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What Is Ellroy Trying to Tell Me?


In the spirit of Tom's "What's General Petraeus Reading" mystery from earlier today, I submit my own plea for help.

Mark it now: James Ellroy is one of my favorite writers. I chose his latest American Underworld novel, Blood's a Rover as my Best of the Month selection for September, exclaiming, "Ellroy's hipster prose--inimitable for its high style and spectacular energy--snaps and surges through more than 600 pages like black electricity." Overwrought? Maybe. True? Certainly.

So I was naturally thrilled this afternoon when I opened the box containing a signed copy, and even happier to note that it's personally inscribed with a special message meant only for me. But here's the problem: I can't translate. Here's what I think it might say:

To Jon Foro--
Let this book bite tuna.

James Ellroy

Could this be it? Is there an encoded message, the key to a bloody conspiracy with roots in Castro's revolution, or a lost page of the Warren Commission Report? Or is it just something that Ellroy says? (It could be.)

Help me. Here's a larger image. Don't leave me tied, dyed and swept to the side.

Thank you,



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Definitely "Let this booke bite your boogaloo"

This either solves or deepens the mystery:

That is some fine detective work!

Check this out:

I suspect it says "Let this book bite _your_ boogaloo!"

looks like..

"Let this
Bite (maybe Brighten?)
Books too!"

some esoteric reference perhaps.
or maybe it's a "b" instead of a "k" dunno!
good luck!

Or! It could be "Let this book bite your [whatever booghoo is]".

It looks like "Tuna" might actually be "you" with a flourish after it. So maybe it says "Let this book bite you"? That makes a little more sense. As for "BOOGHOO!", I am stumped.

I have not read all of Ellroy's books, and haven't even read the first two in this trilogy, but I picked this up at the airport on Tuesday, and I haven't stopped reading until now. It's brazen, edgy, compelling, passionate and powerful fictio--and history with a twist. If you thought LA CONFIDENTIAL was enjoyable, wait until you read BLOOD'S A ROVER. Ellroy is one of the great writers of our time, and this book is evidence of that.

I think the last line is numbers. 130067601? It seems awfully high for the number of signed books, doesn't look like a date or his phone number, and isn't giving me much on google. 13006760 however, gives you a real estate listing in Arkansas and the myspace profile of someone named Kelsey. So there's your conspiracy?

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