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Saturday, April 7, 2012

The Hilliker Curse

The Hilliker Curse: My Pursuit of Women by James Ellroy came across my recommendations list so I picked it up.  Why not, right?  I dig a good memoir.  In fact, it's kind of Celebrity Memoir Friday with this one seeing as how Ellroy wrote some super famous books adapted into feature films including The Black Dahlia and L.A. Confidential. 

As the years pass beyond his mother's murder, James Ellroy deals with The Curse.  He caused his mother's murder by wishing it so and he continually searches out his mother's affection in women.  Meaningless sex, monogamy, marriage and kids--it doesn't matter so long as he is actively seeking it.  Does it lead to what he is looking for--Jean Hilliker?

Ellroy's writing style in this book is perfunctory and observant.  He doesn't mince words in his account and is brutally honest with the advantage of hindsight.  At times you want to reach out and hold him and tell him to stop making such horrible decisions.  You want to cheer for him when he finds love and you want to slap him when he lets it get away.  You want to scream, "Just get it right already!!!" 

I am really looking forward to picking up Ellroy's first memoir, My Dark Places.  I would have probably liked to read this first since I feel like a good bit of what he discusses would be explained.  I was expecting more insight into Jean Hilliker, so I am excited to pick up this "prequel" to find out the details of Ellroy's story.

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