John & Carrie (
Thu, 30 Dec 1999 15:45:00 -0500

      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.



I agree with James' assesment regarding Ellroy. His "denouements" are illogical, and I don't think they hold up at all. But he can be extremely powerful. He is getting better at the terse, to the point style of writing..."My Dark Places" is a masterpiece! He can be a real shit as a person from what I've read of his interviews, and yes, he is way too self-impressed with himself (there has been plenty of discussion on this list about Ellroy's self-aggrandising (sp?)), but I can't wait for his next one?
By the way, anyone know what he is working on next?
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