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Brown's Requiem by James Ellroy
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really liked it
bookshelves: mysteries

** spoiler alert ** This is the 10th Ellroy I've read but I've only listed 2 on Goodreads so far & only given one of them a very quickie, very inadequate 'review'. Ellroy deserves better - & probably gets it elsewhere - it's not like he's a neglected writer.

When the movie "L.A. Confidential" came out I thought it was the only Noir movie I'd seen in recent yrs that measured up to what made the original noir interesting in the 1st place. But I didn't know it was written by Ellroy then. It wasn't until many yrs later that I started reading him. &, yes, he's utterly great. As I've written elsewhere, I consider him to be one of the 4 greatest crime fiction writers. The other 3 being Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler, & Patricia Highsmith. Then again, I don't read that much crime fiction writing so maybe there's far more great stuff out there than I know of.

This is the earliest Ellroy I've read yet. He wd've been, what?, in his early 30s when he wrote it? It's intense & wise & grim but, thank goodness?, not nearly as brutal as his later work (but still very brutal). For me, this is the 1st thing I've read by him in wch his writing still has a taste of his predecessors - in particular, Raymond Chandler. In fact, somewhat to my surprise, his detective character, Fritz Brown, even references Chandler's most famous detective:

"The flat finished stucco walls, ratty Persian carpets in the hallway and mahogany doors almost had me convinced it was 1938 and that my fictional predecessor Philip Marlowe was about to confront me with a wisecrack."

Not that that was an especially important moment in the bk or anything - I just found it interesting that Ellroy wd even tip his hat, so to speak. & the writing is great - as w/ the best of 'pulp' fiction this was a page-turner extraordinaire. I was completely engrossed. & if this had been written by Chandler, perhaps some of the at-1st-apparently-nice characters wd've turned out to be even more vicious than anyone else. But Ellroy surprises the reader here by making that NOT SO.

Anyone who reads crime fiction shd read Ellroy. He exemplifies "hard-boiled".
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