Literary Los Angeles

Los Angeles,

Literary Los Angeles

Peer beneath Hollywood’s tourist veneer as USC professor Andrew Chater leads you to the real-life sights that inspired Nathanael West’s iconic LA novel, The Day of the Locust.

Whether or not you’ve read the book before, you’ll have no problem following along as Andrew brings the tale of Tod Hackett to life in 21st century Hollywood. Plus, you’ll leave with a copy of the book, so consider the tour a prelude to a future reading adventure.

To Book

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From $440 for 2 people

Andrew Chater

Your insider

Andrew Chater

Literature professor

Andrew Chater is an award-winning writer, producer, director and presenter of historical documentaries who currently teaches literature courses at the University of Southern California. In addition to his academic pursuits, Chater combines his passion for travel and fiction in a concept he created called Bookpackers – matching classic and contemporary novels with destinations and taking reading on the road. Chater is a graduate of Cambridge University and later worked for the BBC before starting his own production company; in 2011, he relocated to Los Angeles, where he lives today.

Experience La La Land from the writer’s perspective, including the theatres, homes and palm-dotted streets that inspired California scribe Nathanael West.

2 hours
Start Time
Tours run between the hours of 10:00 and 13:00
Call our travel specialists 24/7 on 1 800 464 2040 or contact us to find availability
Where you'll go
You’ll begin at the end, exploring by foot iconic spots along Hollywood Boulevard, where the climax of The Day of the Locust takes place. From there, Andrew Chater will drive you to Whitley Heights to see how stars of the silent-film era lived before taking you to Sunset and Gower, where the Hollywood movie business began and West worked as a studio hack. Finally, you’ll make your way toward California’s most famous billboard, the Hollywood sign, to take a stroll through Beachwood Canyon.
What you'll see
More than just a book tour, you’ll get a feel for LA history, architecture and film – all with the aim of understanding who the characters in West’s novel were and what they were hoping to find in Los Angeles. You’ll see Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, Musso & Frank Grill (featured most recently in Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood), as well as Spanish-style homes from the late 1920s and even an apartment building where West himself once laid his head.
Experience location
You will be meeting Andrew Chater at a Hollywood landmark; we’ll send you the details in your confirmation.