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Marginalia

Marginalia: James Ellroy On 'Widespread Panic'

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Marion Ettinger
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Freddy Otash is in Purgatory. Literally… literarily. In James Ellroy’s novel, Widespread Panic, the corrupt cop turned sleazy private eye is in Purgatory expiating his sins when he is offered a fast-track to Heaven. All he has to do is write a tell-all.

A fictional account based on real characters—Ellroy actually met Otash in real life—Widespread Panic is a wild ride through 1950 Hollyweird. I recently spoke with Ellroy about Otash, his novel, and about films adapted from his books. [spoiler: he doesn’t like any of them].

Here’s our conversation.

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Widespread Panic by James Ellroy was published by Knopf.

Marginalia was produced at KMUW Wichita. If you like this podcast, please consider leaving a rating or review on Apple Podcasts.

Engineers: Mark Statzer and Torin Andersen
Editor: Lu Anne Stephens
Producer: Haley Crowson

Follow Beth Golay on Twitter @BethGolay.