Tuesday, August 27, 2019

James Ellroy's six favorite books

James Ellroy was born in Los Angeles in 1948. His L.A. Quartet novels— The Black Dahlia, The Big Nowhere, L.A. Confidential, and White Jazz—have won numerous awards and are international bestsellers. His novel American Tabloid was Time magazine’s Novel of the Year for 1995; his memoir, My Dark Places, was a Time Best Book and a New York Times Notable Book for 1997. His novel The Cold Six Thousand was a New York Times Notable Book in 2001. His latest novel, This Storm, is the second book in his Second L.A. Quartet. In that series Ellroy takes characters from the original L.A. Quartet and the Underworld U.S.A. Trilogy and places them in Los Angeles during World War II as significantly younger people.

At The Week magazine Ellroy shared his six favorite books. One title on the list:
The Deceivers by John D. MacDonald (1958).

The author of the Travis McGee series wrote a number of lesser-known novels. They hold up very handily — in a literary sense. They largely deal with adultery and alcoholism in 1950s America, but have none of the laborious arty-fartiness of Richard Yates' Revolutionary Road. They are harrowing, bitter, and reek of desperation.
Read about another entry on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue