Nine months ago, we kicked off a tournament to determine the greatest L.A. novel of all time. As the months passed, we read all the greats: Chandler and Cain, Bukowski and Fante, Didion and Dunne. We read L.A. Confidential. We read Devil in a Blue Dress. We read The Day of the Locust and Play It As It Lays. We got a crash course in the books people talk about when they talk about literature in Los Angeles.
Somehow, we chose as our winner a novel few of us had heard of, much less read, before starting this competition.
In this issue, you can see the tournament matchups that have been running online at laweekly.com. You can read excerpts from the dozen writers who judged various rounds, and hear from dissenting voices, with local luminaries sharing their pick for L.A.'s best. And you'll read all about the dark-horse winner that none of us saw coming.
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