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Taj Mahal
James M. Cain's 'Paradise'
James M. Cain's 'Paradise'

Return to David L. Ulin's review of this essay. PARADISE I shall attempt, in this piece, an appraisal of the civilization of Southern California, but it occurs to me that before I begin I had better give you some idea what the place looks like. If you are like myself before I came here, you have formed, from Sunkist ads, newsreels, movie magazines, railroad folders, and so on, a somewhat false picture of it, and you will have to get rid of this before you can understand what I am trying to say. Wash out, then, the "land of sunshine, fruit, and flowers": all these are here, but not with the lush, verdant fragrance that you have probably imagined. A celebrated movie...