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December 24, 2004

Fame Makes a Man Think Things Over

by Ron Hogan

Writing for Australia's The Age, Gerard Wright catches up with James Ellroy, who's got another collection of true-crime reportage, unrestrained soul-bearing, and hyperkinetic novellas out (this one's called Destination: Morgue!). He also shares the narrative strategy for the third volume of his Underworld USA trilogy, which will pick up in the summer of 1968 and track American history until just before Watergate because "I don't give a shit about it":

"Nobody got killed and it's been done to death. J. Edgar Hoover died in May of '72, that's a good place to end it--I'm not necessarily saying that I will."

Ellroy also shares his attitude towards Hollywood adaptations of his work, an attitude Ursula K. LeGuin might do well to contemplate: "If it's a bad movie, I have no right to criticise it for attribution because I took the money. I will always option anything I write to anybody who's got the money."

For the Boston Globe, Alex Beam profiles Bernard Cornwell, "the least-known best-selling author in Massaschusetts." I have to admit I thought the Sharpe's series maestro still lived in England, which I guess proves his point. Beam notes that Cornwell hasn't quite achieved the success here in America that Patrick O'Brian did, even though Cornwell's books are, in the reporter's view, "better plotted." But apparently plans are afoot to change that in '05...

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