Re: RARA-AVIS: library sale, Suicide Hill and other miscellaneous debris

From: Rene Ribic (
Date: 04 Jul 2002

> Rene: I know you can't stand The Cold Six Thousand, thinking about
> Hill got me wondering what you think of other Ellroy books. If you've
> on at length on this already, let me know and I'll give the archives
> once over.

> Chris

Actually, aside from my, probably over-documented by now, dislike of THE COLD 6K I don't think I've said much about him here. I've always been a little ambivalent about his stuff but overall I very much liked the LA 1950's series, BLACK DAHLIA etc. I had reservations about his writing style then because I felt that the pseudo-beat type style masked some fairly poor writing skills, IMO. What I mean is, I often found myself wondering what Ellroy was saying, who was doing or saying what to whom & I decided it wasn't my lack of mental equipment but rather Ellroy's clumsiness in style that would lead to the ambiguity. Of course, given the type of literature I read & love, stylistic clumsiness is not an unforgivable sin but in the case of THE COLD 6K the writing is so bad & there's nothing else in the book that is good. The characters & their motivations are to me unfathomable & unbelievable, subplots & character relationships seem to be recycled from earlier work, the "research" into the historical period of this allegedly historical novel is laughable, we have J Edgar Hoover using words like "boffo" & "warp speed" (Hoover a Trekkie?). I remember other people commenting on the offensively racist nature of the book & to be honest I though those people might have been a tad over sensitive but after having read the book I feel the same way 9& I try hard not to let my political correctness or my socio-political views affect my judgment in literature. It would take up too much bandwidth to illustrate what I'm talking about but I think anyone who has read the book would know what I'm saying. Anyone who hasn't read the book, I'd have to say don't bother but then it seems, just from local observation, that the book has sold very well, so what do I know. I think Ellroy had a lot of potential & he wrote some memorable books but I think he's hit too big, too easily, too soon & he'll be able to make easy money churning out self-indulgent crap & while he does that no-one in the publishing industry is going to point out to the Emperor of Noir that he is seriously sartorially challenged. (I understand a UK TV producer was making a doco on Ellroy when the guy made the error of telling Ellroy that he didn't like his new book (COLD SIX 6K?). The doco was cancelled.)


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