) evangelists—for water, for motion pictures, for Jesus—who shaped the city we know today. Greg Mitchell, author of The Tunnels
  • A captivating portrayal of the City of Angels, told through the lives of three of its most colorful creators. Gary Krist has captured the moment when Los Angeles became the world’s most fascinating city. John Buntin, author of L.A. Noir
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About the Author

Gary Krist has written for the New York Times, Esquire, Salon, the Washington Post Book World, and other publications. He is the author of the acclaimed The White Cascade as well as several works of fiction.

About the Narrator

Rob Shapiro is a musician, writer, voice actor, and Earphones Award–winning narrator. He performed several seasons of radio comedy on Minneapolis Public Radio and voiced the titular lion in Leo the Lion. He is a musician and composer with his critically acclaimed band Populuxe. He is also a business consultant and software system designer.