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The Black Dahlia Mass Market Paperback – Sep 1 2006
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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Narrator Hoye firmly nails young world-weary cop Bucky Bleichert in this audio version of Ellroy's 1987 crime novel. The flawed boxer-turned-lawman becomes obsessed with L.A.'s notorious unsolved 1947 torture-murder case, as well as the secret life of his missing partner, Lee Blanchard. Hoye proves a fine match for Ellroy's hardboiled prose, shuttling easily between hard and soft tones, crystallizing Bleichert's mix of cynicism, confusion, hurt and rage. Set in booming postwar Los Angeles, this tale of ambition, deceit and obsession builds to symphonic proportions. Throughout, Hoye skillfully modulates his narration to distinctly render each character—corrupt cops, city officials, pimps, GIs, Mexican bar owners, prostitutes, society matrons and even the sound of a bullet piercing canvas. Hoye especially shines during heated police interrogations, able to shift his voice on a dime. The audio includes a new afterword from Ellroy, which might have delivered more punch had Ellroy read it himself. But in terms of this gritty, sprawling novel, Hoye was unquestionably the right man for the job.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Library Journal
Using the basic facts concerning the 1940s' notorious and yet unsolved Black Dahlia case, Ellroy creates a kaleidoscope of human passion and dark obsession. A young woman's mutilated body is found in a Los Angeles vacant lot. The story is seen through the eyes of Bucky Bleichert, ex-prize fighter and something of a boy wonder on the police force. There is no relief or humor as Bleichert arrives at a grisly discovery. Ellroy's powerful rendering of the long-reaching effects of murder gives the case new meaning. This should be a major book for
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
I have no problem with people liking swill, they usually do, but people with otherwise good taste seem to LOVE this pretentious twaddler.
Ellroy writes plot-dependant novels, but can't plot to save his damn life. Halfway through every one of his books, the plot breaks down, and, not that I read for plot, there's nothing else left. Save yourself time and read a good Ed McBain, Elmore Leonard, or, go to the source, Dash Hammett.
This novel is based on an actual event, the unsolved murder of an aspiring young actress, Elizabeth Short, in 1947. This was not just any slaying - she was a beautiful young woman whose killing was especially gruesome. Many were haunted by her death and began calling her The Black Dahlia.
Two men were more than deeply affected by the crime - detectives Bucky Bleichert and Lee Blanchard. Both were driven to solve the killing, and through Ellroy's narrative listeners learn just how destructive obsession can be.
Some posit that this story is based on the murder of Ellroy's own mother in 1958. This occurred when Ellroy was a child and her murderer was never found. Quite obviously, this was a death that did not leave him unaffected as some may have read in his memoir My Dark Places. The parallels are obvious yet do not detract in any way from the power of Ellroy's prose or his deft construction of a dark drama.
Actor Stephen Hoye, who has appeared in films and on stage in London and Los Angeles ,delivers an expert reading of this noir tale.
- Gail Cooke
I wasn't disappointed but I was frustrated, only because I wanted to know more about Elizabeth Short but THE BLACK DAHLIA is really about police work in Los Angeles. The protagonist, an ex-boxer, also wants to know more about Elizabeth Short and the story involves his obsession with her and her murder, his relationship to his job, his pals and the people linked to Betty Short. Even his tough personality cannot withstand the hideous and twisted goings-on in the police force. The story swings out of control when all the characters start to link up so that Ellroy can tie up his story. He wraps up the Black Dahlia's murder with what I found to be a preposterous conclusion. Nevertheless, whether or not it's a good point, the description written by the murderer in a journal (the conceit being that murder isn't worth it unless it's recorded) is the most shocking account of murderous human suffering I have ever read.
Toughness extends through every word: the metaphoric and staccoto cop language, the twists of character and desire, and the hard-hitting story depict a world in which there is little comfort and few resolutions of which none are happy.
Most recent customer reviews
Seriously weak writing. Hyper-melodramatic, like we're reading a bad soap opera. And crazily overlong. Yikes.
The audiobook narration was comicly inappropriate. Read more
Got the book in time and very good condition wrap up really well thanksPublished 6 months ago by Deb
This book is also a gift. The recipient is a fan of James Elroy so I'm sure he'll enjoy the book!Published on Dec 13 2012 by Gail Boucher
If you want a crime thriller that addresses both the main action and collateral action in all its vivid and disturbing detail, The Black Dahlia is the one. Read morePublished on April 4 2007 by Ian Gordon Malcomson
Ellroy takes us to the dark depths of humanity. Shows us how ugly we can be as human beings: murderers whose only motive is that of deriving a sexual kick. Read morePublished on Feb. 18 2004 by Glen1975
'Black Dahlia' is my first James Ellroy novel. Clearly the author wishes he was born 50 years earlier so he can live along side the likes of Raymond Chandler, James Cain and... Read morePublished on Dec 16 2003 by lazza
Here is Elroy at his most readable -- as his later style grows more and more clipped and turgid -- this book shines more and more as bright shining point in his writing and in this... Read morePublished on Oct. 24 2003 by Gordon Rios
In 1947 Elizabeth(Betty) Short, a 'budding actress' in the glitzy exclusive club that is Hollywood and Los Angeles was found brutally murdered in a back alley lot in Hollywood. Read morePublished on Aug. 11 2003 by Taisei Fuma