James Ellroy


“A riveting series of events made all the more vivid by the precision of the details...”

WaPo weighs in on The Enchanters:

“The fictionalized Otash plays the morally gray, unreliable narrator of a story that blends the real and imagined into the kind of atmospheric psychosexual spectacle fans have come to expect from the grand master of L.A.-noir…The plot of The Enchanters is sprawling yet intricate, a riveting series of events made all the more vivid by the precision of the details — the heavy wiretap surveillance opens up a prominent peripheral cast of hangers on, psychiatrists, pornographers and other petty criminals that swirl around the edges of the scene. Ellroy’s writing matches its sensational subject. Just a day into his kidnapping gig, Otash jumps off the sobriety wagon. Filtered through Freddy’s drug- and booze-addled but brilliant mind, the novel is vibrant and vivid, with a pungent whiff of decay.”

Read it!!!!! Washington Post

Ellroy at City Lights!!!!!

"A filthy, boozy, fast-paced, violent romp through the history and important figures of early 1960s Los Angeles, all told in Otash's frantic voice..."

Dig it!!!!! Reviewers are saying the Freddy Otash novels will be mentioned alongside the The L.A. Quartet and Underworld Trilogy as some of Ellroy's best work.

Look at this...

Ellroy keeps things moving at breakneck speed at all times, which is a fantastic feat considering this is a 448-page novel that delves deep into a plethora of scenes and seamlessly mixes fact and fiction. The trick to it is Ellroy's incomparable style; fast, punchy, telegrammatic prose that demands to be read quickly and that flows like an enraged river.

Read it!!!!!! Gabino Iglesias, NPR

Mr. Ellroy dazzles with his detailed knowledge of the geography and denizens of the City of Fallen Angels, his brutal action sequences, his imaginative daring and his more sympathetic female characters.

Read it!!!!!! Tom Nolan, Wall Street Journal (or download)

There are no nice guys here, no heroes to support. Looking for a plucky underdog overcoming the odds and neatly saving the day, providing optimism and comfort? James Ellroy isn’t your man. Nothing so easy here...Likability can be boring, and Ellroy is a modern master of making his characters interesting instead of nice.

The pace is hold-onto-your-hat fast....The book is razor-sharp, rocket-fast, and always engaging.

Read it!!!!! Malcolm Mackay, Air Mail

CrimeReads: The Real Reason I Write


"Disingenuousness is a sin. I’m writing this essay in the spirit of atonement. My ongoing biography should be revised to reflect this..."

Read it at CrimeReads

Read an Excerpt of The Enchanters in Esquire Magazine


A Conspiracy in Brentwood

At the scene of Marilyn Monroe's death, the evidence isn't adding up. Overdose, suicide, or murder? Follow rogue cop Freddy Otash down the rabbit hole in James Ellroy's latest Hollywood noir...

Read it at Esquire.com

image Kobal/Shutterstock

Los Angeles Times Robert Kirsch Award for lifetime excellence in writing about the American West!!!!!


Dear Ellroyphiles and occasional viewers of this website:

I'm gassed to the gills this morning, kats and kittens. I just got the word that I will receive the Los Angeles Times Robert Kirsch Award for lifetime excellence in writing about the American West. The Deliriously Downscale Demon Dog has gone uptown. This is a biiiiiiiiiig mainstream honor. I'll pluck my plaque and give a riotously ripsnorting speech at USC's boss Bovard Auditorium on the nite of Friday, April 21. I'll be performing at the Times book fair on the USC campus the following day. Scope the L.A. Times website for the dizzying dish on the Kirsch Awards and the book fair. This honor has me heroically humbled. I should note Golda Meir's withering quote: “Don't be so humble—you're not that great.”

God bless you. And—as always—thanXXX for reading my books and perusing my website. April in L.A.—I'll see you there.


Los Angeles Times Festival of Books

In James Ellroy’s First Podcast, Old Hauntings Find a New Sound


KJ: James, I listen to a lot of true crime podcasts and James Ellroy’s Hollywood Death Trip is not like any I’ve heard before. I absolutely love it. How do you describe it to people?

JE: These are personal documents that serve as a valediction in blood. The first true crime piece I ever wrote, for GQ magazine, was called “My Mother’s Killer.” It was about the experience of seeing my mother’s LA County Sheriff’s homicide file, unsolved, 36 years after the fact. Reading the file, commenting on the file, describing the file for the pages of GQ, detailing the nitty-gritty minutia of the file. And here it is, and I’m reading it now for Audio Up and Audible. And now I know why God made me a bass baritone: I’ve got a good voice for this.

Catch the rest and listent at the AUDIBLE BLOG or just GET THE PODCAST

Ellroy Discusses Podcasts and the Art of Adaptation at SXSW

Photo collage with James Ellroy

Audio Up works with some of the greatest works of fiction, non-fiction and journalism from authors like Stephen King, James Ellroy, Playboy and Sun Records. Audio Up's Chief Creative Officer Jimmy Jellinek will lead a discussion on his experience creating innovative, scripted podcasts and will invite author James Ellroy, with whom Audio Up is working to adapt Ellroy's bestselling American Tabloid into a 10 episode series.

On stage, Ellroy will discuss his experience turning his work into audio entertainment. Ellroy is best known for writing L.A. Confidential, The Black Dahlia and some of the greatest crime novels of the past century.


Audio Up and James Ellroy to Produce “American Tabloid” as 12 Episode Scripted Series


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Leading independent podcast studio Audio Up has reunited with James Ellroy, “the Demon Dog of American Literature,” to adapt his seminal novel of historical fiction, American Tabloid, into a 12-episode scripted series. The book, which forms the basis of his Underworld USA Trilogy, tells the fictional story of JFK's murder from the point of view of those who killed him. The cast of characters is a rogue's gallery of bloodthirsty Cuban exiles, rogue CIA operatives, mafia killers, pimps, shakedown men and FBI agents all chasing money, sex and power. The book blasts a bullet hole into the myth of American innocence and hope that pervaded the Eisenhower years and was exemplified by Kennedy's Camelot. In Ellroy's hands JFK is transmogrified into “Bad Back Jack,” an underhung playboy with a penchant for call girls, amphetamines, and the power derived from his father's money. It's RFK, in Ellroy's telling, who is the moral center, but seals his brother's fate and that of the family by chasing the mob and Jimmy Hoffa. Inserted into this milieu is a morphine addicted Howard Hughes, J. Edgar Hoover, the Chicago Outfit and a low- rent Twist queen who becomes their ticket to blackmail. They all converge in Dallas to rub up against History and watch the world spin. This is American history torched, and served up a la carte as the truth.


American Tabloid has been lauded over the years as Ellroy's masterwork of historical fiction, and has taken on near mythical status alongside Don Delillo's Libra as the best of the genre. But its massive scope and ambition has long eluded Hollywood in their attempts to tame and adapt the book. The list of suitors who have attempted to make American Tabloid, only to be defeated includes David Fincher, Bruce Willis, Tom Hanks, and countless studios who were lured by the siren song of the book's rat-a-tat-tat, Rat Pack allure, only to drown in the quicksand of the novel's massive scope. It seemed largely “unadaptable” until podcasting made it viable once again. Now, Audio Up has stepped into the fray to bring American Tabloid to listeners worldwide.

“Audio is the perfect medium to deliver American Tabloid,” says Audio Up's Chief Creative Officer, Jimmy Jellinek, who is set to adapt the series from the book alongside James Ellroy. We can build out the book's massive internal world through sound. Traveling from the jungles of Guatemala to Castro's Cuba, mid-century Chicago, Los Angeles, 1963 Dallas, and the Jim Crow south alongside these characters would be prohibitive – unless you were making a film on the scale of the first two Godfathers. Instead, we're creating what may very well be the first true, scripted epic of the podcast era for what it would cost to feed the grips for half a day on one of these sets. When were finished you'll hopefully know we're the HBO or 70's Paramount of Audio, full stop. The fact that James has entrusted his legacy to Audio Up is enormously gratifying and speaks volumes to the way we work with other people's IP.”

American Tabloid will debut July 4th 2022, and will be executive produced by Audio Up's Phil Alberstat, Jared Gutstadt and Jimmy Jellinek. Casting to begin immediately.

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