Robert's Reviews > The Black Dahlia

The Black Dahlia by James Ellroy
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Aug 22, 2012

it was amazing

"On January 15, 1947, the torture-ravished body of a beautiful young woman is found in a Los Angeles 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: 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."

While the movie was so-so, it seemed to lack a core, a glue that held the pieces together...not the book.

Just like L.A. Confidential, this book is a 10-course meal, characters so real, so rich, that at times you feel like it's going to be you that's going to get 'punched out.' Total seedy, sweatly, shankey, sensuous, and sinister atmosphere that doesn't let up until the last man is left standing at the end. A two hour movie doesn't do it justice...perhaps a 10 hour miniseries on HBO to capture the full story. Great character study about two men who at time could be brothers, at times two opponents on the opposite side of humanity and civility.

Partially based on Ellroy's early life...you'll have to 'google it' to find the connection.
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