Re: RARA-AVIS: Ellroy

From: Brian Thornton (
Date: 25 Nov 2002

At 08:17 PM 11/22/02 -0500, you wrote:

>In a message dated 11/22/02 12:11:09 PM, writes:
><< I intended to address the implicit contention that
>Ellroy's work is so transcendent that it is, in fact, literary, and not, in
>strictest sense, "genre" fiction. >>
>I don't recall anyone here calling his work either transcendent or literary.

Let me quote Kerry Schooley from a few days ago for you then:

"Something like 150 million killed in the past century. Yet we prosper and keep counting. I can't think of another author who so effectively catches these amoral, hysterical times. I don't care if he (Ellroy) is an asshole."

Sounds like someone describing Ellroy as either transcendent or literary, to me. Of course you could split hairs and say that you don't see either of those words in what is said, but I was responding to the entirety of the post from which I cut and pasted the above statement.

>In fact, what I said was, love him or hate him, he is one of the most
>important writers working in the genre. For that reason alone, any serious
>fans of the genre should at least give him a try.
>As for literature, I find Norman Mailer for one, absolutely unreadable.

I agree. I really struggled with "The Naked and the Dead," and I passed on "The Executioner's Song." And hey, don't even get me started on James Jones!

>I'll happily take American Tabloid any day of the week.

Given a choice between "American Tabloid" and Norman Mailer's complete body of work, I'm sure I could find something in that large corpus which would hold my attention far better than "American Tabloid".

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