I think that James Ellroy’s writing style makes the entire novel seem longer than it should. It starts with slow and boring characterization, and when one or two chapters could have been plenty, he uses seven chapters (75 pages) until the actual story plot gets introduced. That is aproximately 20% of the book wasted… or was it?
The point of the 6 word stories we wrote was to protray a problem, love, etc.; in minimal words, in order to let the reader imagine their own endings. Ellroy probably wants everyone to see this story exactly as it is because it is such a gruesome crime to begin with that denying it’s actual ending would be disgraceful. The “this is how it was” writing, I think, is the greatest way to define hard-boiled writing, but Ellroy takes it above and beyond and says “this is how it was, and here, let me give you excruciating details.” And so, there is no room for imagining, what-so-ever.
Ellroy had such a terrible childhood that wanting to not be questioned and seeing other people have problems thrown in their face while paparazzi take a picture would make him feel better. If he was tortured with his mother’s death, he is going to throw death around like it does not mean a thing.