James Rogers (jetan@ionet.net)
Thu, 30 Dec 1999 14:49:05 -0600

At 03:13 PM 12/30/99 -0500, you wrote:

>A lot of people have mentioned James Ellroy. I have never read Ellroy but
>the reason is that a well-read friend told me that the books were difficult
>to get into because of Ellroy's quirky narration, descriptions of scenes
>are cryptic and hard to follow, and that Ellroy seems more interested in
>style rather than the story. Reviews of Ellroy's books on Amazon.com (and
>else where) have backed this statement up by saying that Ellroy writes in a
>way that shouts to world, "Hey! Look at me! I'm writing!". Can anyone
>convince me to pick up my copy of BLACK DAHLIA and dive in?
      Your friend is right in a lot of ways. This flash style bugged me in
_White Jazz_ and also when I recently re-read _Big Nowhere_. He also has the least plausible solutions to the "whodunit" aspect of any author that I can recall. But you STILL need to read him. Unlike so many HB writers, the guy seems to actually understand heartbreak and despair, and he can communicate those emotions with almost unbelievable intensity. I can't do justice to him in this regard - you'll have to read him. The stories are not light reading, I can assure you of that. Probably _American Tabloid_ demonstrates the best command of plotting, but if you are like a lot of us on this list you will finish _Black Dahlia_ and immediately run to the bookstore to buy as much of the rest as you can carry. In my opinion his books are still improving and, if he could lower the volume (and the violence, which is pretty heavy even by HB standards) he could be a really great, great writer. As is, I think you will love his stuff.


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