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Destination: Morgue! ("Rhino" Rick Jenson #1)

3.35  ·  Rating details ·  664 Ratings  ·  44 Reviews
Dig. The Demon Dog gets down with a new book of scenes from America’s capital of kink: Los Angeles. Fourteen pieces, some fiction, some nonfiction, all true enough to be admissible as state’s evidence, and half of it in print for the first time. And every one of them bearing the James Ellroy brand of mayhem, machismo, and hollow-nose prose.

Here are Mexican featherweights
Kindle Edition, 402 pages
Published (first published November 6th 2003)
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Jun 15, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There was a time -- say between 1987 and 1992 -- that James Ellroy was numero uno. That was in the period when his "L.A. Quartet" was published: The Black Dahlia, The Big Nowhere, L.A. Confidential, and White Jazz. I saw it all beginning with White Jazz: Ellroy was trying to break free of the English language.

He started writing this sentence style of subject predicate with optional object -- with little or no variation. He was taking the language back to John Skelton with his alliteration and la
Mar 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorite-authors
I am an unabashed James Ellroy fan, but I am always a little leery of his short story collections. After reading his novels - The Black Dahlia, the Underground USA Trilogy - I never feel like he'll have enough time in a short story to deliver the type of punch-to-the-gut that he delivers with his novels.

My fears always prove unfounded. Like his other short story collection (Hollywood Nocturnes), Ellroy proves that he's just as gifted with the art of the short story and novella as he is with the
Joe Mossa
Sep 28, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition

this is the worst book ive ever tried to read. read 226 of 389pgs. true crime memories-crime slang,way too much alliteration,silly,sad,bad. what does worst book mean to me ? i couldn t understand much of this book and i couldn t understand james joyce s ULYSSES. to put those two books in the same review is silly,sad,bad. i had a very hard time finishing james jone s SOME CAME RUNNING even though i enjoyed his FROM HERE TO ETERNITY. i used to say that scr was the worst book i had ever read but d
Will Johnson
Apr 28, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: boxing
Well ... that was ... something.

Destination:Morgue is a weird collection of non-fiction and crime fiction that at once seems to all fit together and also be so separate and different that you wonder how the hell this work came together. Was all this stuff just lying around and they put it in a book? Methinks this might actually be the case.

Ellroy is, as always, compulsively readable but this collection is definitely not his best work. It feels like said collection of things that just didn't make
Jun 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography, journalism
I'm not yet fully familiar with James Ellroy's most acclaimed work, but so far I'm pondering whether he's actually a better journalist/memoirist than a novelist. This volume contains both autobiographical accounts of the author's youth as a juvenile delinquent in 1960s Los Angeles, almost Tom Wolfe/Hunter Thompson-style reporting on everything from police investigations over professional sports to the history of tabloid magazines... as well as the occasional work of fiction about things like (ap ...more
Ridge Cresswell
Oct 21, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The only other Ellroy I had read was "The Black Dahlia," which had an obsessive, strange quality to it that I found quite compelling. This book explains why, in the first half, as Ellroy writes some non-fiction memoirs regarding his mother's own murder, his misadventures as a criminal and wannabe Nazi (to out counter-culture the counter-culture) in his early life in Los Angeles. Ellroy is an unapologetic LA bastard, and that's what makes his prose good.

The second half of the book is 3 short sto
Joe  Noir
Pretty good, and representative, collection from James Ellroy. Eight are non-fiction crime pieces that originally appeared in GQ magazine. Three are fiction, written in his riffing 50's jazz style, and readers will probably judge them based on how they feel about Ellroy personally. Check out "Stephanie", "Grave Doubt", and "My Life As A Creep", standout non-fiction from GQ. Illustrated throughout with terrific photographs.
Aug 17, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This shouldn't have been my first book by him.. It feels (unlike the first tale in this short story collection) like a collection of throw away tales that would NEVER have been released if it was any other author... Repetitive writing, pointless tales & and all around waste of time..
Don't bother...
Feb 24, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: from-liberry
Several splendid sections, soused sourly by several sloppily squelched with all-pervasive and awkward alliteration.
Brian Fagan
Feb 08, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ellroy writes like Jazz. Read it and you'll get what i'm saying. Don't read it and you might as well stick your dopey head in the sand and stay there!
Jef Choice
Dec 18, 2007 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This thing was a total pile of shit. If you are amused and amorous about all alliteration at all times, this is the book for you. If that lest sentence bugged you, dont even bother.
Ok, I'm really sick of writing reviews. There was a time when I corresponded w/ about 1,400 people & I kept track of it all w/ a record-keeping system that became so laboriously bureaucratic that I got sick of it & lost touch w/ almost everyone. Now the same thing's happening w/ bks. Almost everytime I read one I start to have such detailed responses to them that it's becoming a ridiculous chore to try to write a review. It's taking the fun out of reading. SO, keep that in mind as I try ...more
Oct 22, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: biography-memoir
Ellroy is not for everyone, even the dedicated noir crime aficionados. His machine-gun delivery, constant references, alliterative excess, and other aspects often makes his stories wearying. Yet, I love them. Surely old-timey Angelenos love them. This collection of essays and novellas is very autobiographical, and somewhat repetitive, but will be required reading for anyone who undertakes literary criticism of Ellroy. Some will marvel at his darker side.
Aug 25, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A smattering of true crime cold cases revisited from the author’s perspective, essays of a personal and professional nature, and a collection of three novellas linked by a cop’s prolonged infatuation with a Hollywood starlet. James Ellroy’s DESTONATION MORGUE offers plenty of diversity for the reader but be warned, the style is an acquired taste. Readers will either love or loathe Ellroy’s writing. Luckily, I loved it.

There are consistent themes within DESTINATION MORGUE; sex, crime, and those
Jan 18, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Destination: Morgue! collects a bunch of non-fiction pieces Ellroy wrote over the past decade (mostly for GQ) and several novellas that were never published. I was apprehensive going in, since I know this has a reputation as being one of the worst Ellroy books out there. For the first half, I didn't believe that at all — the bulk of the essays were quite compelling. Ellroy lets his obsessions guide his writing, and he's had a crazy life.

But while he manages to jam elements from his essays into
This book combined a few "true crime" tales, a few of Ellroy's stories of his misspent youth, and a trio of so-called "novellas" (they're too short to be marked with that sobriquet) that take place over twenty years beginning in 1983 Los Angeles.

Ellroy's authorial style, which I really dig, is too sparse for a true crime jaunt - real life is far too detailed and nuanced for his staccato, over-alliterative, uber-noir awesomeness, and it's difficult for him to exploit and maintain control over sai
Tim Potter
Jan 01, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
This collection of reportage and short fiction from the Demon Dog reads at his typical blistering pace. About 60% of the book is non-fiction and mainly interesting, if not essential reading. The four novellas that comprise the remainder of the book, however, are must-reads. The first is a story of Ellroy-favorite Danny Getchell, the alliterating anti-hero of HUSH-HUSH hucksterism. THE TROUBLE I CAUSE is crime fiction as it's finest and is a great addition to Ellroy's L.A. cannon. The final three ...more
Daniel Mazurek
Aug 14, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I love Ellroy. I'm obsessive. All seven of his major novels plus My Dark Places: masterpieces. Crime Wave and Hollywood Nocturnes, the other volumes of his collected short work: mostly solid. Destination: Morgue? Destination: Dogsh*t. You trod molasses through the non-fiction pieces at the front hoping for a hit, and by the time you get through the first fiction piece (a dismal drag starring Danny Getchell, Hush-Hush stringer featured in Crime Wave (pretty good stuff)) and into part 1/3 of the ' ...more
Apr 22, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting book because it is a collection of various pieces throughout the year. It suffers from repition in themes and but that repition also strenghens the book because it kind of gets you into Ellroy's mind, the things he obsesses over. The non-fiction covers the same ground as My Dark Places but it adds some new wrinkles. There are plenty of other stories that cover different sides of crime as well, and boxing. They are really good. The last novellas are written in his machine-gun aliterat ...more
Doug Brunell
Jul 04, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime-fiction
If this is going to be your first foray into Ellroy, steer clear. You will find yourself wondering why so many people dig this guy. If, however, you are an Ellroy fan, you are in for a treat (but this treat doesn't always taste great).

Any work from Ellroy is something to be excited about. This collection of short pieces (stories, some may say) covers the usual territory, which is to mean Los Angeles ... noir. There are some pieces, however, written in such a way that they almost seem ridiculous
Chandler Chandler
After reading this collection of shorts from James Ellroy, it is not hard to imagine why he has failed to materialize as a household name. As a crime fiction writer he routinely focuses on the same seedy characters, so homogeneous that it is difficult to tell them apart. His style derives from the trash gossip tabloids he read in the 50's and 60's as a teenager. These tabloids often outed celebrity homosexuals and hop-heads in the seemingly puritanical land of Hollywood glamour. Ellroy is at his ...more
May 09, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, literature
De naam James Ellroy doet in boekminnend Nederland misschien niet meteen een belletje rinkelen, maar deze Amerikaanse schrijver van misdaadromans heeft al menig succes weten te boeken. Zo hebben velen bijvoorbeeld de film L.A. Confidential met onder anderen Kim Basinger en Kevin Spacey mogen aanschouwen. Deze film is gebaseerd op Ellroy's gelijknamige boek.

Lees meer op 8WEEKLY
Jul 12, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: los-angeles
I've never read James Ellroy before, maybe then I would understand. Maybe this is his "style" of writing, but I couldn't stand it. Short sentence fragments, poor grammer. I found the fact that there is not one complete sentence in the whole book to be a huge distraction. It felt difficult to read because it was a series of fragmented sentences, and for some reason that made me read much slower than normal. I guess because that's not what my brain is used to.
Maybe I'll give it another shot someda
Evan Kirby
Aug 24, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As I've stated in previous reviews, I'm not the biggest fan of Ellroy's work. He's the best when he as hundreds upon hundreds of pages and characters to work with and intertwine and let breathe, but this is definitely his best of the short story collection works. There are some semi-current stories, at least for the times, and provide stories other than just of '50s cops, such as the one on O.J. Simpson.
Dec 04, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Too bad this guy can't write fiction anymore. Really ever since My Dark Places his non-fiction is the only thing worth reading. If you could cut the fiction out of this collection I'd give it more stars. It's sad, and I honesly can't think of a writer I liked so much who lost it so quickly and so thoroughly, but Ellroy has a future if he just goes sticks with journalism and does it in his gonzo style.
Thomas Greaves
I love James Ellroy, but this is unessential. There's only one article in here that is essential, it's "Grave Doubt", and it's great. Ellroy and his detective friend from My Dark Places investigate a Texas capital murder case which ends up changing his mind about the death penalty. It helped crystallize my thoughts about the issue as well.
Jun 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Jungletown Jihad baby! A leadfooted romp through the highways and byways of Los Angeles. Some winners and some losers, but the majority of tales in this collection have their own unique Ellroy/noir charm. Ellroy also waxes on his time as a juvenile panty-sniffing perv and dexedrine addict. A great read- Be circumspect of any commie creep that says differently.
Robert LoCicero
Apr 07, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book brings all the seedy aspects of LA life as lived by the author into the light of day. It is his personal statement that death from abuse and uglyness can call at anytime. Don't mimic his behaviors. Just read, think and enjoy in a vicarious way.
Bonnie Martin
Having recently re-read Ellroy's "L.A. Quartet" - not his best outing. Tired of alliteration and period-appropriate racial/sexual-orientation/etc. slurs by the time I got to this final book on my shelf.
Jon Yates
A carnal cluster of crime carnage from the clammy claws of Ellroy at his alliterative best, with a bit too much overlap between the non-fiction reportage of the first half and the novellas of the latter, perhaps, but a quick, hard fascistly fun as they come.
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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 ...more
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“There's a kid or some kids somewhere. I'll never know them. They're particle-puzzle-cubing right now. They might be mini-misanthropes from Moosefart, Montana. They might be demi-dystopians from Dogdick, Delaware. They dig my demonic dramas. The metaphysic maims them. They grasp the gravity. They'll duke it out with their demons. They'll serve a surfeit of survival skills. They won't be chronologically crucified.

They'll shore up my shit. They'll radically revise it. They'll pass it along.”
“Future writers hide inside books and snort up the craft by enjoyment. They read and learn structure and style. Their curiosity points them to subject matter.” 1 likes
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