My Dark Places Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of My Dark Places

MY DARK PLACES is a book published by James Ellroy in 1996.

James Ellroy's mother was strangled to death in Los Angeles in 1958. Her murderer was never found. James Ellroy, who was 10 years old then, lived with his father during the following years. He was 17 when his father died.
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James Ellroy experienced, on a non-stop basis, drugs, alcohol and prison for robbery on the next 10 years until the day, suffering from delirium, he's hospitalized in an L.A. hospital. He decides to stay clean and put his obsessions on paper.

One of these obsessions was his mother, a secret woman he has never understood. Who was Geneva Hilliker Ellroy? An alcoholic woman obsessed by sex, like her ex-husband said, or a smart woman deceived by life and trying to survive in the Los Angeles of 1958 ?

In 1994, James Ellroy comes back to L.A. and, in the company of Bill Stoner, a retired cop, decides to investigate again his mother's death. During 14 months, both men will find new leads, interrogate dozens of people and try to find the surviving witnesses of the tragic event. If James Ellroy hasn't found his mother's murderer, he will at least be at peace with himself after having learned to know intimately Geneva Hilliker Ellroy.
The review of this Book prepared by Daniel Staebler

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Chapter Analysis of My Dark Places

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Plot & Themes

Kids growing up/acting up?    -   Yes Kids:    -   committing crimes job/profession:    -   writer Job/profession/poverty story    -   Yes Phys disability/mental struggle?    -   Yes Struggle with    -   search for family/history Period of greatest activity?    -   1950+

Subject of Biography

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   writer Ethnicity    -   White Nationality    -   American


How much descriptions of surroundings?    -   3 () United States    -   Yes The US:    -   California City?    -   Yes City:    -   Los Angeles Misc setting    -   prison    -   resort/hotel Century:    -   1960's-1970's

Writing Style

Book makes you feel?    -   thoughtful Graphic sex in book?    -   Yes What kind of sex:    -   descript. of female anat. (the big B's)    -   descript. of female anat. (the big V) Pictures/Illustrations?    -   A few 1-5 B&W How much dialogue in bio?    -   little dialog How much of bio focuses on most famous period of life?    -   0-25% of book

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