You either love or hate James Ellroy's story-telling style: slangy, fast paced, dark, violent, paranoid, corrupt, full of conspiracies and double-and triple-crossing. If you're in the mood for a troll through the evil part of Los Angeles in the 1940s, start here.
A hopeless mess. Characters run on for pages with their sexual or racial obsessions; Ellroy has forgotten the most basic rules of writing which have to do with not boring the reader and not treating him/her as an idiot. The one saving grace in this farrago are the Kay West chapters--one character at least with lucid thoughts and motives.
Oh dear god, what a bunch of pretentious mishmash. Ellroy crams in as much hardboiled 40s slang, cynicism, nastiness, racial epithets as he can on every page. Yeah, I get it. Police corruption abounded. It was not a good time to be of Japanese descent in the US. But on and on and on with the whining about sex, abortions, perversion, violence. The author uses overkill and repeats himself constantly. Plus, I wasn't in love with the premise, the lead characters or the subplots. Then again, if you've seen this guy interviewed, he's an odd duck indeed. I now remember why I used to get annoyed with his books. This will be the last Ellroy novel I read. Almost 700 pages of this stuff! Yipes!
James Ellroy is not simply a great crime novelist (perhaps the greatest), but a great novelist, who combined a Tolstoy-worth scope with A Dickensian wealth of characters and subplots. His latest is the proposed start of a new L.A. Quartet and it features characters that will be familiar to Ellroy readers, like Dudley Smith, Buzz Meeks, and Preston Exley who mingle with real life names like Bette Davis, Bugsy Siegel, and Joseph Kennedy. As in his Underworld U.S.A. trilogy, history is the backdrop for the characters and the enormously complex plot, which is set in L.A. just after Pearl Harbor. A sprawling, brutal, and uncompromising novel by the most ambitious crime novelist who has ever lived.
Jordan62856--I believe this is the 1st of a new LA trilogy by Ellroy. Pretty typical Ellroy writing; not quite as fast paced as some of his earlier( American Tabloid comes to mind) works. If you're new to Ellroy, should start with American Tabloid and LA Confidential. Black Dahlia also is very readable and exposes you to his style. He is out there.
I believe this is book one in a series of four, if someone else can confirm that for certain that would be great.
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