Everyman s Library has just published a new hardback volume containing all four of the novels that comprise James Ellroy s first L.A Quartet Ellroy was at my local bookstore a few weeks ago promoting this book and his new novel, This Storm, which is the second novel in his new L A Quartet With signed copies of both books in hand, it seemed like a good time to return to The Black Dahlia, the first novel in the original series.Set in booming and corrupt post World War II Los Angeles, it takes as its starting point one of the most famous unsolved murders in the history of L.A., or of the rest of the country for that matter The victim was a promiscuous young woman named Betty Short, who seemed to captivate everyone who fell into her orbit, at least as Ellroy imagines it Short was tortured over several days before her body was cut in half, disemboweled, and abandoned in a vacant lot.Short was only one of a number of young women who came to Hollywood at this time, dreaming of success, only to come to bad end But the press dubs Short The Black Dahlia, and the discovery of her brutalized body turns into a sensational murder case that captures the city s attention a case that can make or break reputations Spearheaded by an ambitious deputy D.A., the police devote thousands of man hours interviewing witnesses, potential subjects, and tracking down leads Caught up in the maelstrom are two young cops, Lee Blanchard and Bucky Bleichert Former boxers, the two men bond over the murder case They become partners and ultimately fall in love with the same woman They also fall in love with the Black Dahlia, and the case consumes both of them with irrevocable consequences for them and for the woman, Kay, with whom they are involved.This novel is in many respects a coming of age story for Bucky Bleichert, who is at the center of the novel Beginning as an idealistic young patrolman, Bleichert will be tested and corrupted by the Dahlia case in ways he never could have imagined, and the reader watches in awe and horror as he descends into the hell of his obsession with Betty Short.Mixing fictional characters with real ones, The Black Dahlia is also a stunning portrait of postwar Los Angeles and of the people and the forces that were shaping the city at that time James Ellroy s own mother was raped and murdered a decade or so after Betty Short, when Ellroy was still a young boy As in the case of Betty Short, the killer was never found, and this may explain Ellroy s fascination with the Black Dahlia Blunt, brutal and beautifully written, this is a riveting story and a true classic in the field of crime fiction. On January The Torture Ravished Body Of A Beautiful Young Woman Is Found In A Vacant Lot The Victim Makes Headlines As The Black Dahlia And So Begins The Greatest Manhunt In California History Caught Up In The Investigation Are Bucky Bleichert And Lee Blanchard Warrants Squad Cops, Friends, And Rivals In Love With The Same Woman But Both Are Obsessed With The Dahlia Driven By Dark Needs To Know Everything About Her Past, To Capture Her Killer, To Possess The Woman Even In Death Their Quest Will Take Them On A Hellish Journey Through The Underbelly Of Postwar Hollywood, To The Core Of The Dead Girl S Twisted Life, Past The Extremes Of Their Own Psyches Into A Region Of Total Madness I m not big on this whole going green trend, but today I thought about one thing all book lovers can do to contribute to society use your library card often You probably thought I had something clever to say Sorry to disappoint but let me explain My Analysis of The Black Dahlia 324 pages in the book 67 pages until the plot begins to unfold 300 pages before the book becomes unputdownable, as I like to call itWhat does that leave us with approximately 67 pages of wasted paper and 233 pages worth only borrowing from the library only 7.4% 24 324 of the book worth purchasing Granted, I only paid about 5 for the book thanks to half.com technically I should ve only spent like 40 cents Plus think about how many trees that could ve been saved if James Ellroy, the author, had simply gotten to the point But who s counting The core of the plot is based on a 1940 s Los Angeles murder mystery The body of a young woman was found in a vacant lot mutilated, cut in half, and disemboweled Two detectives, ex boxers, take on the case and become overly obsessed with this young woman s life and death to the point where it literally destroys their own lives.What I really struggled with while reading this book was the inclusion of random storylines as well as the excessive and mostly pointless details that made the book way longer than it needed to be For instance, the first 67 pages of the novel are spent developing the relationship between the two detectives and describing their boxing past The author also over used police jargon which only made it harder for me to connect with the characters The book s only saving grace was the last 30 ish pages where the twisted plot came into focus.In conclusionWhat I liked the twisted mystery plotWhat I disliked Ellroy s inability to focus on what was important to me, the readerWhile this book may be worth reading for you mystery suspense lovers out there, I would strongly suggest that you save our trees and borrow The Black Dahlia from your local library Don t let another wasted page get printed Posted on Uptown Literatti Well.As is true of many goodreads readers, I am a serial book hopper NOT TODAY I devoured this book like a starving woman Today I discovered for myself not you guys You probably discovered it many books ago a whole new genre and author according to Wiki neo crime noir James Ellroy Absolutely brilliant.This is based on a true and unsolved crime in the late 1940s in LA, in the time of the zoot suit troubles and disturbed young ex marines and soldiers home from the War Every one wants to make a buck You knowchain smoking, gun toting, gangsters and drug dealers, a police department riddled with corruption, pimps and hooers Ellroy s word Ellroy s mother was also murdered and I believe in interviews the author admits that this novel has all the intensity, passion and obsession you might expect, as a result.This was such a dark novel I don t know why this was news to me when it comes from the noir genre, but I really was genuinely surprised by its corrupt and sleazy undertones The writing has a hard boiled feel to it that I loved.All the characters were compromised and flawed In the story everyone s lives were touched or ruined by the victim of the crime, the Black Dahlia, whether she was known to them personally or not.Can t wait to read the next one and explore this whole new to me genre Well,it ALWAYS takes me some time to sort out and gather blown away pieces of my sensitive heart Mr.Ellroy has masterfully done for me It makes me feel sardonic,but I LOVE this process and of course,this GREAT work.One thing that I like about this novel is the massive impact it has on me.The story hooks me up at the start,grabs me by the collar and drags me around violently through the whole story,and finally dumps me into the gutter let me confirm this I m not an open masochist On this priceless experience,I give easily five stars.The other thing is that everyone here is morally corrupt,to the point that I feel sorry and attached for them.There exists NO shallow person here,whether he or she is good or bad.I sometimes wonder if there is a clear cut line between good and bad in the real world.Mr.Ellroy CAN write hopelessly bad,foolish,yet lovable characters that share at least some parts with you.I m sure that s the beauty of this gem. Reto 2 PopSugar 2018 Un crimen real El 15 de enero de 1947 fue hallado en un solar de Los ngeles el cuerpo salvajemente torturado y mutilado de la joven Elizabeth Short, a quien la prensa bautiz como La Dalia Negra Pese a las muchas teor as y hasta curiosas atribuciones de culpabilidad, el caso sigue oficialmente sin estar resuelto.Precisamente me llamaba la atenci n c mo el autor abordar a uno de los cr menes sin resolver m s famosos de Estados Unidos, ya que no pod a darse esa licencia en una novela de este g nero y dejar a sus lectores sin un culpable Pues bien, Ellroy no defrauda y construye un argumento tan inteligente que permite resolver el caso, pero siendo consecuente con la inc gnita que se mantiene hasta nuestros d as.Por otra parte, avanzando la lectura me di cuenta que la apropiaci n del caso de la Dalia Negra para su obra de ficci n es circunstancial, es decir, el autor podr a haber escogido cualquier otro caso y el resultado habr a sido m s o menos el mismo, porque a pesar de lo macabro de este crimen, no es lo que realmente quiere contar M s all de la trama detectivesca, La Dalia Negra es, sobre todo, la historia de una obsesi n, personalizada en Bucky Bleichert, el protagonista y uno de los polic as a cargo de la investigaci n Elizabeth Short acaba por gobernar su vida, incluso al punto de impedirle tener una vida amorosa o sexual normal.En definitiva, una novela negra diferente y muy dura, donde los personajes son m s humanos, donde sus obsesiones y deseos se reflejan con gran sordidez y realismo, y que me mantuvo al vilo durante toda la lectura Adem s, es un magn fico relato policial, con minuciosas descripciones de la sociedad empobrecida econ mica y moralmente de la Norteam rica de la posguerra, donde la pol tica va unida a la corrupci n y acaba salpicando a todos. Ufff Es como un directo a la mand bula Un golpe que no te esperas y que te atrapa en una voragine de locura y violencia, que hace que al final no sepas quienes son los buenos y quienes los malos si es que los hay Un mundo donde sus protagonistas no son perfectos, al contraio, juegan bajo una doble o triple moralidad, que les permite sobrevivir a sus propias decisiones y errores Poco m s puedo decir, salvo remarcar las palabras del genial Stephen King Si me preguntan qui n es el mejor novelista vivo cuya literatura es feroz, valiente, divertida, escatol gica, hermosa, enrevesada y parano ca la respuesta es f cil James Ellroy. Elizabeth Short is found murdered and LAPD detectives Bucky Bleichert and Lee Blanchard catch the case Can Bleichert and Blanchard bring in her killer before the case destroys them both Some time around 2005, my local bookstore owner pushed this on me At the time, the only detective books I d read were The Maltese Falcon and a few Hard Case books It took me a week to get through but it felt like spending a month in jail The Black Dahlia was a game changer for me, a powerful book that made me see detective fiction in a different light When it went on sale on the Kindle for 1.99 and Kemper also started reading it , I figured it was time for a reread As I ve said many times before, the magic of getting older is that old books become completely new books I d forgotten most of what transpired in The Black Dahlia so it was like being tied up and dragged down a gravel road all over again.The Black Dahlia is the rise and fall of detective Dwight Bucky Bleichert, and Elizabeth Short, the dead woman who ultimately did him and his partner, Lee Blanchard, in Bleichert and Blanchard bond over boxing and wind up being partners in Warrants until Elizabeth Short is found dead and mutilated, cut in half on the sidewalk Both men wind up entangled with Elizabeth Short for different reasons Blanchard wants to avenge her to make up for the sister he once lost and Bucky takes up when Lee goes missing.This book is as noir as it comes, full of obsession, lies, death, sex, murder, pornography, and lies and obsession As with most books of this type, the mystery is eventually solved but not without costing everyone involved damn near everything in the process.In the decade since I last read this, I ve become desensitized by reading hundreds of crime books and been made cynical by life in general but this book still packs one hell of a wallop Much like Bucky, I was pretty obsessed by Elizabeth Short s murder and couldn t put the book down, as cliche as that sounds Just like the first time I read it, I felt like I d spent a few nights in jail when I was done, wrung out and ready for a couple beers.Something else the passage of time has given me is how much Ellroy writes like a much darker Raymond Chandler Ellroy s similes kick like an unlicensed.45 a cop carries just for emergencies and Dwight Bleichert is one of the most well crafted characters in crime fiction Lee Blanchard is not without his nuances, either The relationship between Bucky, Kay, and Lee really lent itself to some crazy shit.Honestly, the only thing I can think of to complain about is that Blanchard and Bleichert s names are too similar The Black Dahlia is a must read for all serious crime fiction fans Five out of five stars. Ah, the post war years America s golden age when things were so much better than they are today When no injustice ever occurred, and no one was unfairly treated Every pay check was a fortune, every meal a banquet, and the worst crime was the odd rapscallion stealing a pie off a window sill Or maybe sometimes the bisected body of a woman who had been brutally tortured would be left in an empty lot which would put a wildly corrupt police force in a frenzied media spotlight as the cops fruitlessly tried to solve the murder.It really was a simpler time This was the book where James Ellroy stepped his game up from promising mystery writer to a creator of epic historical fiction by mixing a famous unsolved murder with seedy LA history via flawed fictional characters Our narrator is Dwight Bucky Bleichart, a former boxer turned LAPD officer just after World War II Bucky agrees to fight another cop named Lee Blanchard as part of a departmental publicity stunt The boxing match makes them partners, but it s Lee s girlfriend Kay who unites all three of them into a family It s a dead woman that eventually starts to tear them all to pieces In reality Elizabeth Short was just another young woman who came to LA with stars in her eyes, but her unsolved murder became one of those crimes that stuck in the public consciousness Ellroy has talked and written a great deal about how he poured a lot of his unresolved feelings about his mother s unsolved murder into the Dahlia case, and if there s one thing you re sure of by the time you re done reading it s that he knows what it s like to be obsessed and haunted by dead women Ellroy is also fascinated by the shady history of LA and its police department, and he uses that knowledge to craft a fantastically violent and corrupt world where the cops are often worse than the criminals they re arresting Almost everyone involved the investigation has their own agendas, and the methods used to get what they want are brutal Nobody gets out clean when it comes to the Dahlia, least of all those who give the most while trying to learn who killed her.This is a great crime story with a hard boiled edge that was one of the books that made me a huge fan of James Ellroy.
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 were international best sellers His novel American Tabloid was Time magazine s Best Book fiction of 1995 his memoir, My Dark Places, was a Time Best Book of the Year and a New York Times Notable Book for 1996 His novel The Cold Six Thousand was a New York
- 348 pages
- The Black Dahlia
- James Ellroy
- 11 September 2018 James Ellroy