The Drive-In at the Edge of Forever

Join us for the Sunset Strip’s first ever drive-in, socially-distanced book event. From the comfort of your car, you can listen to Peter Lunenfeld do a live reading from his new book, City at the Edge of Forever: Los Angeles Reimagined, which Susan Orlean says “evokes all of the texture and complexity of Los Angeles in a wholly original way,” and which Publisher’s Weekly promises will leave you “spellbound.”

Drive-in diners, drive-in theaters, and drive-in coffee shops still thrive in LA, so why not a drive-in reading in one of the city’s most iconic parking lots -- the former Tower Records in the heart of Sunset Strip, just across from Book Soup. Pull in between 7:00 and 7:15 PM, pop your trunk, and Book Soup will drop off your signed, pre-ordered copies (sorry, no sales on site). Then kick back, enjoy a complimentary snack from Jeff’s Table in Highland Park, and the reading will start promptly at 7:30. Listen via your car radio’s FM dial or watch on your phone on Facebook Live (but please remember to stay in your car!). No entrance to the lot without a ticket.


Tickets: $28.00, include a signed copy of City at the Edge of Forever, and are good for one car with however many people from your COVID-19 quarantining pod you can jam in. Tickets are per vehicle, no entry to the lot without a ticket. Additional copies of the book can be purchased as an add on when purchasing your ticket. 


All of the author’s proceeds will be donated to the LA Regional Food Bank. If you would like to join Peter by donating to the LA Regional Food Bank, make sure to add that option to your ticket purchase. Please note that a donation alone will not gain you entry into the event.


Once purchased, keep watch for follow up emails and reminders through Eventbrite with day of arrival and check-in instructions.


Questions? Email us at


About the Book

An engaging account of the uniquely creative spirit and bustling cultural ecology of contemporary Los Angeles

How did Los Angeles start the 20th century as a dusty frontier town and end up a century later as one of the globe's supercities - with unparalleled cultural, economic, and technological reach? In City at the Edge of Forever, Peter Lunenfeld constructs an urban portrait, layer by layer, from serendipitous affinities, historical anomalies, and uncanny correspondences. In its pages, modernist architecture and lifestyle capitalism come together via a surfer girl named Gidget; Joan Didion's yellow Corvette is the brainchild of a car-crazy Japanese-American kid interned at Manzanar; and the music of the Manson Family segues into the birth of sci-fi fandom.

One of the book's innovations is to brand Los Angeles as the alchemical city. Earth became real estate when the Yankees took control in the nineteenth century. Fire fueled the city's early explosive growth as the Southland's oil fields supplied the inexhaustible demands of drivers and their cars. Air defined the area from WWII to the end of the Cold War, with aeronautics and aerospace dominating the region's industries. Water is now the key element, and Southern California's ports are the largest in the western hemisphere. What alchemists identify as the ethereal fifth element, or quintessence, this book positions as the glamour of Hollywood, a spell that sustains the city but also needs to be broken in order to understand Los Angeles now.

Lunenfeld weaves together the city's art, architecture, and design, juxtaposes its entertainment and literary histories, and moves from restaurant kitchens to recording studios to ultra-secret research and development labs. In the process, he reimagines Los Angeles as simultaneously an exemplar and cautionary tale for the 21st century. (Viking)


Event date: 
Saturday, August 22, 2020 - 7:00pm
Event address: 
8801 Sunset Blvd.
West Hollywood, CA 90069