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Arts and Entertainment

Cool Map Shows Raymond Chandler's Real And Fictitious L.A.

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A new map shows many discernible locations from Raymond Chandler's hard-boiled detective novels, plus a few bonus film and real-life locations.

Illustrator Paul Rogers writes about the experience of putting the Raymond Chandler map on his blog (reposted in Huffington Post) in charming pulp style. "It was still hot in Los Angeles, the Santa Ana winds were blowing in from the desert. I went up to the studio and opened the windows. The smell of the restaurant downstairs drifted up, the traffic moved slowly on the boulevard and I stood there watching the lights change for a long time," he writes.

It was then that Rogers decided that "what this city needs" is a comprehensive Chandler map.

"Chandler is forever linked with L.A. and it's always been a little game for readers to imagine what the city was like in the '40s and to figure out which locations are real, or disguised, and which spots haven't changed a bit," Rogers tells LAist. "I always get a good feeling going in the back door at Musso's."

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Rogers began making the map by talking the project over with a friend of his, Ben Olin, who works at Herb Lester Associates, a company that produces maps and guides. Olin suggested a 1940s-style Dell Mapbook, such as those maps found in paperback novels, and Rogers was off.

He began by going through Chandler's books and making a list of all the locations. Some of the locations use pseudonyms. For instance, Grey Lake is what Chandler called Silver Lake, and Santa Monica was what he called Bay City. Rogers also watched film adaptations of Chandler's novels and used his biography to track down real-life locations as well.

But, Rogers needed help. So, he called up Esotouric's Kim Cooper. Kim Cooper and her husband, Richard Schave, run several tours of Los Angeles, telling the tales of L.A. history, or following in the footsteps of iconic Angelenos. (We recently spoke with them about their annual Tom Waits tour.) Cooper looked over the locations Rogers found and wrote the text for the guide. Esotouric is also putting on a tour of Raymond Chandler spots on October 18. (Details here.)

Now, Rogers acknowledges that they may have missed a few things—"drive-ins with gaudy neon and the false fronts behind them, sleazy hamburger joints that could poison a toad"—but the maps are very robust.

Rogers' favorite location is number 37 on the map—Marlowe's apartment in the 1973 Robert Altman film, The Long Goodbye, which appears on Hightower Drive.

"It's unchanged since Elliott Gould stumbled downstairs to get the cat food in the middle of the night. I used to live in Hollywood and if that apartment would have been available then I'd still be there," Rogers says.

The map is available for purchasehere. If you want to get a bit closer to the novelist, you can even buy Chandler's former home in Brentwood for $2.395 million.

Next, Rogers is releasing an illustrated version of Jack Keroac's On the Road. He said the book will contian 310 drawings, one for every page.

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