James Ellroy took his "devil-dog" schtick
to Skylight Books
this week, in support of his newest book, Destination: Morgue!
He can be relied upon to snarl and curse and praise the L.A.P.D., behavior which makes for great copy, (especially for the Toronto Star reporter who writes admiringly of Ellroy's tough guy persona), but has begun to supercede his writing.
Whether you love him, hate him, or used to love him and now hate him, James Ellroy was, for a time, the best chronicler of L.A.'s underbelly since maybe Raymond Chandler (who Ellroy disses for lax plotting, which was never the point of Chandler's work anyway). I devoured his books after my first trip out here, before I had decided to actually make the move, and his work has forever colored the way I view my new home.
His more recent works have devolved (in my mind) into shallow self-caricature, page after page of one sentence paragraphs and ever more hyper-stylized dialogue. Still, I pull out my copy of The Black Dahlia
every now and again, dive into the expertly crafted story, and hope DePalma
doesn't trash it.