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James Ellroy's wild ride

January 18, 2011 | 11:13 am

Known for his big novels of crime in Los Angeles in the 1940s and '50s, James Ellroy is launching a television show. "James Ellroy's L.A.: City of Demons" debuts Wednesday on Investigation Discovery. Ellroy explains his show, which digs into L.A.'s dark criminal past, as he gives a bus full of journalists a ride they won't forget. Scott Timberg writes about Ellroy and his three-hour tour:

"Good evening, peepers, prowlers, pederasts, pedants," he begins, not pausing for breath. "I'm James Ellroy the demon dog, the foul owl with the death growl, the white knight of the far right."

He goes on a jag about his hometown, "my smog-bound fatherland…. the film noir epicenter," ranting about his literary and sexual prowess and Los Angeles' tradition of violent crime. Ellroy's combination of profanity and alliteration is, by this point, well known to Angelenos: Since returning to town in 2006, he's held countless readings and public interviews...,

As Ellroy rants and raves at the head of a chartered bus roaring across Hollywood Boulevard ("Look at these freaks! … Serial killer … Nympho! … Dope fiend!"), he's got a collection of television journalists from around the nation captivated by his patter.

Read the rest of the piece, which has more about Ellroy's show -- and his wild ride.

-- Carolyn Kellogg