Book Review: Inside Daisy Clover by Gavin Lambert


Review: INSIDE DAISY CLOVER by Gavin Lambert 

September in Melbourne finds me melancholy. The sun is bright but the wind is cold; the blossom is out but the winter sads hold fast.

It is around this time that I return to my Lamberts – three quiet, perfect books by Gavin Lambert, the English film critic who decamped for Los Angeles in the 1950s and chronicled the beautiful and the tarnished with equal clear-eyed, curious affection. The books are: The Slide Area (1959), Inside Daisy Clover (1963) and The Goodby People (1971). Along with Running Time (1982) they make up Lambert’s “Hollywood Quartet”.

If I’m melancholy around this time, I am also psychically open. September is for tarot spreads and house moves. It is in this winsome waiting month that I am most able to transport myself into narrative – and there is no place I would rather roam than Lambert’s L.A., with its mouthy child stars, lonely screenwriters, “failed mystics, rootless sun-worshippers [and] exiles from the harsher realities of a different civilisation”.


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