Pro and con on Ellroy

Two letters make it into today's West magazine praising James Ellroy's July 30 essay about moving home to Los Angeles, but it's the zinger that's more notable.

Ellroy must be one of the worst stylists in history. I was struck by his story, and sympathetic to a life obviously difficult to live. But his writing is beyond belief. The short sentences, the lousy misuse of verbs and nouns, the punchy dumbness of the sentences. It all adds up to a terrible misuse of the language that ought to be discouraged. It doesn't matter that he wrote "L.A. Confidential." He is still a terrible writer.

Bruce Whiteman
Head Librarian
William Andrews Clark Memorial Library,

Yowza, dissed by the head librarian.

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