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Keir Graff and editors from Booklist's adult and youth departments write candidly about books, book reviewing, and the publishing industry

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Friday, September 15, 2006 2:18 pm
James Ellroy to Abandon Life of Crime
Posted by: Keir Graff

On September 7, Frank Sennett, blogger, Booklist reviewer, and pal of mine, linked to an LA CityBeat interview with James Ellroy in which Ellroy says, “I won’t write another crime novel.”

This, of course, is in regard to what he’ll write after his forthcoming novel, the final book in the Underworld U.S.A. trilogy. Never mind that that book doesn’t yet have a title or a publication date–it’s always good to plan ahead.

And this morning, I was reading in Time Out Chicago another of the blizzard of interviews Ellroy did to promote the today’s release of The Black Dahlia, the film version of his book. He told interviewer Ben Kenigsberg (I can’t link to it because I can’t find it on their site), “I’m 58, and I’ve got a lot of books to write in my lifetime.”

It’s hard to imagine what Ellroy’s going to write about if it’s not corrupt white men shooting each other. And in the LA CityBeat article, he admits, “I haven’t figured out yet what they’ll be about.”

Frankly, it will be interesting when a new Ellroy novel of any sort appears in stores. It’s been five years since The Cold Six Thousand (2001), and that was six years after American Tabloid (1995). Of course, there was his notable autobiography, My Dark Places, in 1996, but other than that he’s filled his time with anthologies, collections, short stuff, and, presumably, screenplays.

(If you want to check out all those Booklist Online links, sign up here for a free 30-day trial.)

Bill Ott will be pleased to note that, whenever we do see the next book, Ellroy will be ”pulling back from the style of Cold Six Thousand.” (In his review of that book, Bill wrote that its telegrammatic style “makes reading unbearable.”)

And I will also be eager to see if, and how, the “demon dog” reinvents himself. Though I was once a huge fan of his, as I probably made clear in my review of Destination: Morgue!, I think his schtick has grown tired.

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