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The Black Dahlia (L.A. Quartet #1)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

The Black Dahlia- L.A. Quartet #1

This is the first James Ellroy novel I have read and I am 100% sure that it's not my last. The Black Dahlia is the first in his LA Quartet, and I haven;t read the other three novels in the Quartet yet, but The Black Dahlia is a MASTERPIECE. I rarely give this title to...
This is the first James Ellroy novel I have read and I am 100% sure that it's not my last. The Black Dahlia is the first in his LA Quartet, and I haven;t read the other three novels in the Quartet yet, but The Black Dahlia is a MASTERPIECE. I rarely give this title to books, but the Black Dahlia deserves it. Characters, prose, dialogue, plot, all of these aspects of a crime/mystery novel are tip-top. As the characters fall into madness over the investigation into the grisly murder of Elizabeth Short, I felt what they were feeling and became obsessed in the novel. Ellroy's writing style is what achieves this. This is not a large novel, it's about average size i would say, but it has the pacing of an epic and gave off the feeling that I had known these people for a much longer time. Ellroy packs so much information and story in just a single page and he does this with his short, punchy prose that jumps right off the page. The Black Dahlia is a masterpiece in all of literature, just be warned: this book will make you made with the desire to read more.

P.S. This book is also very violent, almost to the level of Blood Meridian by Cormac McCarthy, not that that is a problem with me because both of these books are masterpieces. Enjoy.

posted by McCarthy92 on May 25, 2011

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Most Helpful Critical Review

2 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

Black Dahlia, eh...

Well, first off, I'll come clean... As it is stated in my title, this review is basically for an English credit, so don't expect anything amazing. Now, the purpose you are reading this review, what I thought about 'The Black Dahlia'. The book was very captiva...
Well, first off, I'll come clean... As it is stated in my title, this review is basically for an English credit, so don't expect anything amazing. Now, the purpose you are reading this review, what I thought about 'The Black Dahlia'. The book was very captivating, don't get me wrong. Once I picked it up, I couldn't put it down, but the book as a whole wasn't quite what I thought it would be. In parts, it just seemed to drag on. For me, it started off slow. It was really kind of annoying. It is set in L.A. in a gang war. You learn right off the bat that the two cops you are reading about are both crooked. There are a couple times where it seems as though they would redeem themselves, but soon after that they would screw everything up again. The book seemed like a crude mixture of a porno and a shoot 'em up. The sex in the book goes into extreme detail, which I'm sure some wouldn't mind, but none the less, its not necessary. It's almost as if it would just randomly have a sex scene to keep the less intense readers interested. The shoot out scenes in the book are needed, but very graphic as well. This book is deffinetly not a book for those with even somewhat of a weak stomache. There are times where I felt like throwing up a lung, times where I felt like a pervert, and times where I felt like a detective. Where I'm going with this is the fact that Ellroy does an excellent job of making you feel like the main character, 'Bucky Bleichert'. Everything he does, it makes you feel just as scummy and gross as he claims to feel every so often. Over all, the book is a good read, at least worthy enough to keep you busy until the next Harry Potter book, or what ever other mainstream read you are looking forward to coming out. The book is full of loop holes and Red Herrings, enough to keep you interested long enough to finish the book. I wouldn't read it again, but I'm glad I ended up reading it just so I know exactly how much I don't want to be a cop in L.A, or live there, or visit, or talk about, or watch about on T.V., or see pictures of, you get the picture.

posted by Anonymous on October 24, 2006

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 24, 2006

    Black Dahlia, eh...

    Well, first off, I'll come clean... As it is stated in my title, this review is basically for an English credit, so don't expect anything amazing. Now, the purpose you are reading this review, what I thought about 'The Black Dahlia'. The book was very captivating, don't get me wrong. Once I picked it up, I couldn't put it down, but the book as a whole wasn't quite what I thought it would be. In parts, it just seemed to drag on. For me, it started off slow. It was really kind of annoying. It is set in L.A. in a gang war. You learn right off the bat that the two cops you are reading about are both crooked. There are a couple times where it seems as though they would redeem themselves, but soon after that they would screw everything up again. The book seemed like a crude mixture of a porno and a shoot 'em up. The sex in the book goes into extreme detail, which I'm sure some wouldn't mind, but none the less, its not necessary. It's almost as if it would just randomly have a sex scene to keep the less intense readers interested. The shoot out scenes in the book are needed, but very graphic as well. This book is deffinetly not a book for those with even somewhat of a weak stomache. There are times where I felt like throwing up a lung, times where I felt like a pervert, and times where I felt like a detective. Where I'm going with this is the fact that Ellroy does an excellent job of making you feel like the main character, 'Bucky Bleichert'. Everything he does, it makes you feel just as scummy and gross as he claims to feel every so often. Over all, the book is a good read, at least worthy enough to keep you busy until the next Harry Potter book, or what ever other mainstream read you are looking forward to coming out. The book is full of loop holes and Red Herrings, enough to keep you interested long enough to finish the book. I wouldn't read it again, but I'm glad I ended up reading it just so I know exactly how much I don't want to be a cop in L.A, or live there, or visit, or talk about, or watch about on T.V., or see pictures of, you get the picture.

    2 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 23, 2002

    Good book...but NOT about the Black Dahlia

    James Ellroy is unquestionably a great writer and this book is one of his best, but don't make the mistake I made in reading this book to learn about the infamous Black Dahlia murder. Ellory uses the murder only as a backdrop to tell a story of two L.A. cops and police corruption in the '40s. It's really a shame this book is called 'The Black Dahlia', but one wonders if it would have been as successful if it had been called 'Bucky & Lee.' What little the reader learns about the Dahlia (aka Elizabeth Short) all pretty much comes out of Ellroy's feverish imagination. To be fair, Ellroy wrote this book back before much was really known about Elizabeth Short, including the critical piece of information that she was incapable of sexual intercourse (so much for Ellory's 'she had it coming because she was a whore' theme). Still, it's a powerful book and one I'd recommend as a police drama. But for the facts of the case (and if you, like me, think the story of the victim is more interesting than the story of the detective investigating the case) I'd recommend SEVERED: THE TRUE STORY OF THE BLACK DAHLIA MURDER by John Gilmore or CHILDHOOD SHADOWS by Mary Pacios (SEVERED being the better of the two books in my opinion). And please, Hollywood, don't use the Ellroy book when you finally get around to making a Black Dahlia movie. She deserves better.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 13, 2011

    vhfghbvvvb

    my mom loved this book she told me that it didnt lack in detail

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted October 25, 2008

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    Posted April 3, 2011

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    Posted July 23, 2011

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    Posted July 13, 2013

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