Monday, September 20, 2010

American tabloid

By James Ellroy

Ellroy continues to impress, fascinate and amaze me. 'American Tabloid' is yet another fast moving masterpiece of plot, character and story telling. Quite how he manages to keep a track of everything is beyond me, but he does. Ellroy's novels are so dark and densely packed that he makes all other crime novelists look like children's book authors and I was beginning to wonder how on Earth he could keep track of his plots whilst seemingly never coming to the surface for air but then I looked him up on You Tube and I realised that he actually talks like he writes. Fast, polished, weird. The man must write like some one possessed.

'American Tabloid' is the first in a trilogy of related novels. Its about three men whose destinies are interwoved in the years leading up to the assassination of John F Kennedy. None of the three men are very nice, in fact they are a bunch of monsters, but they are believable monsters, at least from the point of view of the novel and its premise. As far out as Ellroy takes you, you never quite reach the point where you pause and think, this is ridiculous. Perhaps thats why Ellroy is so good? He manages to put you right inside the minds of some of humanities most infamous mobsters and you never disbelieve any of it.

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