Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Wanted! European Ellroy suggestions...

I've had an email asking if I know of a European equivalent to James Ellroy. Specifically authors "that like Ellroy seem to have a real feel for disturbed states of mind".

I've suggested Friedrich Glauser as he spent a lot of his short life in institutions. I'm also wondering if Massimo Carlotto's 'The Goodbye Kiss' would count as the 'hero' believes the world owes him a living and he doesn't see the things he does, to get the good life, as wrong (rape, murder, betrayal etc).

Anyone any other thoughts?

9 comments:

lvenuti said...

Massimo Carlotto has in fact been called an Italian James Ellroy, and perhaps that tag fits Carlotto's novel "The Goodbye Kiss," where a former leftwing militant rats out his comrades and then works his way to what he considers a respectable life by committing a series of brutal crimes. But behind both Ellroy and Carlotto lies Jim Thompson, adept at putting the reader in the minds of psychopathic criminals. Carlotto's "Death's Dark Abyss," a violent tale of revenge and redemption, comes closest to this model. Thompson is one of the noir writers I had in mind as I translated Carlotto into English, developing a stylistic analogue to the US tradition of hard-boiled prose. I also learned a lot from Andrew Vachss.

Maxine said...

Ruth Rendell?

I like Andrew Vacchs but he isn't European -- or at least, if he is, he writes about America.

Sarah said...

Has to be David Peace, espec as the Yorkshire Quartet owes much debt to Ellroy's own LA Quartet.

Maxine said...

Oh yes, I agree, David Pearce definitely.

I don't like either Ellroy or Pearce in exactly the same way, which is why I think this comparison must be right.

Rendell is similar but on a much lighter plane and far less convluted.

Maxine said...

Sorry, I meant Peace.

lvenuti said...

Thanks for your comment Maxine, but my point wasn't that Vachss is European--of course, he isn't--but that his prose offered a style into which a hard-boiled Italian writer like Carlotto could be translated. A translator always needs to find a language or style to render a foreign text, but with a genre as specific as noir not every language will work with every foreign noir. Ruth Rendell's prose, for instance, isn't quite hard or slangy enough for writers like Carlotto or Camilleri, among others.

Maxine said...

Sorry, lvenuti, I am probably misunderstanding here, apologies again -- I thought Karen was asking for a European Ellroy equivalent, so that the answers had to be European....my brain is a bit dull.

Lee R. said...

I haven't read much Ellroy, but it sounds like about Dominique Manotti might appeal. Her characters, even police protagonists, are quite disturbed.

Peter said...

Bill James' ACC Desmond Iles has fits that definitely edge him close to disturbed territory, if not over the line. And Ruth Rendell is pretty good at psycho characters.


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