James Ellroy's _White Jazz_ seems to me to bog down in its
own plot. The explanations necessary near the end in order to
unravel the intricacies of the Kafesian-Dudley Smith-Herrick
cabal make for a static end. Although the narrator Dave Klein
is fascinating and as tough (and tough minded) as they come,
even he seems to be frozen in d鮯uement. Aren't there at least
one too many historical references: Dragna, Harry Cohn,
Mickey Cohen, Howard Hughes, Sam Giancana, Vampira
I also wonder why Klein sees Ed Exley as "evil". He is as
devious and as much a user as Dudley Smith, but he seems to
be motivated not be sinister self-aggrandisement (unless
political ambition is per se evil) by a desire to destroy the
arch villain Dudley (he has political ambitions of course).
What did I miss?
Klein's desire to go back to LA and deliver retribution so
many years later is fascinating. He says he wants to
"eclipse" his guilt, not expiate it. He's not capable of
anything else. He wants to recapture his lost youth?? to be
the man he once was, and also get his long nurtured crush on
Glenda resolved at last. Kind of funny, since sitcom-famous
Glenda is now well settled in as a national icon of some
kind--maybe Mary Tyler Moore is who Ellroy has in mind? Maybe
Klein, after all, is addicted to his own compulsions, the
same basic kind that define his enemies.
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