James Ellroy

A Companion to the Mystery Fiction


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About the Book

This comprehensive guide to James Ellroy’s work and life is arranged as an encyclopedia covering his entire career, from his first private-eye novel, Brown’s Requiem, to his 2012 e-book Shakedown. It introduces new readers to his characters and plots, and provides experienced Ellroy fans and scholars with detailed analyses of the themes, motifs and stylistic innovations of his books. The work is a tour of Ellroy’s dark underworld, highlighting the controversies and unsettling questions that characterize his work, as well as assessing Ellroy’s place in the annals of American literature.

About the Author(s)

Jim Mancall is assistant provost at Wheaton College in Norton, Massachusetts, where he occasionally lectures about detective and mystery fiction. He lives in Norton, Massachusetts.

Series Editor Elizabeth Foxwell, an Agatha Award winner, is managing editor of Clues: A Journal of Detection.

Bibliographic Details

Jim Mancall

Series Editor Elizabeth Foxwell

Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 240
Bibliographic Info: 11 photos, chronology, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2014
pISBN: 978-0-7864-3307-0
eISBN: 978-1-4766-1393-2
Imprint: McFarland
Series: McFarland Companions to Mystery Fiction

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments   ix
Preface   1
Organization of the Companion   4
Ellroy’s Works in Chronological Order   5
Ellroy’s Works in Alphabetical Order   7
A Brief Biography   9
A Career Chronology   13
The Companion   15
Annotated Bibliography   213
Index   223

Book Reviews & Awards

  • Finalist, Edgar Allan Poe Award—Mystery Writers of America
  • Finalist, 2015 Silver Falchion Award—Killer Nashville
  • “The McFarland Companion series…has been consistently excellent, both in its choice of subjects and its quality of scholarship and writing”—Mystery Scene
  • “Wonderfully detailed”—The Guardian
  • “From Brown’s Requiem to Blood’s A Rover and beyond, Jim Mancall’s encyclopedic companion to all things Ellroy achieves something I thought impossible. It provides a clear, comprehensive guide to the Demon Dog’s dark, complex literary world. With its summaries of all of the author’s works, from novels and book-length nonfiction to articles (in GQ magazine and elsewhere), descriptions of main characters and their recurring appearances, objective presentations of themes and motifs, as well as biographical material, this generous volume is the equivalent of a James Ellroy master class. And it is not without its intriguing bits of Ellroy esoterica. Who knew, for example, that the character Donna Donahue in three “Rhino” Rick Jenson novellas is based on the actress Dana Delany? Or that, in his introduction to the Everyman’s Library edition of Dashiell Hammett’s The Dain Curse, The Glass Key, and Select Stories, Ellroy trashes The Dain Curse”—Dick Lochte, critic and Shamus-nominated author of Blues in the Night.