Structure[ edit ] American Tabloid is divided into five sections, is exactly one hundred chapters long many are less than a page in length , and covers exactly five years. The narration eschews both exposition and lengthy dialog exchanges. All chapters begin with the chapter number, the location usually the name of the city , and the date. The action of the book is completely sequential. The book is written in the limited third-person , alternating between the three main characters.
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His first reaction upon hearing of her death was relief: he could now live with his father, whom he preferred. Nicknamed the "Black Dahlia," Short was a young woman murdered in , her body cut in half and discarded in Los Angeles, in a notorious and unsolved crime.
Throughout his youth, Ellroy used Short as a surrogate for his conflicting emotions and desires. During his teens and 20s, he drank heavily and abused Benzedrex inhalers. I caddied right up to the sale of my fifth book. He then goes on to say that he read works by Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler. Ellroy followed these three novels with the Lloyd Hopkins Trilogy. The novels are centered on Hopkins, a brilliant but disturbed LAPD robbery-homicide detective, and are set mainly in the s.
Writing style[ edit ] Hallmarks of his work include dense plotting and a relentlessly pessimistic —albeit moral —worldview. Confidential by more than one hundred pages. Rather than removing any subplots, Ellroy abbreviated the novel by cutting every unnecessary word from every sentence, creating a unique style of prose.
Quartet[ edit ] Main article: L. Quartet While his early novels earned him a cult following and notice among crime fiction buffs, Ellroy earned much greater success and critical acclaim with the L. Confidential , and White Jazz. Its follow-up, The Cold Six Thousand , became a bestseller.
Frank C. Information on the case can be forwarded to Detective Stoner either through the toll-free number, , or his e-mail address, detstoner earthlink. Future writings[ edit ] Ellroy is currently writing a "Second L. Quartet" taking place during the Second World War , with some characters from the first L. The first book, Perfidia , was released on September 9, Ellroy dedicated Perfidia "To Lisa Stafford.
Early in January , Ellroy- possibly typing it himself- posted news on the website jamesellroy. Quartet  , The Underworld U. Trilogy, Volume II. Ellroy wrote about this investigation for The Hollywood Reporter in digital form on December 21, , and it also appeared in published form in the December 18th, issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. These books will leave you reamed, steamed and drycleaned, tie-dyed, swept to the side, true-blued, tattooed and bah fongooed. For example, he told the New York Times , "I am a master of fiction.
I am also the greatest crime novelist who ever lived. I am to the crime novel in specific what Tolstoy is to the Russian novel and what Beethoven is to music.
When asked about his "right-wing tendencies," he told an interviewer, "Right-wing tendencies? I do that to fuck with people. I voted for Obama. But Obama is a deeper guy. Kennedy was an appetite guy. He wanted pussy, hamburgers, booze. Jack did a lot of dope.
Confidential, American Tabloid, and The Cold Six Thousand, have three disparate points of view through different characters, with chapters alternating between them. Ellroy has claimed that he is done writing noir crime novels. Confidential at the time of its release. Confidential, the movie, is the best thing that happened to me in my career that I had absolutely nothing to do with. It was a fluke—and a wonderful one—and it is never going to happen again—a movie of that quality. Confidential, the movie: I go to a video store in Prairie Village, Kansas.
The youngsters who work there know me as the guy who wrote L. They tell all the little old ladies who come in there to get their G-rated family flick. Oh, what a wonderful, wonderful movie.
I saw it four times. But listen, Granny: You love the movie. Did you go out and buy the book?
American Tabloid by James Ellroy is our Reading group book for May