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James Ellroy's Quotes

James Ellroy profile photo

Born: 1948-03-04
Profession: Writer
Nation: American
Biography of James Ellroy

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When I was a kid, Eisenhower had been President forever, and all of a sudden, everything in the world was all about Jack Kennedy. I was 12, interested in politics; my father was from Massachusetts, had an accent like Kennedy.

Tags: Father, Politics, President

I like to be alone so I can write. But focus can hurt you. I don't want to be some stress casualty in early middle age.

Tags: Age, Alone, Hurt

I am conservative by temperament. I disapprove of criminal activity. I am very solidly and markedly on the side of authority. The truth is I would rather err on the side of too much authority than too little.

Tags: Rather, Side, Truth

Anybody who doesn't know that politics is crime has got a few screws loose.

Tags: Anybody, Few, Politics

As a kid, I sensed history going on all around me, but the basic thrust of it didn't move me.

Tags: History, Kid, Move

As critical acclaim and response has built up, every interview I give is a chance to puncture the myth I've created about my work and refine it.

Tags: Chance, Give, Work

I am a writer. I could not afford to take 15 months off from my writing career to play detective.

Tags: Career, Off, Writing

I don't know anybody in the underworld. I make this stuff up. I don't know any criminals.

Tags: Anybody, Criminals, Stuff

I have a very intense marriage.

Tags: Intense, Marriage

I haven't been to a movie in a year and a half.

Tags: Half, Movie, Year

I love thinking about American history, thinking about LA history. I love brooding on crime.

Tags: History, Love, Thinking

I want to see these bad, bad, bad, bad men come to grips with their humanity.

Tags: Bad, Humanity, Men

I would like to provoke ambiguous responses in my readers.

Tags: Ambiguous, Provoke, Readers

I'm clenched down, I'm locked in on it, which is my general approach to life.

Tags: Approach, General, Life

I'm getting a wider circle of fans now. More women, more middle class people.

Tags: Fans, Getting, Women

I've been tremendously moved by a bunch of odd books. Ross McDonald is very important to me. I love the Lew Archer books.

Tags: Books, Love, Moved

Raymond Chandler once wrote that Dashiell Hammett gave murder back to the people who really committed it.

Tags: Committed, Gave, Once

Rock and rollers can get you the youth buzz, and younger people are fanatical readers.

Tags: Rock, Younger, Youth

As much as I transferred my mother to Elizabeth Shore of The Black Dahlia, as much as her dad mutated into an obsession with crime in general, well, I have thought about other things throughout the years.

Tags: Black, Dad, Mother

Every one of my books is written from the viewpoint of cops, with the exception of my book Killer on the Road, which is written from the viewpoint of a serial killer.

Tags: Book, Books, Road

I am the most well-adjusted human being I know. I started out this investigation as a very happy man with a great career. I've got the life people dream about: I am rich, I am famous, I've got a fabulous marriage to an absolutely, spell-bindingly brilliant woman.

Tags: Great, Life, Marriage

I put on such a good show, the story is outrageous, and people don't want to hear that I'm basically a reasonable human being. As long as it continues to get me print, I'll continue to perform in an exuberant manner.

Tags: Good, Human, Put

I was a WASP kid going to a high school that was 99 percent Jewish and I wanted attention and I wanted to make a spectacle of myself because I couldn't stand to be ignored.

Tags: Attention, School, Wanted

My mother and I will continue on some level that I haven't determined yet. I think my mother's a great character, and I have to say that giving my mother to the world has to be the biggest thrill of my writing career.

Tags: Character, Great, Mother

Noir is dead for me because historically, I think it's a simple view. I've taken it as far as it can go. I think I've expanded on it a great deal, taken it further than any other American novelist.

Tags: American, Great, Simple

The truth of the matter is, you lose a parent to murder when you're 10 years old, and in fact at the time of the murder you hate your lost parent, my mother in my case.

Tags: Hate, Time, Truth