Felisa Rosa's Reviews > My Dark Places

My Dark Places by James Ellroy
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Jan 04, 09

bookshelves: autobiography, nonfiction, thriller
Read in January, 2009

I love James Ellroy's fiction, so I was psyched to find this memoir, which details his mother's unsolved murder and his struggle to come to terms with the past. I think Ellroy is one of the greatest crime writers of all time, and it's fascinating to seem him apply his talents to a murder that is, literally, so close to home. Always quite dark, Ellroy's writing is downright feverish in the section that describes his youth as a petty thief, peeping tom, drunk, and drug addict. These sections are tempered by his thoughtful (though often obsessive) analysis of the crime and other crimes that took place in the same area. The overall story arc is graceful and surprising, but, as with many highly personal works, some of the individual passages are weak on organization. Highly recommended to fans of crime writing, fictional or otherwise, and for anyone with a taste for bluntly poetic prose with a driving beat.
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