RARA-AVIS: Re: Street Kings (Is Ellroy Losing his Halo?)

From: Kevin Burton Smith ( kvnsmith@thrillingdetective.com)
Date: 05 May 2008

Sorry, he lost the halo long ago. If he ever had it. Or possibly he simply hocked it for the blow job of celebrity.

Too little editing, too much self-indulgence. When even his most vocal defenders (enablers?) tag much of his work as "unreadable," you know the guy's star has faded.

I remember Otto Penzler once discussing at a conference how much editing his first (and arguably best) books needed. Somehow, I wonder if anyone would dare edit him that much now. If not, it's a shame, because the guy is still an original, with a brave and unique voice. That's what drew us all to him in the first place.

Or was it even a halo? Given the Mad Dog's carefully manipulated persona as a damaged and deranged hep cat enfant terrible
(mommywaskilledbuymybook), they were probably a set of horns.

Kevin Burton Smith www.thrillingdetective.com

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