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American Tabloid: Underworld USA (1) Paperback – Apr 24 2001


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 592 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage (April 24 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 037572737X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0375727375
  • Product Dimensions: 20.3 x 13.2 x 2.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 381 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (112 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #47,953 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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An absolute must for any student of American history, or any student of American covert dealings. American Tabloid lays bare the murky under-workings of the United States cira 1959 - 1963. In this the first (and best) of Ellroy's USA Underworld Trilogy, you're given a front row seat to history as it unfolds in Post-War America.

This peek behind the curtain is an old-school page turner, sometimes appalling and always harrowing.
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Format: Paperback
This novel about secret governmental departments and their unexpected activities is superbly written and rivets the reader to each page. Packed with action and nostalgia over history long past, it strikes chord after chord, as familiar events are given a violent twist by this story telling genius.

Other reviews detail the characters and style; I can only add that I was astounded by the brilliance in which this novel was researched, written, and organized. It takes action and psychological thrillers to a new level of genius.

In terms of crime drama, its tops, and a must read!
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By NeuroSplicer HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on May 26 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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Format: Paperback
Ellroy's "American Tabloid" takes the Kennedy-Bay of Pigs era and throws it in the shredder, hacking through the Golden Age myths of Camelot and the reader's pre-conceptions about the JFK presidency.
America has never looked so seedy or corrupt. In a work that should be accompanied by a Quentin Tarantino-selected soundtrack, Ellroy spins a tale of duplicity, false alliances, and mutual interest that alternately unites and tears apart the men of the CIA, the FBI, the Mob, the Teamsters, and teven he insane Howard Hughes. The trio of anti-heroes who drive the story forward, Pete Bondurant (hand-cuff snapping hired muscle), Kemper Boyd (Kennedy wannabe from the CIA), and Ward Littel (fallen FBI angel) rub shoulders with the Kennedys, J. Edgar Hoover, and other infamous movers and shakers from the period.
One hopes that Ellroy's exhilirating tale is not historically accurate, but Ellroy weaves enough historical detail that you feel as if "you are there, live!" If even one tenth of Ellroy's tale *is* true, then we are reminded how fragile and savage our American experiment with democracy really is.
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Format: Paperback
I'm beyond words. It is pulp fiction at it's most riveting. It is history and conspiracy turned upside down. It is humanity in criminals and criminality in heroes and lots in between. I love Ellroy's style. This first bit of fiction of his that I have read and I can't wait to read the rest of his novels. He is amazing. The story is complicated, but you never get lost. It is "What if.." history. It is fact and lots of fiction, but it works. Just read it. If you love Ellroy, crime fiction, historical fiction, or just a good book...this is it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Bauler on April 9 2002
Format: Paperback
Reading all the reviews about this book is quite repetitive : everyone seems to consider Ellroy as a cute story-teller with complicated but breathtaking plots. I have even read that American Tabloid was a good MTV thriller !!!
Well, one cannot understand Ellroy without having read some of his major books and especially my dark places, his most personnal work. Ellroy is a story-teller, that's a fact, but whereas America has a bunch of story tellers, it only has one Ellroy. His style is unique and exhilarating and American tabloid is probably the best example of his talented writing. Read it and be prepared to have no sleep for a while. This book, whose plot is inspired by FBI files recently made public, is hard to appreciate because it is mature, tenseful, nervous and also so very dark. That's the way Ellroy is and that's the way he is, as far as I'm concerned, one of America's greatest talents in writing.
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Format: Paperback
American Tabloid is one of the finest crime fiction novels in my library. Ellroy is a master of blending actual events with plausible and frightening characters. "Big Pete" Bondurant is a fierce animal that no sane man would want to face in a confrontation. Walt Borchard shines as an idealistic failure. I liked American Tabloid so much I bought the hardback and intend to read it again. This book isn't for the faint of heart - don't leave it laying around unsupervised children.
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