I’m just about to wrap it up. I’ve got some 50 pages left and as Sirhan Sirhan and James Earl Ray has entered the stage, it’s pretty obvious where it’s gonna go.
First of, let me say that I love it, the same way I did with American Tabloid.
Now then. Living in Europe, and being an occasional visitor to the US, I can help get the impression that it’s a society where very many will take the slightest chance/opportunity to file a lawsuit.
Ellroy might not be Grisham or King, when it comes to sales, but I bet he makes a lot of money. So how does he get away with it. He has fictional characters mingling with real historical figures. He has Sal Mineo do a murder, identifies gay sexual partners to Rock Hudson. What he does to J. Edgar Hoover is another thing… The whole book is namedropping a go-go.
So the people he defames are all dead, but preumably there is an estate? Or is slander not valid if the person is dead?
Also, can someone with a bit more insight come up with a take on the veracity of the book. I know it’s fiction, but so entwined with real events, that it at least strikes me as plausible. Even if Ellroy has a fictionalized killer of JFK, what surrounds the killing seems real enough.