Older than Beethoven already

“…after which I’ll be happy to answer the most invasive and intensely personal questions that any of you peepers, perverts, prowlers, pederasts, pedants, panty sniffers, punks and pimps, want to ask me.”

Sweet Lord, James Ellroy’s mad as a bag of cats.

Would you like to know what the next project in the high-priest of hard-boiled crime yarning’s career is going to be?

Well I’ll tell you. Ellroy – who never watches telly, has never logged onto a computer, and doesn’t use a mobile phone – is going to be the on camera presenter of a television show about crime past and present in LA, accompanied by (here comes the science bit, concentrate) a computer-generated, airport sniffer dog, that’s taking backhanders.

“I’m not kidding you, this is no shit. We get into all sorts of scrapes.”

He stumbled on stage at the Bloomsbury theatre last night, with the house PA had piping out a few bars of Beethoven, who Ellroy later declared “the greatest genius civilisation has ever created.”

“I identify with him,” he said later.

Even later, he said, “Beethoven died when he was 56, so I’ve out-lived him by six years already. I am in excellent health, my hearing is fine. I still have a lot of great books to write.”

The next four of those – in the unlikely contingency that anyone reads this in the hope of actually hearing news – will be a quarter of novels centred on the 1941 Pearl Harbour strike, featuring all the characters we know and love from his LA Quartet and Underworld Trilogy. Except everyone’s two decades younger of course. Think of it as being like the Young Sherlock Holmes, but with Ebonics.

I bet those two Wikipedia pages have never been linked to on the same page before. I see your corrupt computer-generated snifferdog sidekick, and raise, Ellroy.

He’s a strange prospect in person: he look’s a bit like ET’s bespectacled ex-pro-wrestler uncle, but has the manner and the zeal of an evangelical preacher.

“That was fucking funny: laugh with greater fervour,” he exhorts us all, in a voice that sounds like Elliott Gould‘s taken a job with a cryonics centre to record the message that will be played in the distant future when its customers wake up. (Now I’m just showing off with the links).

And who would disobey that voice? Everybody laughs a little louder.

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~ by David Thorley on October 7, 2010.

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