Cover image for American tabloid
Title:
American tabloid
Author:
Ellroy, James, 1948-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : Fawcett Columbine, 1997.

©1995
Physical Description:
571 pages, 5 unnumbered pages ; 21 cm
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780449000908
Format :
Book

Available:*

Library
Call Number
Material Type
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Status
Central Library X Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks
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Summary

Summary

We are behind, and below, the scenes of JFK's presidential election, the Bay of Pigs, the assassination--in the underworld that connects Miami, Los Angeles, Chicago, D.C. . . . Where the CIA, the Mob, J. Edgar Hoover, Howard Hughes, Jimmy Hoffa, Cuban political exiles, and various loose cannons conspire in a covert anarchy . . . Where the right drugs, the right amount of cash, the right murder, buys a moment of a man's loyalty . . . Where three renegade law-enforcement officers--a former L.A. cop and two FBI agents--are shaping events with the virulence of their greed and hatred, riding full-blast shotgun into history. . . . James Ellroy's trademark nothing-spared rendering of reality, blistering language, and relentless narrative pace are here in electrifying abundance, put to work in a novel as shocking and daring as anything he's written: a secret history that zeroes in on a time still shrouded in secrets and blows it wide open.


Author Notes

James Ellroy was born in Los Angeles in 1948. His L. A. Quartet novels - "The Black Dahlia", "The Big Nowhere", "L. A. Confidential", & "White Jazz" - were international best-sellers. His novel "American Tabloid" was Time magazine's Novel of the Year for 1995; his memoir, "My Dark Places", was a "Time" Best Book of the Year & a "New Yorker Times" Notable Book for 1996. He lives in Kansas City.

(Publisher Provided) James Ellroy was born in Los Angeles, California on March 4, 1948. His parents were divorced and he moved in with his father after his mother was murdered in 1958. The story of his mother's unsolved murder would become the basis for his 1996 nonfiction work entitled My Dark Places. He attended Fairfax High School, where he sent Nazi pamphlets to girls he liked and criticized JFK, while advocating the reinstatement of slavery. He was eventually expelled for preaching Nazism in his English class.

He joined the army after his expulsion from school, but after realizing that he did not belong there, he faked a stutter and convinced the army psychologist that he was not mentally fit for combat. After three months, he received a dishonorable discharge and returned home. His father died soon thereafter. He was thrown in juvenile hall for stealing a steak from the local market. When he got out, his father's friend became his guardian, but by the age of eighteen, he was back on the streets. He was sleeping outside, stealing, drinking and experimenting with drugs. It wasn't long before he was thrown in jail for breaking into a vacant apartment.

When he got out of jail, he started a job at an adult book store, his addictions growing progressively larger. He was misusing the drug Benzedrex, a sinus inhalent which nearly drove him to Schizophrenia and his drinking was ruining his health. He contracted pneumonia twice as well as a condition called post-alchohol brain syndrome. Fearing for his sanity, he joined AA, became sober and found a job as a golf caddy.

At the age of 30, he wrote his first novel entitled Brown's Requiem, which was published in 1981. His other works include Clandestine, Blood on the Moon, Because the Night, Suicide Hill, Killer on the Road, and The Cold Six Thousand. His works The Black Dahlia and L. A. Confidential were adapted into feature films.

Ellroy's title, Perfidia, made the New York Times bestseller list in 2014.

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Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Patrons who discovered Ellroy's jaundiced noir on the screen in L.A. Confidential may want to check out his take on the JFK assassination. As in Ellroy's L.A. novels, rogue cops--here, two FBI agents and an ex-L.A. cop turned CIA agent--are at the center of the action, which also involves Jack and Bobby Kennedy, J. Edgar Hoover, and multiple mobsters and anti-Castro Cubans in a pursuit of power that ends in a dance of death.


Publisher's Weekly Review

Although it follows his L.A. Trilogy chronologically, Ellroy's visceral, tightly plotted new novel unfolds on a much wider stage, delivering a compelling and detailed view of the American underworld from the late 1950s to the assassination of JFK. Demythologizing the Camelot years, Ellroy (White Jazz) depicts a nexus of renegade government agencies, mobsters, industrial tycoons and Hollywood players fueling the rise and fall of the Kennedy administration. The story hinges on the entanglements of three 40-something government mercenaries who play major, behind-the-scenes roles in such events as the Bay of Pigs and the assassination of the president. Suave and sybaritic Kemper Boyd pimps for JFK while carrying out simultaneous undercover work for the CIA, FBI, Robert Kennedy and the Mob. Hulking, sadistic ex-L.A. cop Pete Bondurant, a hired killer for Jimmy Hoffa, digs dirt for a drug-addled Howard Hughes while training a cadre of bloodthirsty, anti-Castro Cuban exiles off the Florida Coast. Idealistic FBI wiretapper Ward Littel, following a series of disastrous anti-Mafia operations, becomes a Machiavellian mob lawyer. All three rub shoulders with an enormous cast of real-life characters, including clever, two-dimensional portraits of the Kennedy family, J. Edgar Hoover and Jack Ruby. Exercising his muscular, shorthand prose, Ellroy moves the narrative from break-in to lurid assignation to brutal hit job in a tightening gyre that culminates in the murder of the president. While not especially convincing as revisionist history, this is a cool and riveting evocation of a cultural epoch abounding in government surveillance, endemic corruption and yellow journalism. BOMC and QPB selections; author tour. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Library Journal Review

Critics either adored or abhorred Ellroy's last crime novel, White Jazz, for its gritty subject matter and "word jazz" prose. American Tabloid, a fictional examination of the conspiracy-to-end-all-conspiracies-the assassination of JFK -will contain more of the same. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


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