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My Dark Places (original 1996; edition 1997)
by James Ellroy
My Dark Places by James Ellroy (1996)
References to this work on external resources.
Wikipedia in English (1)
Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0679762051, Paperback)James Ellroy's trademark is his language: it is sometimes caustically funny and always brazen. When he's hitting on all cylinders, as he is in My Dark Places, his style makes punchy rhythms out of short sentences using lingo such as "scoot" (dollar), "trim" (sex), and "brace" (to interrogate). But the premise for My Dark Places is what makes it especially compelling: Ellroy goes back to his own childhood to investigate the central mystery behind his obsession with violence against women--the death of his mother when he was 10 years old. It's hard to imagine a more psychologically treacherous, more self-exposing way in which to write about true crime. The New York Times calls it a "strenuously involving book.... Early on, Mr. Ellroy makes a promise to his dead mother that seems maudlin at first: 'I want to give you breath.' But he's done just that and--on occasion--taken ours away."
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:08:49 -0400)
Jean Ellroy was murdered in 1958. Her body was dumped on a roadway in a run-down L.A. suburb. The killer was never found. The case was closed. It was a sordid back-page homicide that nobody remembered. Except her son. James Ellroy was ten years old when his mother died. His bereavement was complex and ambiguous. He grew up obsessed with murdered women and crime. His life spun hellishly out of control. He ran from the ghost of Jean Ellroy. He became a writer of radically provocative and best-selling crime novels. He tried to reclaim his mother through fiction. It didn't work. He quit running and wrote this memoir.My Dark Places is Jean Ellroy's and James Ellroy's story - from 1958 to all points past and up to this moment. It is the story of a brilliant homicide detective named Bill Stoner, and of the investigation he and James Ellroy undertook to find Jean Ellroy's killer. My Dark Places is unflinching autobiography and vivid reportage. It is no less than a treatise on 38 years of American murder. It is James Ellroy's journey into and through his most forbidding memories.
(summary from another edition)
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