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38 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 100% proof pulp fiction
If, as a non-initiate, you stop and try to understand it, James Ellroy's writing style will have you completely bamboozled. The way to approach it is to barrel through it at a hundred miles an hour - that's the pace it was intended to be read at - and eventually everything will start making sense by itself. Even if it doesn't there is still something exhilarating about...
Published on 19 Dec 2002 by Olly Buxton

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Something a little different
This book was chosen by the Reading Group I attend and I would have probably not chosen it, or even known about it otherwise!

I quite enjoyed it but there were mixed feelings amongst the rest of the group.

It is quite a violent book - which doesn't bother me, and the american slang was also not much of a problem as I read it on my kindle and made...
Published 13 months ago by Amanda B


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5 of 14 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not for the faint hearted, 19 July 2010
By 
Tiffany (Chandlers Ford, Hampshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Black Dahlia (Paperback)
Well, I am sorry to rate this book so low when so many seem to love it - but I think people need to be warned! If you're of a sensitive disposition I really doubt you'll like this book. I am not a fan of torture and gore but read this as it was chosen for my book club. The references on the back didn't lead me to think it would be a problem - but it really was. I'm still disturbed by it now!

For about the first quarter of the book I had no idea what he was talking about half the time. And the remainder I just found disturbing. Once I'd finished it I felt I needed a 3 hour shower!

I suppose, in a literary sense, it conveyed the seedy side of hollywood remarkably well. Too well perhaps. I really didn't like it at all. But then - plenty of people do. People with a stronger disposition than me, I guess. And possibly...men. Hate to be sexist but I'd like to talk to a woman who enjoyed it!
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1 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Truly appalling, 24 Dec 2012
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This review is from: The Black Dahlia (Kindle Edition)
I thought that this book was crude, coarse, bloodthirsty and violent. I couldn't understand the slang and colloquialisms either. The men were all corrupt, racist and sexist. Horrible, horrible book and I wouldn't want to read anything else by Ellroy.
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2 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars shocked by the praise, 22 July 2011
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This review is from: The Black Dahlia (Paperback)
I dont understand how this book got soo much praise. Its unlikley, contrived and awkward. The story fell apart from the beggining. The characters were unbelievable and the dialogue was shockingly bad. All in all not one Im going to recomend.
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2 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars The only thing that is a crime is this book, 31 May 2011
By 
Ms. R. E. Winfield "samroz3" (England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Black Dahlia (Paperback)
After struggling to read this book for about 3 months I finally came to the end and wish I hadn't bothered, it was a total bore, the story line was rubbish, the characters rubbish, and was a chore to read. I love books, especially crime thrillers, but I shall be throwing my copy in the bin as I would be ashamed to give it to anyone else to suffer it, and being precious about books, that is not something I say lightly. All I can say to the people who have read this trash and given it a high rating is they must be boughing to popularist culture or maybe they are only used to reading complete nonsense. If you want a proper noir crime book I suggest you completely miss this one out and get something like Raymond Chandlers big sleep, or for modern day crime novels try Mark Billingham who is absolutely fantastic.
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0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars THE BLACK DAHLIA., 6 April 2013
This review is from: The Black Dahlia (Paperback)
Though not adverse to crime fiction if this hadn't been my Readers Group March read I doubt I would have picked The Black Dahlia up let alone read it to the end.

One of if not the most vile books I have ever had the misfortune to read, I can generally find some redeeming feature in any book but I'm afraid not with this one.

Badly written and full of colloquialisms I didn't understand - I know this can be a problem for us Brits reading certain American novels (and vice versa) BUT due to the context I generally have a rough idea of what is meant but alas this wasn't the case here - to me this story didn't so much as flow as jump from one violent (often sexual) episode to another.

Crude, overly violent and full of corrupt, sexist, racist characters (and that's just the supposedly good guys). Yes, I know the novel is set in the 1940's, a totally different era, but I'm really struggling to believe this is a totally realistic portrayal of that society at that time.

Not personally a fan of the 'star' rating system but as several of the sites I review on insist upon it I would like it known that I only award The Black Dahlia 1 star out of 5 as to award it none is not an option.

Copyright: Petty Witter @ Pen and Paper.

The Black Dahlia
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0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Hollywood Babylon, 11 Dec 2011
This review is from: The Black Dahlia (Paperback)
Ellroy has drawn deeply on his own dramatic, disturbing life story in creating this novelisation of the infamous "Black Dahlia" L.A. murder. He brilliantly captures the grimy mantle beneath the glossy crust of the City of Angels and portrays its sub-cultures in unflinching, unglamorous shades of dark ink. From the sleazy dumps of the pimps and prostitutes to the racially aggravated gang violence, from the casual brutality of the mobsters to the easy corruption of the police officers charged with protecting the city against the odds, there was barely a moment in the novel into which the Californian sun shone.

And for me, this was the problem. I could cope with the heavy film noir patois and the labyrinthine plot (as long and twisting as Sunset Boulevard, with a few roundabouts inserted along the road) but I just couldn't thole the relentless unpleasantness of all the characters and the dreadful things they were doing to one another. As horror piled on horror, as the levels of violence rose and as the rain slashed down on a corpse in yet another weed-filled LA parking lot, I just wanted the end credits to roll so that I could go and take a shower and wash all the memories of this tale from my mind.
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0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great book....but NOT about the Black Dahlia., 24 May 2002
By 
John Cox (Studio City, CA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Black Dahlia (Paperback)
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.
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0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 1940's hollywood crime/cool lingo, slows down eventually, 27 Jun 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: The Black Dahlia (Paperback)
james ellroy has it down well. funny, cool, hip.exciting storyteller with complex story lines and great characters. his L.A. quartet captures the scene perfectly; a bee-bop raymond chandler. he gets a little slow towards the end and seems to be writing, ironically, a hollywood screenplay.Easy reading for all levels, hard to put down, not for the squeemish. lotsa racist, sexist, macho remarks, so all those P.C. vegetarians and gingkoheads may want to do some Tai-chi befor and after reading. Read 3 of the 4 , with L.A. Confidential being the best. forget about White Jazz and go right on to American Tabloid, his best work by far.
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0 of 5 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Sorry, can't take the American dialogue!, 24 Jan 2013
By 
Mrs. S. A. Coombes "Steph" (~Kent, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Black Dahlia (Paperback)
I had to read this book for the book club I belong to. I took it on holiday with me and managed the first chapter before I had thrown it down. I didn't understand some of the words used at all, despite the fact that we are subjected to so many American tv films and programmes. I finally finished the book and, whilst the plotline was good and some of the character development interesting, I did not enjoy it as a whole. Sorry.
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0 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Black Delia, 19 Feb 2010
By 
This review is from: The Black Dahlia (Paperback)
Book arrived in very good condition Thank you.

Haven't read it yet, am too busy.

Best Regards,

Elizabeth
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The Black Dahlia
The Black Dahlia by James Ellroy (Paperback - 2 Jun 2011)
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