12 Apr 2013


Having had so many of you leave comments and contact me with regard to what my Readers Group thought of our March read, The Black Dahlia by James Ellroy (see my review HERE), I thought I'd report back.

Only actually read in full by 3 of us, the rest of the group gave up at various different points in the story, I think it safe to say that this was, if nothing else, the most talked about book we've ever read.

Given a score of 0 out of 5 by yours truly, one of the other women gave it a very generous (and to me, puzzling) 3 on the grounds that though she agreed with all I had to say she felt the author deserving of this score because, and I quote, 'he had written it', whilst the third to have read it gave it a massive rating of 5 stars saying it was one of the best book she had ever read.

Hmm, just goes to show it takes all kinds of readers.

However, it wasn't my Readers Group that threw up the most interesting discussion.

Stopped and asked about the book by an acquaintance, I admit I was taken aback when they asked about books that had been banned and whether I thought this should have been.

Explaining that whilst I wouldn't be at all surprised if someone somewhere had had The black Dahlia banned I personally didn't believe in the banning of any book, that no matter how vile, how odious, I thought a novel, it was up to the individual reader to decide for themselves what they did and didn't read.

Which brings me on to YOUR homework.

Though still searching I've been unable as yet to find The Black Dahlia listed on any of the sites dedicated to banned books and was wondering if you knew of any countries/states/organisations that had banned it.

Disclaimer: Removal of any part of this post without my express consent is considered copyright infringement. This post was created by and for Petty Witter @ Pen and Paper. If you are reading this post on any other site please contact the original blog owner/reviewer.


Kimberly @ On the Wings of Books said...

Ok first of all it makes me sad that someone felt the book was a 3 just because it was written :(

I don't know of anywhere that this book is banned either. Perhaps it's not "popular" enough to be banned.

So many books, so little time said...

I couldn't find anywhere it was listed as banned

Lainy http://www.alwaysreading.net

Barbara said...

I certainly haven’t noticed it on any of the banned book sites, but that may just mean I’ve not noticed it, not that it’s not there.
I laughed when I read that someone gave it a 3 because the author had gone to the effort of writing it. She is obviously a kind and generous person, but maybe not the best person to ask for book recommendations.

Yvonne@fiction-books said...

Hi Tracy,

I don't think that I would rate a book, just because the author had gone to the trouble of writing it. However, I do think that reviewing books in itself, is quite a subjective thing to do, as a book, like so many other things in life, is purely a matter of personal taste and opinion.

As you commented, you gave this book a big fat zero and didn't enjoy it at all, whilst one of your fellow club members thought it was great and gave it 5 out of 5.

All I try to do in a review is give an honest assessment of a storyline and the way in which it is written. I try not to make the reviews too personal, or I might put someone off reading it, who may actually love it, or hate it, as the case may be.

I hope that your next book club choice is more successful, but at least you had a good discussion about 'The Black Dahlia'

Have a good weekend,


Shooting Stars Mag said...

About the "because it was written" person...I think I can understand what they mean. It takes a lot to write a book and even if it doesn't work for someone, you kind of feel bad saying it's the worst book ever or something. LOL

At any rate, I agree that I don't think books should be banned. It should be all about personal preference. Decide for yourself.

Brandi Kosiner said...

Very cool how the discussion evolved to the banned books

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

Hm... don't know personally if it was banned, but it wouldn't surprise me. Still, it would have been an interesting discussion in that book club meeting.

Betty Manousos said...

hi tracy,

got back today from my blogging break and just wanted to drop by and say hi.

i can imagine how interesting that discussion must have been.
also, i googled that book..couldn't find anywhere it was listed as banned.

big hugs

Suko said...

I haven't heard that this book was banned; however, it could well be on a banned book list somewhere, as you point out.

Stephanie@Fairday's Blog said...

I guess the results show that reading is subjective! Also, it is very common for some of the members of my book club not to read the book. :) I don't think books should be banned either!

Alexia561 said...

Interesting to hear everyone's viewpoints about the book. I found it even more interesting that only 3 of you were able to finish it! Hope your next book club read is more to everyone's liking!

Naida said...

Hmmmmm I don't know if this was is banned.

Michelle @ The True Book Addict said...

I read this book in my preblogging days and I did not like it...at all. If I were to read it now, my "give up if I'm not digging it after 50-100 pages" would definitely apply. I have nothing against crime fiction so I don't know what it was about this book. I think it was the 40s noir feel to it that turned me off in part, but I'm still unclear as to what else I didn't like about it. At least now I know I'm not the only one who didn't like it.

Rachel Bradford said...

A 3 because it was written? Does that mean I get a 2 for all the books I THOUGHT about writing! Woo-hoo!