Re: RARA-AVIS: Ellroy's L.A. Quartet

From: Brian Thornton (
Date: 07 Feb 2006

Tribe wrote:

> Well, I'm gonna take the plunge. White Jazz is a masterpiece. His stuff
> before Jazz almost seems amateurish in comparison. Ellroy's use of the
> language is virtually poetic...and that rat-a-tat voice takes hard-boiled
> prose and stretches it to its boundaries.

One man's meat is another man's poison. Obviously there are people out there who would disagree with my take on it, because it's a best-seller. Then again, so is THE DAVINCI CODE.

> Playing it safe is for the birds.

So is following the crowd and complimenting the emperor on his new clothes when you don't think he has any on. You've made your point, though.

For what it's worth, I didn't "get" the whole point of Jeffrey Eugenides' MIDDLESEX, either. And that was certainly a book that took chances.

I guess I like writers who at least seem as if they're first and foremost interested in telling a good story, and not so much in creating "art." I got a compliment on my first book this weekend from someone who doesn't usually read for longer than ten minutes at a stretch. Said it kept him reading for hours. (It was likely the subject matter, but I was glad to take the compliment, regardless).

On the other hand, I agree whole-heartedly with you (DAHLIA excepted) on the categorization of the rest of Ellroy's stuff as "amateurish." BROWN'S REQUIEM?*retch*


Tongue Firmly In Cheek, and it goes without saying that your mileage may vary-

Brian Thornton

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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 07 Feb 2006 EST