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James Ellroy biography

Author Biography  | Interview  | Books by this Author  | Readalikes

James Ellroy
Photo: Marion Ettlinger

James Ellroy

James Ellroy Biography

James Ellroy was born in Los Angeles in 1948. He is the author of the acclaimed L.A. Quartet - The Black Dahlia, The Big Nowhere, LA Confidential and White Jazz, as well as the Underworld USA trilogy: American Tabloid, The Cold Six Thousand and Blood's a Rover. He is the author of one work of non-fiction, The Hilliker Curse: My Pursuit of Women. Ellroy lives in Los Angeles.

James Ellroy's website

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Interview

Join us for a conversation with Ellroy about his belief that 'America was never innocent' because, in his words, it was founded on a bedrock of land grabs, slavery, religious extremism, colonial ambition, and genocide.

In the opening paragraph of American Tabloid you write that "America was never innocent." How does this theme further evolve in The Cold Six Thousand?
America was founded on a bedrock of land grabs, slavery, religious extremism, colonial ambition, and genocide. The notion that America was innocent prior to Jack Kennedy's murder is preposterous; by the rules he lived by, Jack got what he deserved. He took aid from organized crime during the 1960 election; he repaid the debt by siccing his kid brother Bobby on the Mob at large. He betrayed the Cuban exiles at the Bay of Pigs. He pissed off a hot-headed troika of mobsters, exiles and renegade CIA men involved in the Cuban cause. They whacked him for it. His death derived from the perennial motives of money and turf. It was a gaudy homicide that set the stage for the out-of-control America that I portray in The Cold Six Thousand.

So you really think the Mob called the hits on JFK, Martin Luther King Jr, and Bobby Kennedy?
I'm convinced that the Mob, in cahoots with Cuban exiles and renegade CIA elements, whacked Jack Kennedy. That said, I'm a novelist -- and my job is the creation of verisimilitude, not the exposition of literal truth. There is no ...

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Books by this Author

Books by James Ellroy at BookBrowse
This Storm jacket Perfidia jacket The Hilliker Curse jacket Blood's A Rover jacket
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Readalikes

All the books below are recommended as readalikes for James Ellroy but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
How we choose readalikes

  • Joe Gores

    Joe Gores

    Joseph Nicholas Gores (1931-2011) was born in Rochester, Minnosota and educated at Notre Dame University and Stanford University. He also served in the US Army, where he wrote biographies of generals. After earning a master... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    The Cold Six Thousand

    Try:
    Spade & Archer
    by Joe Gores

  • Walter Mosley

    Walter Mosley

    Walter Mosley is one of America's most celebrated and beloved writers. A Grand Master of the Mystery Writers of America, he has won numerous awards, including the Anisfield-Wolf Award, a Grammy, a PEN USA's Lifetime ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    The Cold Six Thousand

    Try:
    Fear Itself
    by Walter Mosley

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Editor's Choice

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Book Club Discussion
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"Strong characters, riveting plot and an honest look at life in the Australian outback make it easy to give this 5-stars!"
—BookBrowse

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