Re: RARA-AVIS: Ellroy

From: Al Guthrie (
Date: 23 Nov 2002

----- Original Message ----- From: <>
> I've been trying to be a dutiful word producer and stick to my
> but the Ellroy discussion has pulled me in once again. The seesawing
> been going on in this thread appears to center on what makes a "great"
> writer, and whether Ellroy has the goods. The challenge to produce a
> writer" paragraph from one of his books suggests that he does not.
> Yes, he is crude and arrogant and his writing frequently is self
> indulgent. He's a showoff, and he has a childish need to shock. At times
> seems to enjoy rolling in dreck and slurping blood from an oversized
> Like everyone else, he has stood on the shoulders of giants, but he
> certainly carved out new territory in atmosphere, pacing, syntax, and
> He's an original with a marked disdain for nuance, and although his prose
> rarely beautiful, it is unrelentingly powerful. He moves at breakneck
> through storylines as complex as the piping diagram for a nuclear
> and he gives us an assortment of fascinatingly flawed characters whom we
> eagerly follow for hundreds of pages.
> He may not be as great as he thinks he is, but I can't imagine why
> who enjoys the genre would pass him by.

Eloquently put. And with pinpoint accuracy. Spread the word: Jim Blue has nailed Ellroy.


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