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Dock

The Big Nowhere - James Ellroy

Los Angeles, New Years Eve 1949. Somebody's life is going to end in a very bad way.

Enter Danny Upshaw an upcoming cop and forensic science enthusiast, Mal Considine cop and WW2 veteran, and Buzz Meeks ex-cop and now fixer of problems/violent beater upper of people for sleazy shitbag movie moguls and gangsters. With these three pro's on the case what could possibly go wrong?

Set against a stinking background of vice, corrupt cops, McCarthyism, and, er, jazz music this is a great murder mystery/ detective novel. The twists are many and the dialogue is sharper than a cut throat razor. A rattling good yarn.
bearing

Not sure how I missed this, really enjoy Ellroy's writings, however you seem to have dipped in to part two of the L.A. Quartet of books. To do this book extra justice you really need to get your hands on them in this order:

The Black Dahlia
The Big Nowhere
L.A. Confidential
White Jazz

But anyway back to the book you read, I find his writing style to be really sharp, whereas other authors seem to paint a book with a brush he somehow manages to cut a picture using sharp blades and manages to produce a result just as beautiful. I really love the dialogue he uses in his books, his use of the slang of the time really allows the reader to be transported back to those heady days of Be Bop and the Zoot suits of LA. As you suggest the underground sleaziness of the whole era is abundent in his writing and really sets a great backdrop. It also helped that I'd been to LA on holiday this allowed me to tune in to the book more easily.

I really suggest you get the other three and read them in the right order as they really are like one long book. White Jazz is sort of the odd one out, it does tie off loose ends of the other books but it is written in the first person without verbs and is a bit of a mind fuck to begin with. It took me an absolute age to get into it (in fact I only read it last year) due to the writing style being miles away from anything I've ever read by Ellroy or any other author for that matter but it is worth perservering.
Dock

Noted Mr. B. Didnt realise it was part of a series. Will have a look at the others. Ta!
bearing

Have you had a chance to get the others?

Just reading Black Dahlia again, loving it, love the seediness of it and the edginess. One thing I find strange with his books that I struggle with when reading stuff from other authors is listening to music whilst reading. I find his writing somehow allows me to listen to music whilst I'm reading and the music just becomes a backdrop, will have to try listening to some Stan Kenton with it.
Dock

bearing wrote:
Have you had a chance to get the others?

Just reading Black Dahlia again, loving it, love the seediness of it and the edginess. One thing I find strange with his books that I struggle with when reading stuff from other authors is listening to music whilst reading. I find his writing somehow allows me to listen to music whilst I'm reading and the music just becomes a backdrop, will have to try listening to some Stan Kenton with it.


Haven't read the others yet bud. Interesting about how you can have music on whilst reading him but not others. The only thing I can listen to when reading is background noise e.g. in a café or public place. I find it really difficult to concentrate on fiction if the TV is blaring away, but with historical biography or factual book the TV doesn't bother me. Best reading place for me is the 2nd floor reading room in Leeds City Library. The only distraction is when some  keen-but-hapless octogenarian exclaims "Bugger" after hitting the escape button on an afternoons worth of genealogy research.

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