James Ellroy UK Tour
I’ve just returned home after seeing James Ellroy give a talk and book reading at the Dancehouse theatre, Manchester as part of the UK publicity tour for his new novel Blood’ a Rover. Few novelists today have the stage presence of Ellroy: he begins with quickfire quotes from TS Eliot and Anne Sexton, then moves on to more quotes from WH Auden and AE Houseman, the latter of whom he labels as ‘British poofters’. There were plenty of politically incorrect and very funny jokes. When asked if he has ever been sued by the families of the many prominent figures he has scandalously portrayed in his novels, Ellroy responded that if the Kennedy family ever tried to sue him they would have to spend so much time in the courtroom: ‘They’d have no time to get drunk, rape and kill women.’ But behind the Demon Dog persona there was a generous, courteous side to Ellroy as he gave in-depth and revealing answers to any question from the audience. It was very clear from his performance that Ellroy is a man who loves people and loves to perform for his readers.