Authors Like James Ellroy

Instructor: Clio Stearns

Clio has taught education courses at the college level and has a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction.

One of the best ways to keep your students reading is to find authors who are similar to ones they already love. This lesson offers some recommendations for authors students will like if they enjoy James Ellroy.

Reading James Ellroy

If your students are fans of James Ellroy, that means they probably like the following characteristics of a fiction writer:

  • They like writers who have strong prose and can carry a narrative via very simple language. Ellroy is known for his way of omitting words but carrying through compelling plots nonetheless.
  • They like crime and suspense stories. Ellroy is best known as a crime fiction writer, and students who love his work enjoy being scared or kept in suspense when they are reading.
  • They are not scared of a long novel. Ellroy's plots are complex and winding, and they often pan out over the course of several hundred pages.
  • They enjoy essays. Though Ellroy is best known for his fiction, he is also an accomplished essayist who thinks about a variety of themes.

To help the Ellroy fans among your students keep up with their reading, you might want to have some other authors to recommend to them. This lesson provides some ideas for writers whose works fit the bill!

Writers Similar to Ellroy

Following each author's name, you will find an overview and explanation of their similarities to Ellroy.

Arthur Conan Doyle

If the thing that your students like most about Ellroy is his crime fiction, then Doyle is the ideal choice. Writer of the classic Sherlock Holmes series, Doyle is often considered the grandfather of crime fiction, and your students will love the way he spins complex mysteries with suspenseful undertones.

Ed McBain

Many readers of Ellroy are drawn to the length, density and complexity of his works. For these readers, McBain is another solid writer to recommend. He writes long and complicated mysteries with multiple characters and often intricate subplots. Like Ellroy, McBain is a prolific novelist, so readers who get into him will have plenty to keep them busy.

Carl Hiaasen

Hiaasen is another writer of intense and suspenseful crime fiction. Like Ellroy, he writes with subtlety and is able to weave universal themes into a compelling and suspenseful plot. Hiaasen is gifted at integrating humor into a serious work, so you might recommend him to Ellroy fans who also love a good laugh.

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