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From the Archive

March 12, 2011

It’s coming up to nearly two years since Chris and I started Venetian Vase. It has been a very rewarding experience, and I’d like to thank all of our readers and contributors. Should you be interested, I’ve pasted some links below to some of my favourite posts that Chris and I wrote when we first began the site:

The Shadow of Blooming Grove

This is a review of Francis Russell’s wonderful biography of Warren G. Harding, The Shadow of Blooming Grove. This book was a big influence on James Ellroy, who had planned to write a novel about Harding before abandoning the project.

Detroit in the Fiction of Elmore Leonard

Elmore Leonard is one of my favourite crime writers, but does his work portray Detroit as compelling as city as say Raymond Chandler’s Los Angeles?

James Ellroy and ‘Dog Humour’

Why does James Ellroy often appear to be completely crazy? This post explores Ellroy’s ‘Demon Dog’ persona and its manifestation in ‘Dog Humour’.

Bazaar Bizarre and the Demon Dogs

In 2004, James Ellroy was at a low ebb after suffering a nervous breakdown during the book tour for The Cold Six Thousand and struggling with an addiction to painkillers. He agreed to star in and narrate the documentary, Bazaar Bizarre, about Kansas City serial killer Bob Berdella. It may have been the worst decision of his career.

Louis Menand on Pynchon’s ‘Inherent Vice’

Chris takes a look at some of the lazy, tired criticisms of crime fiction. In particular, how Louis Menand’s review of Inherent Vice betrays his reductive understanding of the genre.

Lawrence Block on Donald Westlake

This one looks at the professional partnership and friendship between Block and Westlake.

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