Megan Harlan
August 03, 2001 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Babe in Paradise

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Marisa Silver
genre
Fiction

We gave it a B

People living in the shadows of Los Angeles glamour — retired stuntmen, limo drivers, bartenders — populate nine atmospheric stories by filmmaker Silver. Most are deft montages of disillusionment: In ”What I Saw From Where I Stood,” a couple’s brutal carjacking is juxtaposed with the wife’s recent miscarriage. Some tales feel Hollywood-flashy and a little forced, as when the mousy acting student in ”Statues,” while apartment-hunting with her frustrated screenwriter husband, meets a porn-producing landlord and asks him to film her. This debut’s best offerings are three lucid, effortless stories about the title character, a neglected, nose-pierced young woman searching for her place in a city that rarely resembles heaven on earth.

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