James Ellroy: Brown’s Requiem

There’s one scene in the Demon Dog’s first novel that will stick in my guts forever. When classical music junkie/private detective Fritz Brown goes down to Mexico to investigate his caddy/nazi/porn addict client, he encounters a group of post-hippies on the beach. He’s just come from a baptism of blood and a binge of booze. He eats dog with these long-haired free spirits and develops a crush on one big-bozoomed lady. She sees straight to peoples’ souls and knows he’s in trouble so she hangs with him in the sand. He wants to fuck but that’s not what she’s there for. She puts his face between her big fat tits and let’s him sleep and rest and recover between her breasts so that he can go back to L.A. and rid the world of some corrupt mother fuckers.

One thing Ellroy gets about pulp (and lots of writers don’t) is that there has to be a lady at the end; there is a light at the end of the tunnel with soft skin and a mouth to kiss. It doesn’t matter if the “him” of the story gets there or not. But it means shit if he’s not reaching for that destination.

-TM

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