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

From: Tribe (
Date: 07 Feb 2006

On 2/7/06, Kerry J. Schooley wrote:

> That said, I haven't been able to get more than 100 pages into The Cool
> Two
> Thousand. Or was it more than two thousand? That I can't remember
> indicates
> my level of interest. I don't put it down in disgust or anything. I just
> put it down and forget about it. And I've read nothing else Ellroy's
> written since that.

Actually, it was Six Thousand. :)

But, while I enjoyed American Tabloid and The Cold Six Thousand, I can't deny that they don't succeed, in the way White Jazz does. I think, and I have nothing to back me up on this, the reason is the scope of it.

It's hard enough to write an all-encompassing story, with the attendant cast of hundreds and an equal number of plot twists, in a compelling way in plain English...particularly when the narrative spans 500+ pages. Hell, the very best crime fiction is typically stuff that reads 200 pages at beast (Yeah, yeah...Joe Blow wrote a seminal novel whenever that tracked 400 pages).

So to use the Jazz style for something as convoluted and wide-ranging as Six Thousand and Tabloid...something is going to be lost. I did like those books, but I think it was a reviewer for the Times who noted something to the effect that it looked like Ellroy just submitted his outline to the publisher (or something like that).


Tribe's Blog

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