James Ellroy Talks 'Perfidia' — The First Book in His New LA Quartet

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James Ellroy, Perfidia, New LA Quartet

James Ellroy's LA Quartet is one of the most revered and consistently enjoyable series of crime fiction novels of the past fifty years. With the LA Quartet (composed of the books The Black Dahlia, The Big Nowhere, L.A. Confidential and White Jazz), Ellroy created a vast world of crime, intertwining real-world figures, historical events, as well as rich fictional characters.

With that in mind, it's a little strange that there's not more excitement surrounding the fact that Ellroy is not only preparing to release a second L.A. Quartet, but the first volume in the series, entitled Perfidia, is due to be released in September.

In an otherwise cantankerous interview with Shortlist, Ellroy gives the rough outline of the new book:

I’m about to finish the first volume, called Perfidia – my biggest book – which will be published in Britain this fall. The new quartet takes characters both fictional and real, major and minor, from the first quartet and the trilogy, but places them in LA during the Second World War. It’s the month of Pearl Harbor, 6-29 December 1941. It seamlessly takes the quartet and trilogy, adds four novels, and makes my oeuvre as a historical novelist one inextricable 11-novel whole. And although the story is very much about the injustice of the internment of the Japanese – most of them innocent – let me say, and this is very un-PC, the f*cking internment was not the Holocaust or the Soviet Gulag.

Ellroy's previous novel, 2009's Blood's a Rover was classic Ellroy, and showed that the man still has the bile and fury of his previous books, even in his early sixties. If his track record is any indication, Perfidia's going to be one hell of a ride.

Image of Blood's a Rover
Author: James Ellroy
Price: $15.34
Publisher: Vintage (2010)
Binding: Paperback, 633 pages
Sean May

News by Sean May

Sean May is, among other things, an author, journalist, graphic designer, video game fanatic and feared but charming space pirate (one of those isn't true, but which one?). His fiction work has appeared in Crimefactory and other publications, and his music journalism can be found at Has It Leaked?. His novella, The Case, and a short story collection, Crimewave, can be found on Kindle. Sean lives in Carmel, IN with his wife and a cat.

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Comments

Joshua Chaplinsky's picture
Joshua Chaplinsky from New York is reading A lot of Brian Evenson February 25, 2014 - 2:32pm

I've already requested an ARC, which I'm told won't be available for a couple months still. Can't wait!

big_old_dave's picture
big_old_dave from Watford, about 20 miles outside London, Uk February 25, 2014 - 2:36pm

Oh hell yes!

Benjamin Joseph's picture
Benjamin Joseph from Southern U.S. is reading Knockemstiff February 26, 2014 - 5:18am

Okay is it just me, or does Ellroy kind of come across as a huge penis-face in this interview?

I hate hipsters, I hate liberals, I hate rock’n’rollers, I hate the counter-culture, I hate movie people.

This only rankles me because I am DEFINITELY a Rock 'n Roller as well as a 'Movie person'. So, first complaint is all on me and subjectivity.

 

I hate [Obama]. I think he’s a coward, incompetent and I find him sinister. He’s the face of cancerous socialism under the guise of benevolence.

See, I'm one of those socially liberal types who voted for Obama the first time before all his bullshit cause me to lose faith and abandon that ship. But fuck, Ellroy's tone is just a little too venemous for comfort.

 

I saw one or two episodes of The Wire and thought it was bullsh*t. Bad writing. And I have no sympathy for the underclass.

That last sentence seems...wow. Just, wow.

 

Ellroy leaves a 50 per cent tip for the waitress and darts away.

50Cents?! In L.A.?? That's like, the Sir Edmund Hillary of douchey moves

 

Hmmm. I'm mature enough to separate the the Artist from the Art. And Ellroy is indeed a master of literary crime.

That said, if I were asked which author I'd like to have lunch with, living or dead; I'd have to say James Ellroy only if it were the latter.

Benjamin Joseph's picture
Benjamin Joseph from Southern U.S. is reading Knockemstiff February 26, 2014 - 5:49am

After reading more on James Ellroy's personal life I amend my previous comment by saying I honestly have no clue if he's just fucking with us all.

If so, for a guy who has no internet, he sure knows how to troll.

Joshua Chaplinsky's picture
Joshua Chaplinsky from New York is reading A lot of Brian Evenson February 26, 2014 - 7:35am

It's his schtick. I interviewed him once and he was perfectly nice, if not a bit gruff.

SConley's picture
SConley from Texas is reading Coin Locker Babies February 28, 2014 - 1:05pm

Ellroy leaves a 50 per cent tip for the waitress and darts away.

50Cents?! In L.A.?? That's like, the Sir Edmund Hillary of douchey moves

That says 50 PER CENT, not 50 cents.

I interviewed him as well and wasn't put off at all. He was generous and patient with my amateurism. And i can respect someone who stands that strongly against the norm.

Benjamin Joseph's picture
Benjamin Joseph from Southern U.S. is reading Knockemstiff March 3, 2014 - 11:38pm

That says 50 PER CENT, not 50 cents.

 

Ha ha! My mistake. Okay, that's MUCH better. I can deal with cantakerous iconoclasts...but bad tippers??!