my Book

Book Details

Title:   Widespread Panic
Author:   James Ellroy
Times Read:   1
Last Read:   01.29.22

Other Books Read By This Author (4)
- Blood's A Rover
- The Hilliker Curse: My Pursuit of Women
- Perfidia
- This Storm

Notes History
Date Read Note
01.29.22 The latest Ellroy is not part three in his "new LA Quartet" but rather a stand-alone following real-life private detective Freddy Otash in 50s Hollywood during the infamous days of Confidential magazine: the original scandal rag. I think this is something that Ellroy's been playing around with since way back in LA Confidential with the character of Sid, although I think previous incarnations of Otash have also surfaced in other previous books. But aside from the subject matter, the whole book is delivered in Ellroy's most alliterative hepcat patois to date. It's not as tough to read as that Palahniuk book that defeated me (where the whole book was written in the form of telegrams), but it does sometimes get in its own way in my opinion. To be honest, back in LA Confidential I thought Ellroy's terse condensed prose style was amazing and evocative. Now I find it a burden. His last several books have all felt like chores to get through at times, nowhere near as propulsive as American Tabloid. He does remain a singular unique voice however, and his stories remain as nostalgia noirish as ever and this one has a bunch of Hollywood gossip from back in the day dealing with James Dean, Marlon Brando, Rock Hudson, and a laundry list of others supposedly involved in alternative or (then) taboo proclivities... so that's fun in a Hollywood Babylon type way. And this was about half as long as a typical Ellroy book, but I'm just a little sad that I see that as a good thing. In the round of interviews for this book, Ellroy mentioned A) that this would be the last time he utilized this alliterative prose style, and B) he was writing a second, longer book about Fred Otash before returning to the latter half of his second LA quartet. I will continue to read everything he puts out, but I'm hoping for something I connect with more next time out.



my Book