Writers Bloc and Chevalier’s Books Present
James Ellroy in an “Ellroypalooza” Panel
Tuesday, June 22, 2021
James Ellroy, author of L.A. Confidential, The Black Dahlia, and other great novels about Los Angeles crime and punishment, is about to release a new novel about L.A. cops, celebrities, and scandal mongers. Widespread Panic is trademark Ellroy: propulsive writing, nonstop action, and characters plucked from the tabloids and evening news.
Ellroy describes it best himself in his alliterative elucidations: “From the modern master of noir comes a novel about the malevolent monarch of the 1950s Hollywood underground—a tale of pervasive paranoia teeming with communist conspiracies, FBI finks, celebrity smut films, and strange bedfellows. Freddy Otash was the man in the know and the man to know in ‘50s L.A. He was a rogue cop, a sleazoid private eye, a shakedown artist, a pimp—and, most notably, the head strong-arm goon for Confidential magazine. Confidential presaged the idiot internet—and delivered the dirt, the dish, the insidious ink, and the scurrilous skank. It mauled misanthropic movie stars, sex-soiled socialites, and putzo politicians. Mattress Jack Kennedy, James Dean, Montgomery Clift, Burt Lancaster, Liz Taylor, Rock Hudson—Frantic Freddy outed them all. He was the Tattle Tyrant who held Hollywood hostage, and now he’s here to CONFESS.”
The panelists will add to the fun: John Anderson and Grant Nebel are Ellroy scholars and enthusiasts who created the Ellroycast, and have written extensively about pop culture, film, and television. Joan Renner is a social historian and author who writes on true crime in historical Los Angeles. Zoe Dean is an award winning short story writer of crime fiction.
Author photo credit: Marion Ettlinger