Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Black Dahlia by James Ellroy

Black Dahlia (original 1987; edition 2011)

by James Ellroy

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,925881,311 (3.63)194
Title:Black Dahlia
Authors:James Ellroy
Info:Windmill (2011), Paperback, 384 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

The Black Dahlia by James Ellroy (1987)


Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 194 mentions

English (75)  French (6)  Italian (3)  Spanish (2)  Swedish (1)  Dutch (1)  All languages (88)
Showing 1-5 of 75 (next | show all)
Weird. That about sums this book up. The plot revolves around Ellroy's interpretation of the infamous Black Dahlia murder, but the book is really about one man's descent into madness. Ellroy gives an excellent description of Bucky's" mindset as Elizabeth Short slowly takes over his life. Each time you think the murderer has been revealed, nope, that was just a victim of police corruption and move on to the next suspect. The murder description and resolution was interesting, but Ellroy's best writing revolved around the character's descent and reascent (sort of). The writing was good, but weird." ( )
  jguidry | May 31, 2016 |
What I disliked about this book:
- While Ellroy's narrative voice is more a plus than a minus, it got tiresome to hear every derogatory ethnic slur & reference to women that seems to have abounded among both law enforcement & the citizenry in 1940s Los Angeles. I know why it's there, why he made those choices. But it wears on you over almost 400 pages.
- With all the connections, all the crimes linking back to specific characters, all the red herrings, it becomes melodrama in places, & I got dis-engaged at those times.

What I liked about this book:
- If you've ever heard James Ellroy speak, then reading this book is almost like having a private audiobook playing in your head. I (mostly) enjoyed such a well-developed narrator, with a voice of his time & circumstances. Dwight "Bucky" Bleichert is very much alive on these pages.
- It was satisfying to have an answer to the mystery of the Black Dahlia, albeit a fictional one. But Ellroy is so good at telling this tale you can easily believe the killer/killers had to be known to someone, and dealt with in such a way that to expose the truth would bring more harm than good.

All around, a good read. If you like noir, pick this up. ( )
  LauraCerone | May 26, 2016 |
The language is a bit difficult for me( french as I am) so I probably miss some cultural meaning; but I'm going on...
Done! and satistfied, some great moments with my heart beating fast and furious; but a little disappointed by an ending "convoluted"! ( )
  Gerardlionel | Apr 1, 2016 |
On January 15, 1947, the tortured body of a beautiful young woman was found in a vacant lot in Los Angeles.
This is a fictionalized treatment of the "Black Dahlia" murder.

True Crime: Fictionalized Versions..... police procedurals.....hardboiled crime...."noir with explosive psychological tension"...historical fiction.

"Passionate, violent, frustrating...imaginative and bizarre." (Los Angeles Times)
"... wonderful, complicated, but accessible tale of ambition, insanity, passion and deceit." (Publishers Weekly).

My thoughts tend toward....intense, explicit, explosive.....
  pennsylady | Feb 11, 2016 |
I wasn't impressed. ( )
  kosana | Jan 21, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 75 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (18 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
James Ellroyprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lorenzin, LucianoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mutarelli, LourençoCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vlek, RonaldTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
Now I fold you down, my drunkard, my navigator, My first lost keeper, to love or look at later.
- Anne Sexton
To Geneva Hilliker Ellroy 1915-1958
Twenty-nine years later, this valediction in blood
First words
I never knew her in life.
This has been going on since Mae West was a virgin.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
Original language
Information from the Italian Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0446698873, Paperback)

On January 15, 1947, the torture-ravished body of a beautiful young woman is found in a Los Angeles vacant lot. The victim makes headlines as the Black Dahlia-and so begins the greatest manhunt in California history.Caught up in the investigation are Bucky Bleichert and Lee Blanchard: Warrants Squad cops, friends, and rivals in love with the same woman. But both are obsessed with the Dahlia-driven by dark needs to know everything about her past, to capture her killer, to possess the woman even in death. Their quest will take them on a hellish journey through the underbelly of postwar Hollywood, to the core of the dead girl's twisted life, past the extremes of their own psyches-into a region of total madness.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:11:06 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

The murder of a beautiful young woman in 1947 Los Angeles sparks an investigation in which Bucky Bleichert, Lee Blanchard, L.A.P.D. Warrants Squad cops, ex-boxers, friends, and adversaries become obsessed by the case.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 13 descriptions

Quick Links

Swap Ebooks Audio
269 avail.
42 wanted
2 pay6 pay

Popular covers


Average: (3.63)
0.5 2
1 28
1.5 6
2 83
2.5 24
3 262
3.5 77
4 381
4.5 47
5 178


3 editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

See editions

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


You are using the new servers! | About | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 109,227,972 books! | Top bar: Always visible