The Castle of Los AngelesLisa Morton
No one has ever sounded more like a native Los Angeleno in the year 2010 than the writer of this book, set in Los Angeles and published in 2010. I think it was the narration about the freeways that cinched it. And putting “the” in front of the freeway’s number. The vocal fry pretty much adds itself.
The setting felt realistic, is what I’m trying to say. Which is good, because The Castle of Los Angeles is a ghost story, so you want the world to be grounded in reality. And it was a good one, fun and unexpected, but not so long that you have to spend a bunch of nights with the lights on, jumping at every noise, until you finally finish it.
The Castle of Lost Angeles did get me thinking, if every place has a genre that resonates with it. LA would be horror. New York is rom-com (of course), Boston is heartwarming biopic, and all of the South stakes its claim to gothic romance, but California is the place for horror.
Los Angeles is creepy, it’s hard to pinpoint, but the movie The Craft does it well. This is a different creepy from the creepiness of the sunset district in San Francisco where Patty Hearst held up a bank, or the bone-like tentacle creepiness of the trees outside of Lake Tahoe where the Donner family met their fate. The whole of California has a haunted quality, distinct by region, but connected, part of a greater disturbing whole.
Sorry to get sentimental, I must be feeling homesick.