Reading group: Which James Ellroy novel should we read in May?


With a new volume due in his second LA Quartet, it’s a good time to read this justly self-declared master of fiction. But which book?

It’s a big month for James Ellroy. The self-described “demon dog of American crime fiction” has a new book on the way: This Storm, the second instalment in his second LA Quartet. Several of his older classics are due to be re-released by the Everyman’s Library, including the original LA Quartet and his follow-up Underworld Trilogy. In Ellroy’s own words, these new editions will canonise him in the “hellaciously hallowed halls of the Great American Novelist Brigade”. He’s also due to appear in London for the first time in five years. Finally, and best of all, we’re going to discuss him here on the reading group.

Ellroy has already been named as “the modern master of hard-boiled fiction” (the Guardian) and “one of the great American writers of our time” (LA Times). He himself says, modestly: “I am a master of fiction. I am also the greatest crime novelist who ever lived. I am to the crime novel in specific what Tolstoy is to the Russian novel and what Beethoven is to music.”

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