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Blood's a Rover (Vintage) [Paperback]

James Ellroy
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)

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Book Description

13 July 2010 Vintage (Book 3)
America's master of noir delivers his masterpiece, a rip-roaring, devilishly wild ride through the bloody end of the 1960's. It's dark baby, and hot hot hot.
Martin Luther King assassinated. Robert Kennedy assassinated. Los Angeles, 1968. Conspiracies theories are taking hold. On the horizon looms the Democratic Convention in Chicago and constant gun fire peppers south L.A. Violence, greed, and grime, are replacing free-love and everybody from Howard Hughes, Richard Nixon and J. Edgar Hoover to the right-wing assassins and left-wing revolutionaries are getting dirty. At the center of it all is a triumvirate: the president’s strong-arm goon, an ex-cop and heroine runner, and a private eye whose quarry is so dangerous she could set off the whole powder keg. With his trademark deadly staccato prose, James Ellroy holds nothing back in this wild, startling and much anticipated conclusion to his Underworld USA trilogy.

Product details

  • Paperback: 633 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Books USA; Reprint edition (13 July 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375727418
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375727412
  • Product Dimensions: 20.3 x 13.4 x 2.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,696,191 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


"[A] tour de force about the battle for America's soul ... is a monumental work of fiction, ... one of the most original and daring writers alive" (Independent on Sunday)

"[A] stunning, breathless conclusion to the Underworld USA trilogy ... There is no equivalent in contemporary fiction" (Uncut)

"[A] jaw-dropping stand-along work of uncompromising power and authenticity, and the trilogy as a whole is one of the landmarks of American fiction of the last 20 years" (The Herald)

"The classiest act around. Read it and weep - for its utter darkness and yet its stunning sweep and grace" (Daily Mail) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Book Description

The final novel in the magisterial Underworld USA Trilogy --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A course of American Tabloid methadone 26 July 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Short version: good read, but not as good as American Tabloid (the first instalment in the trilogy).


Long version:

I came to James Ellroy via American Tabloid, and I found it fascinating. There seemed to be an almost electric hum in his style with its many viewpoints, journal-like entries, inserts from low-life slur-rags and the rest. If Charles Bukowski chronicled the nether regions of America, then this seemed to be the same restless drivers at work on major movers and shakers - and the upper crust certainly seemed just as prone to follow base instincts. The many prominent historical figures and spliced-in historical events boosted the effect further. It was hard to follow the many twists and turns, but that too provided raw nerve. It was one hectic ride, and a class-A reading experience.

I then read most of Ellroy's corpus, and while most books were good, some very good, they never really reached the heights of American Tabloid, and they seemed slowly but steadily to grow worse. Then I read A Cold Six Thousand, purportedly a sequel to AT. I couldn't finish it - Ellroy seemed to have reached the end of a stylistic cul-de-sac where he had pared down individual sentences to an absolute minimum (three word sentences seemed to his desired and often attained norm). It was thus with some trepidation I picked up Blood's a Rover, which was labelled the third instalment in the American Tabloid trilogy.

Stylistically we recognise American Tabloid. It is a pan-american vista dotted with famous figures, and their many quirks and weaknesses. Journal entries and quick cuts between characters and sub-plots provide the familiar restlessness. But it must at the same time be said that it is a weaker reproduction of its great forebear.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Style. Content. Triumph of first over second. 11 Jan 2011
Ellroy. A great american writer. Genius overstates it. But a great writer. Style. That's what it's all about. I'm telling it like it is. History in fiction. The novel written as haiku. Longest sentence: 21 words. And that's a quote. And the language. I yukked. Whatever that is. Don't be English, like me. Or a second-language reader. Ellroy shags langauage. Whatever that means. Characters? Don't look for them. You won't find any. Plot. That's where it's at. Movement. Fast. Racism heavy to make it clear these guys are baaaaad. Big violence like Ellroy likes it. The more pointless the better. Lots of pages. Confused? Expect to be. But not bored. Oh no, not bored. Ellroy is a great american writer. Did I mention the repetition? I'm telling it like it is. Real people get a look in. Hoover. Reagan. Nixon. You won't recognize them. They're there to serve the plot. The plot's where it's at. Characters: cardboard isn't in it. Style. Telling it like it is. Ellroy pares down language. Reducing it. Next: the novel as full stop. Period.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Are you all kidding me? 12 Nov 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The book is a masterpiece and I can't understand that the critical faculties ofthe reviewers have taken a day off.It's his usual nearly incomprehensible and weird story line,but can this boy write? Astonishing breadth of event and character in post war American political and military machinations.Gobsmackingly good.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ellroys Blood's A Rover 22 Feb 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The first Ellroy book i read, marvelous, interesting about who's who in fifties-sixties-seventies USA (did I recall the decennia right?). Anyway, great stuff, recommended so we understand what's going on in US and, in fact, in Ukraine, Syria, right now,,,
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A grower 19 Nov 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
After American Tabloid and The Cold Six Thousand this felt like a disappointment (JFK, MLK, RFK all dead, Hoover on the wane), but when I read all there again it came out as possibly the best of the three for the same reasons. Freed from the need to illuminate the horrible truths of history the first two books cover it arcs off into pure storytelling, and it is fabulous.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Ellroy does black power 17 Jun 2012
This book gives the Ellroy treatment to The Black Panthers, Nixon and J. Edgar Hoover. It has a lot of Elroy's trademark tics - short punchy sentences, extreme violence and central characters getting bumped off before the end of the book.

The book centres on corrupt cops and radical black power groups and it is sometimes hard to know where Ellroy's sympathies lie. Whilst several characters are clearly racist, the narration itself has a tendency to refer to black areas by descriptions like "darktown" and "coonsville". I suspect that this ambiguity is deliberate, although it does make you wonder what point Ellroy wishes to make. Although it is often claimed that Ellroy is "telling it like it is", his style could not be described as realism. This is particularly the case in sections where Hoover or Nixon are seen as talking to central characters, which tend to be incongruously comic. Whilst I'm sure that these figues were pleasant, they tend to come across as comic book baddies here.

Ths is a very long book which is complexly plotted but worth sticking with, although it may not appear so at first. It is often hardgoing as most chracters are seemingly immoral or amoral, but having said this, I did get swept up by the plot. Furthermore, I did think that the book had an overall point to make. Overall, worth giving time to.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Sad its come to an end. Magnificent trilogy
Ignore some of the poor reviews on here, the book is an absolute gem and a great conclusion to a majestic trilogy. Read more
Published 6 months ago by ben mears
4.0 out of 5 stars Too long and not long enough
I wanted this to keep going. The end jump is too quick for me. The getting there inspired.
The book creates some wonderful fiction, interspersing characters and history with... Read more
Published on 21 Mar 2012 by Man from poundstretcher
3.0 out of 5 stars Women remain a problem
At it's best the LA vernacular and the hallmark riffing amuses. And there are some (but too few) romantic (in the literary sense) sequences. Read more
Published on 30 Jan 2012 by dr_schoen
1.0 out of 5 stars Ellroy by numbers
I've loved Ellroy since his very early novels- Browns Requiem and through the LA series. This is the first book of his I have truly disliked. Read more
Published on 3 Nov 2011 by Felix 801
3.0 out of 5 stars Not Too Baaaaaad
Hard work in parts. Perhaps familiarity with the style that made Cold Six Thousand a sordid yet compelling read leaves the reader less inclined to be dazzled by style alone. Read more
Published on 25 Sep 2011 by Doublecross
2.0 out of 5 stars Gradually tailing off....but then he's made a stack
Have read Ellroy since the early days of The Black Dahlia, and the Lloyd Hopkins book. The Quartet were great great writes and reads. Read more
Published on 12 Aug 2011 by K. N. Tole
5.0 out of 5 stars Ellroy on fire
This is a monumental novel, written with extraordinary authority and ambition. Leaving behind the reliance on conspiracy theories that made his previous book (The Cold Six... Read more
Published on 11 Aug 2011 by Adam Eterno
4.0 out of 5 stars Good read
I had been given the first two books as a gift and looked forward to the third one with great anticipation. Read more
Published on 21 July 2011 by David1556
3.0 out of 5 stars Ellroy Blood's a Rover
Have a problem with Ellroy . There is too much info and disjointed events around backdrop . This reflects in his writing . Read more
Published on 31 May 2011 by Vj BRIGHT
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