As is Ellroy’s trademark, the articles are brutally honest and direct, chronicling his twisted youth, the sickness of Hollywood and the attendant culture of star gazing, how L.A. is in his bones, as well as his continuing obsession with unsolved crimes–especially sexual murders of women. As always, the writing is fantastic and Ellroy pulls no punches. For such an obsessive and tormented individual to open himself up as much as he does, and to offer absolutely no apologies for his depravities is bracing to say the least in this climate of homogeneity and manufactured rebellion. That being said, though, there’s not that much new here and there’s a whiff of rehash.
The three interconnected novellas are collected under the rubric of Rick Loves Donna. Their titles pretty much say it all: Hollywood Fuckpad, Hot-Prowl Rape-O, and Jungletown Jihad. You would not be wrong in surmising that we’re dealing with full-on undiluted noir like only Ellroy can bring it. The novellas are good and interesting but alas far from his peak in the L.A. Quartet (which isn’t very harsh criticism as those four novels are arguably the finest crime writing ever produced). The novellas also suffer from the style–they are written in the alliterative style of Hush-Hush, which gets tiresome. A sample:
The living room: bleak, blank-walled, and bereft of furniture. The kitchen: cleaned out completely. The bathroom and bedroom: bug-sprayed, Lysol-lapped, and furniture-free.
It starts to hurt after a while.
Nevertheless, if you’re an Ellroy fan, Destination: MORGUE! is well worth a read. If you’re one of the unfortunates who haven’t yet descended into his particular version of Hell, The Black Dahlia is the best point of entry.
Here’s the opening paragraph from Hollywood Fuck Pad:
My promotion/transfer slip arrived–Hollywood Patrol to Hollywood Homicide. Holly_weird_–rectal-raped runaways, cocaine killeristas, fag-in-the-bag body dumps. I was 31. I had four years in patrol. I was testosterone-torqued and pumped. It was fall ‘83. Ray-Gun was Prez. Gates was Chief. _Dragnet_ still reran. O.J. was a Westside splib. Rodney King was a cannibal couched in the Congo. LAPD was King!!!!!
Mr. Robinson’s Neighborhood it ain’t.
Posted Friday, 22 October, 2004 by Nic Lindh
Another book roundup, including some stellar athletes and soldiers, what might be the most jaded, soul-weary protagonist ever, and some grimdark fantasy.
The Internet is getting creepy, and Nic is breaking out his tinfoil hat after newspaper paywalls push him over the edge.
Nic is tired of tech sites obsessing over Apple’s financials and business strategy. So very tired.
Nic reads a book about the processed food industry and is incensed.
Computers are complicated. This brings out the irrational in people.
Nic proposes the loan word Rechthaberei be incorporated into American English.
The Core Dump is back! Books were read during the hiatus. Includes The Coldest Winter, Oh, Myyy!, Tough Sh*t, The Revolution Was Televised, The Rook, Mr. Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore, Gun Machine, Fortress Frontier, Standing in Another Man’s Grave, and The Memory of Light.
This site will return in February.
From a true patriot to a world-weary detective, a dead god, and a civilization about to sublime from the galaxy, this book roundup spans the gamut. Includes Where Men Win Glory, Wild, Inside the Box, The Black Box, Three Parts Dead, Red Country, and The Hydrogen Sonata.
Springsteen gives a concert in Phoenix. It’s fantastic.