White Jazz, by James Ellroy

Crime novel set in 1950's LA. This is in the same "series" as LA Confidential and I remember thinking that was good, so looked forward to this one.

I'd forgotten that LA Confidential had been pretty hard work in parts, but this felt twice as bad. I think the writing is very good, but it demands a heck of a lot from the reader, and I wasn't up to the job.

I was about half-way through and not really enjoying it (and had “Bomber” ready to go). I had found myself continually having to skip back tracks to work out what was happening - it’s quite hard work and you can’t afford to lose concentration.

The writing style is quite unforgiving - you can’t risk losing track and have to pay attention. I think the audiobook format makes it worse: it’s in the first person, but there are very few “said” or “replied” qualifications, and so it’s extremely difficult to know when he’s speaking a bit of narrative or a bit of reported speech (you can’t hear any quote marks). Made worse by the fact that he doesn’t make much effort to “do the voices”.

I think I'd like to try LA Confidential again, and I think this is the 4th in the series so perhaps if I read the other three first I'd have more clue what was going on in this one. But I admit defeat this time.

Gave up: 09-Mar-2015 (audiobook)

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