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American Tabloid Hardcover – 19 Jan 1995


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 592 pages
  • Publisher: Century; First Edition edition (19 Jan 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 071264816X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0712648165
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 15.8 x 5.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 653,154 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

James Ellroy was born in Los Angeles in 1948. He is the author of the acclaimed LA Quartet, The Black Dahlia, The Big Nowhere, LA Confidential and White Jazz, as well as the Underworld USA trilogy: American Tabloid, The Cold Six Thousand and Blood's a Rover. He is the author of one work of non-fiction, The Hilliker Curse: My Pursuit of Women.

Product Description

Review

"Intense and flamboyant... excellent. The plot runs on high-octane violence... a powerful book... one emerges breathless, shaken and ready to change one's view of recent American history" (Sunday Telegraph)

"Brilliant and appalling. It is deeply repelling portraiture, yet mesmerising" (The Times)

"Laconic violence, terse, slang-driven sentences, and a gleeful blurring of the moral line between good guys and bad guys... Seven hundred pages of this stuff left me feeling punch-drunk and dizzy, but then it sure beats the hell out of Anita Brookner" (Mail on Sunday)

"A frenetic and explosive thriller . . ." (Sunday Times)

"One of the most important popular-fiction writers in America ... a Tinsel town Dostoyevsky" (Time Out) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Book Description

The first novel in Ellroy's extraordinary Underworld USA Trilogy --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Mr. Warren M. Fisher VINE VOICE on 2 Sep 2004
Format: Paperback
The first of the Underworld USA trilogy and my own personal favourite Ellroy novel. Not only classic crime/thriller writing, this is a work demanding serious consideration as 'The Great American Novel'. Intense, violent and cynical, Ellroy's canvas expands beyond LA to the whole of the USA and beyond. His fevered reimaginings of our collective past burn with rage and cynical wit. Corruption and betrayal are the daily currency of the nation's leaders and their henchmen, of the rich and powerful, with anyone still clinging to a shred of idealism crushed by their vaunting ambition and greed.
Immensely readable, as gripping as any thriller, but this burns with an feverish passion and intelligence suggesting more. Beneath the darkness and nihilism, one senses Ellroy's own romantic yearning, but he knows this is nothing in the face of ruthlessly amoral determination. Spellbinding and wrenching, this is a stone-cold classic.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Stefan on 19 Jan 2005
Format: Paperback
If ytou have any interest at all in crime writing or the America of the 1950's and 60's you have to read this book. I read the Black Dahlia several years ago and enjoyed it, but it was, in my opinion, nothing compared to this. I truly believe this to be amnong the very best (if not THE best)fiction I have read. And I have read a couple of books a month for many years. A superbly dark, shocking, intriguing novel. The manner in which the author binds together real historical characters with fictional ones, real documented events with invented, and real relationships and conversations with new is truly stunning
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By john casewell on 24 Nov 2004
Format: Paperback
like my above title states i found American Tabloid a fabulous way to introduce myself to the literary world of James Ellroy.The manner in which he portrays such a fascinatingly intense era brimming with high drama and using all the main players that made up the USA at that time made for very compelling reading indeed.I now have The Cold Six Thousand at the ready and i anticipate another couple of weeks of reading into the small hours if AT is anything to go by(the fact that it is indicated to be even better has me positively salivating)
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By NeuroSplicer TOP 100 REVIEWER on 26 May 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
History has always been written by the victors - and they have the tendency to iron-out all its bloody details and hide all their dirty secrets. This a TRUE CLASSIC: imagine a history book that reads like a tabloid. Every story up close and personal, complete with every gory detail described. IN CINEMASCOPE & TECHNICOLOR.

The dirty making of the Kennedy fortune. Hoover as a hypochondriac cross-dressing extortionist. Everybody wiretapping everybody. The Camelot President clocked at 6 minutes. The Mob rigs the election for said President; invades Cuba with clansmen and Castro's exiles in blood-lust frenzy; gets burned - and gets even the only way it knows how. And in the middle of it all, two FBI agents trapped in a downwards spiral of serving multiple masters.

JAMES ELLROY does not pretend to write the dark side: he has barely escaped it himself and knows all its intoxicating scents and shadows. Read for the plausible details of history's margins. Enjoy the staccato prose of natural wit, verbatim FBI communication files and 50's Tabloid lingo.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By callery@tesco.net on 23 April 2001
Format: Paperback
Reading this book is a little like enduring some particular -if temporary - form of mental illness. It is trip inside the lives of a variety of characters -both real and imagined-who are connected by strings of violence and puddles of loathing. There is an almost total absence of those virtues that feature so highly in the mythology of America - truth, honour, fair play and personal integrity. Even within the writer himself you sense the same darkness and the same anger that drives so many of the characters of this novel. Ellroy also takes us deep inside Washington and provides an arena for the politicians to reveal themselves - naked and disgraced - as the real gangsters, the real torcholders of self serving viciousness, double dealing and the American Way. There is something dark-really dark- in James Ellroys writing and in the man himself. There is little to lift us and give us hope for the species. You are left feeling that lunch with James Ellroy might turn out to be a heavy meal. Ultimately, however, this book is a great triumph because it leaves you certain that even if all as it is described is not entirely all as it happened it does not matter. For those parts that might not be entirely true convince as being absolutely real! What is revealed in this book is neither lovely nor good but it emerges from any careful reading triumphant because of the power and the quality of the writing which left me believing absolutely that these characters and the edgy affluent and violent events they moved through ultimately consumed them and corrupted them completely. This was no golden age - this was no Camelot and these were not chivarous men. Thankfully we now live in better more accountable times - don't we?Read more ›
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29 of 33 people found the following review helpful By OEJ TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 2 Aug 2005
Format: Paperback
Let's get one thing straight. This book is bigger than your house. Taller, wider, deeper and more powerful than anything you have beheld up to now, it takes the myth that was once 'nice' John F Kennedy, fleeces it, rips the guts out of it and blasts the remains into the gutter from where it started.
This is a 600 page novel with a world-famous ending, the assassination of JFK. So you think, why should I read it? Well, it will change your knowledge (or what you had been taught) about one of the most significant periods in American History, and it will tell you things you definitely didn't know about a whole string of household names : Jack Kennedy, kid brother Robert, their seriously bad-news father 'Irish Joe' Kennedy, J.Edgar Hoover, Howard Hughes, Jimmy Hoffa, Fidel Castro, Richard Nixon, Lyndon B Johnson, Frank Sinatra, Marilyn Monroe, Ava Gardner and a colourful list of 'made-guy' underworld gangsters such as Santo Trafficante, Carlos Marcello, Johnny Rosselli and Sam Giancana. One of the low-life gangsters featured is a certain Jack Ruby, and I think we all know what he is best known for. In fact this novel is so daringly matter-of-fact about the lives (and loves) of most of the above-named that it makes me wonder how it ever came to be published at all. And it's no over-statement to suggest that you could write a book about this book.
It is, at the end of the day, a novel, which is to say a work of fiction, but I for one wanted to believe that every element of it was true because it helped me to understand so much more than I had been 'educated' to believe in the newspapers and other media down the years.
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