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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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  • Posted May 25, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    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 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.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 14, 2005

    Gritty and Great

    What a great book. The author writes about atrocities and depravity with a calm certainty that makes them, somehow, worse. And this is a good thing a marvelously crafted book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 19, 2013

    This is my second book by James Ellroy.......

    After L.A. Confidential. Two of the best books in this genre that I have ever read. The plot and character development during the course of the book surpasses almost every author I enjoy. I will "read him out".

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  • Posted May 16, 2012

    Great on many levels

    Even if crime/detective fiction is not your thing you will enjoy this book. Ellroy's prose is addicting, and the characters will infect your life. This was my first Ellroy book, and I am moving on to the rest. You wont regret picking this one up.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 24, 2012

    Amazing

    The ending will take your breath away!

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  • Posted November 3, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Fantastic

    I only read this book because I heard an interview with James Ellroy and was fascinated by him. I am so glad that I heard that interview. This is one of the best books I have read in quite some time. Plenty of twists and turns in the plot keep those pages turning.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 20, 2007

    Looking for dark and really weird...

    When I'm depressed or am looking for inspiration to write a crime drama, I plop 'This is Hardcore' by Pulp in the record player and re-read 'The Black Dahlia.' This book is very dense and very complex, as I learned on my first go around, but it is also a rewarding book without a true end, like the crime itself. Nothing is satisfying and everybody is flawed almost to the point of being a villian. Bucky Bleichart and Lee Blanchard aren't so much characters as set peices in and of themselves, but their relationship with Kay is a little bit staggering and sort of off puts the novel by trying to inject some humanity and is the weak point of the novel. This is certainly Elroys best book and should be read by anybody who enjoys wallowing in an unsolved and indeed unsolveable murder.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 12, 2006

    A outstanding work of genius

    In this story the reader is led to believe some things about the characters in the story, but not all is what it seems. This book is a must reed for every murder mystery buff. This book will have you turning pages for hours, until there is nothing left to turn.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 7, 2006

    WHAT A BOOK!!!

    I don't care what anyone says about this book, it had everything! The settings the story the characters and IT DOES involve the Black Dahlia! If you want a book that is not predictable and has twists all along the way and you like that, this book is for you!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 21, 2001

    A Great, Fictional Account of a Famous Murder!!!

    Few books have the number of twists and turns, or the amount of nerve-shattering suspense that this novel possesses. It is a brilliant, fictional account of Hollywood's most famous, and gruesome murder. The story centers around Bucky Bleichert, an ex-boxer now rogue cop, and his attempt to solve the murder of Elizabeth Short, a.k.a 'The Black Dahlia.' Bleichert is a compelling character, but Bleichert and the story are driven by the twisted life of Elizabeth Short. This book is hard-hitting and one of James Ellroy's best!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 5, 2000

    This Novel KO's the Reader!

    Based on a notorious, unsolved L.A. murder case from the 1940's, Ellroy's hard-boiled and hard-hitting novel takes the reader on a journey through the gritty underworld of Hollywood. Each chapter is packed with Riveting suspense.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 28, 2000

    THE BEST 'BLACK DAHLIA' BOOK I'VE READ!!!

    Although a work of fiction, the book was mesmerizing. I have read as much as I could find on the unsolved case of the 'Black Dahlia' and being a person that always feels there should be conclusion to every homicide case, although fictional,James Ellroy's Dahlia gave me that.

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