Friday, February 27, 2004

I finally got to My Dark Places by James Ellroy. It's divided into four parts: the initial investigation, an autobiography of James' life up till he started writing, a short biography of the investigator with whom he hooks up to investigate his mother's murder, and their subsequent unsuccessful investigation. It's not quite a who-done-it and it's not just autobiography. It's got Ellroy's short, choppy sentences and he throws in some repetition that adds to the movement, but his style does get a little monotonous by the end because there is little dialogue to break it up. There is no closure, no grand finale, no definitive answers here so it becomes less of an investigation into Jean Ellroy's murder and more of a excavation of her life as the book progresses. Ellroy draws a clear line from his mother's death to his criminal activities and homelessness and to his writing. It's pretty interesting stuff, but I found myself getting impatient toward the end.

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