Tag Archives: James Ellroy

LA Noire: short stories

Unfortunately (or fortunately, when looked at from the standpoint of getting anything else accomplished in my life), I do not have a system that will run LA Noire, the new title from Rockstar Games.

Let’s review what Robert is a huge fan of, shall we?

  • Rockstar’s immersive Grand Theft Auto series
  • Los Angeles history, especially 1930s, 40s, and 50s
  • Noir, both film and print
  • Historical crime
  • James Ellroy

From the Wikipedia article:

As the title suggests, the game draws heavily from both plot and aesthetic elements of film noir – stylistic films from the 1940s and 1950s that shared similar visual styles and themes including crime, sex and moral ambiguity and were often shot in black and white with harsh, low-key lighting. The game uses a distinctive colouring-style in homage to the visual style of film noir. The post-war setting is the backdrop for plot elements that reference the detective films of the ’40s (as well as James Ellroy’s novel L.A. Confidential and the Academy Award winning Curtis Hanson film based on it), such as corruption and drugs, with a jazz soundtrack.

So you see my unfortunate/fortunate situation.

And now along comes an article in the Guardian, describing a book being released in conjunction with the game: ‘LA Noire video game inspires short story collection’.

A literary glimpse into the world of much-hyped new video game LA Noire is being provided by authors including Joyce Carol Oates and Lawrence Block, who are contributing to a new anthology of stories set in the world of the game.

Out next week from Rockstar Games, makers of Grand Theft Auto, LA Noire takes place in 1940s Los Angeles and pits gamers against historically-inspired crimes. An unusual collaboration with Mulholland Books will also see the publication in June of a collection of short stories based on the game’s characters and cases, with contributors ranging from the award-winning Oates and Block to the bestselling Francine Prose and Edgar-nominated thriller writer Duane Swierczynski.

“Using the game’s world as a springboard, we worked with the genre’s best writers to create stories that lived up to the finest traditions of crime fiction,” said Rockstar founder Sam Houser. “LA Noire draws on a rich history of not just film, but also great crime literature for inspiration.”

So, there’s that.

The only anachronism is that it’s being released as an ebook, which is peculiar; I can’t imagine the combined set of crime history buffs who are also gamers with ebook readers is that large. Alas, as I also have no ebook reader*, I will not be able to join in the fun on the reading side either.

I guess I’ll have to go old school to get my fix: queuing up some selections from TCM on the DVR. ;)


  • $50-60 would be about my price point, with the ability to put my own text on there, preferably with an open-source operating system.

All Paris Review author interviews now online!

What a treasure trove! The Paris Review has posted all of its author interviews since the 1950s online! There’s so many to choose from (they have it broken down by name and decade), but I wanted to link directly to a few favorite authors:

Via MetaFilter

Potential anniversary-themed reads for 2010

A few months ago I got the idea to create a reading queue based on anniversary. There were quite a few great books celebrating more or less significant birthdays in 2009.

Continuing the idea, here’s a list of possibilities to choose from for 2010, with the ordinal in parentheses. The list is skewed to 20th Century lit since I didn’t go farther back in my searching except for certain authors — there will be scads of additional selections available if you feel like looking around. Feel free to offer any other suggestions in the comments.

I’ll strike out those I get around to reading during the year.

  • The Brothers Karamazov (130th) – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
  • Rhinoceros (50th) – Eugene Ionesco
  • The Town and the City (60th) – Jack Kerouac
  • Immortality (20th) – Milan Kundera
  • Devil in a Blue Dress (20th) – Walter Mosley
  • Skinny Legs and All (20th) – Tom Robbins
  • Cosmos (30th) – Carl Sagan
  • The Bachelors (50th) – Muriel Spark
  • The Ballad of Peckham Road (50th) – Muriel Spark
  • The Snake’s Pass (120th) – Bram Stoker
  • The Sleeper Awakes (100th) – H.G. Wells
  • Jeeves in the Offing (50th) – P.G. Wodehouse

Complete:

  • The Restaurant at the End of the Universe (30th) – Douglas Adams
  • I, Robot (60th) – Isaac Asimov
  • The Handmaid’s Tale (25th) – Margaret Atwood
  • Martian Chronicles (60th) – Ray Bradbury
  • Ender’s Game (25th) – Orson Scott Card
  • The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay (10th) – Michael Chabon
  • Farewell, My Lovely (70th) – Raymond Chandler
  • The Sign of Four (120th) – Arthur Conan Doyle
  • Baudolino (10th) – Umberto Eco
  • The Name of the Rose (30th) – Umberto Eco
  • LA Confidential (20th) – James Ellroy
  • As I Lay Dying (80th) – William Faulkner
  • Love in the Time of Cholera (25th) – Gabriel García Márquez
  • The Difference Engine (20th) – William Gibson and Bruce Sterling
  • The Marble Faun (150th) – Nathaniel Hawthorne
  • For Whom the Bell Tolls (70th) – Ernest Hemingway
  • The Cider House Rules (25th) – John Irving
  • Tristessa (50th) – Jack Kerouac
  • To Kill a Mockingbird (50th) – Harper Lee
  • A Canticle for Leibowitz (50th) – Walter M. Miller
  • Ringworld (40th) – Larry Niven
  • The Violent Bear It Away (50th) – Flannery O’Connor
  • Hemingway’s Chair (15th) – Michael Palin
  • Good Omens (20th) – Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman
  • Still Life with Woodpecker (30th) – Tom Robbins
  • Contact (25th) – Carl Sagan
  • Green Eggs and Ham (50th) – Dr. Seuss
  • One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish (50th) – Dr. Seuss
  • Zeitgeist (10th) – Bruce Sterling
  • The Artificial Kid (30th) – Bruce Sterling
  • A Confederacy of Dunces (30th) – John Kennedy Toole
  • The Accidental Tourist (25th) – Anne Tyler
  • Hocus Pocus (20th) – Kurt Vonnegut
  • The Age of Innocence (90th) – Edith Wharton
  • Mrs. Dalloway (85th) – Virginia Woolf