artphoto by splunge
artphoto by TheophileEscargot
artphoto by Kronos_to_Earth
artphoto by ethylene





Mecha Wiki

Metachat Eye


IRC Channels



Comment Feed:


22 September 2009

Is there any more incredibly self-absorbed, self-aggrandizing hack than James Ellroy? [More:]Heard this on the way to work this morning and listened with my mouth agape. He says with a straight face that his new book is "flawlessly structured" and talks about his "wonderful, wonderful gift from god" (who, it turns out, is his primary audience; along with Beethoven).

I might not have reacted so strongly had it not been a writer I already really dislike.

[Editorial comment: He found a creative voice -- ONCE. But he couldn't stop using it. And now it's not creative anymore. It's schticky. No matter how 'flawless' he thinks it is.]

Anyhow, enjoy! (Listen to the clip for best results. It isn't quite the same just reading the text.)
Just limiting it to people whose name is 'James,' I think that both Patterson and Frey are bigger self-absorbed hacks than Ellroy.

(Though I really like his old books (up to the LA Quartet stuff, anyway), so, yeah, take that into consideration.)
posted by box 22 September | 10:51
I heard a snippet of that thing on NPR this morning, and was, like, 'Geez, who is this bozo? I bet I'd enjoy his books, but what an ass.' I was going to look it up, but it slipped my mind. When I read that it was Ellroy, I was like 'Of course.'
posted by box 22 September | 10:54
Augsten Burroughs? Cause, seriously, ever since I read that "Being too skinny is just like being too fat, so I deserve all the steroids I want." made me want to bludgeon him to death with a rusty iron.
posted by The Whelk 22 September | 11:11
Wow, what a blow hard. Sheesh.
posted by richat 22 September | 11:17
I'd agree on everything but "hack." Love him or hate him, that's a bit too strong, IMO, though he has been in decline. The man does have talent, more than most people do.
posted by middleclasstool 22 September | 12:36
I'm definitely one but my name is LT.

In fact, I'm such a blow hard ass that I'm starring in Blow Harderer: LT Blows All Over You 2.

This Straight-To-Video Moment has been brought to you by Lipstick Thespians Very Bad Day.
posted by Lipstick Thespian 22 September | 13:27
James Ellroy is an insane, bloated self-mythologizer with shitty politics, and "The Cold Six Thousand" was totally unreadable because he finally turned his schtick into self-parody, and yet I still have an total soft spot for the bastard and will be getting his new book the minute it hits the shelves.
posted by scody 22 September | 13:39
I love Ellroy, but yeah, he's not a guy I'd want to have a beer with. That said, I found the Cold 6000 a hard read but later listened to it as an audiobook and that was excellent. Can't wait for the next one.
posted by doctor_negative 22 September | 13:56
I like his books, and he's a huge, self absorbed cock. I even liked "The Cold Six Thousand". "White Jazz" was the first book I read of his, and I was hooked. Having read "My Dark Places", I kind of have an idea where he's coming from, but I still think he's an ass. I'm looking forward to buying the new book.
posted by eekacat 22 September | 19:22
I read American Tabloid and thought it was fantastic. But I never really had the urge to pick up another one his books. *shrugs*

And since box brought him up, I read James Frey's Bright Shiny Morning and really enjoyed it. I'll probably even read more his stuff.
posted by mullacc 22 September | 21:25
That shiny morning novel's supposed to be good, mullacc, for what it's worth.
posted by box 22 September | 21:54
Whatever beef I have w/Frey is more about the way he dealt with all the Oprah-fake-memoir fallout.
posted by box 22 September | 21:57
Sure...I wasn't trying to pick a bone with you.

Actually, the reason I picked the book up was that I was kinda shocked that he bounced back from the whole Oprah/fakeness mess. Figured that if he can still get someone to take him seriously after that, dude must be able to write.
posted by mullacc 22 September | 23:37
I liked the Lloyd Hopkins books and Silent Terror/Killer on the Road, but Black Dahlia left me cold (no pun intended) and I haven't read anything of his since, except for a bit of a nonfiction article he wrote on the Robert Blake trial that was written in this pseudo-scandal-sheet style that I simply couldn't stand.

Saw him once at a street book fair (5th Avenue, I think) in the early nineties. His public persona was pretty grating then, too; Walter Mosley was autographing next to him and looked like he'd rather be just about anywhere else on the planet.
posted by Halloween Jack 23 September | 14:00
To do: What a mess of stuff in my office! || Paging Dr. Strangelove