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Hurtling from Las Vegas to Vietnam to Cuba to Memphis and back again (and all points in between), from Dealey Plaza to opium fields to smoke-filled back rooms where the mob holds sway, the novel traces the strands of complicity, greed, and fear that connect three men to a legion of supporting characters: Ward Littell, a former Feeb whose current allegiance to the mob and to Howard Hughes can't mask his admiration for the Kennedy brothers and Martin Luther King; Pete Bondurant, a hit man and fervent anti-Communist who splits his time between Vegas casinos and CIA-sponsored heroin labs in Saigon; and Wayne Tedrow Jr., a young Vegas cop who's sent to Dallas in late November 1963 to snuff a black pimp, and who is fighting a losing battle against his predilection for violence: "Junior was a hider. Junior was a watcher. Junior lit flames. Junior torched. Junior lived in his head."
And behind these three, J. Edgar Hoover is the master puppeteer, pulling strings with visionary zeal and resolute pragmatism, the still point around whom the novel roils and tumbles. At once evil and comic, Hoover predicts that LBJ "will deplete his prestige on the home front and recoup it in Vietnam. History will judge him as a tall man with big ears who needed wretched people to love him," and feels that Cuba "appeals to hotheads and the morally impaired. It's the cuisine and the sex. Plantains and women who have intercourse with donkeys."
The Seussian comparison isn't that far-fetched: Ellroy's novel, like the children's books (and like the very decade it limns), is flexible, spontaneous, and unabashedly off-kilter. Weighing in at a hefty 700 pages, The Cold Six Thousand is a trifle bloated by the excesses of its narrative form. But what glorious excess it is, as Ellroy continues to illuminate the twin impulses toward idealism and corruption that frame American popular and political culture. He deftly puts unforgettable faces and voices to the murkiest of conspiracy theories, and simultaneously mocks our eager assumption that such knowledge will make a difference. --Kelly Flynn --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
The problem with this book is too much style, too little substance.
If you are not a fan or have never read Ellroy, than be forewarned, this is a challenging book to read, well worth the effort, but difficult none-the-less.
I have read most of Ellroy's books, but was most fascinated by "American Tabloid".
I have to say I think this is my favorite James Ellroy novel. I galloped through the LA quadrilogy and then very nearly before I regained my nerve, I leaped back into the hell hole... Read morePublished 29 days ago by trevor
The plot was for the most part foreseeable. The writing style of staccato bursts of 3-5 word sentences does not appeal to me. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Dr R P I
Its fiction ... but so believable. A rollercoaster ride into the crime world that is USA.Published 1 month ago by Ed Coleman
Very creative way of tying historical events into fictional and yet plausible fictionPublished 3 months ago by Jason Ledbetter
There's no doubt, Ellroy is the successor and master of the lean crime prose of Dasheill Hammett. Beware the dark undercurrents. The Demon Dog will suck you down.Published 6 months ago by Julie Pagitt
It is a great story, but the style can be a little tiring. If you stick with, you are rewarded with a fascinating look at history.Published 10 months ago by Jacques T. Zangerle
I thought I'd read James Ellroy's grocery list but I was wrong. I simply couldn't finish this one. The problem with this book is too much style, too little substance. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Dan Henderson
Wow. This one is actually a bit better than the first in the series, because of the MLK assassination which was a heart wrenching moment in history--and in the book. Read morePublished 17 months ago by Suzanne Tolbert
Was not as good as it's predecessor but still fantastic. The characters were still brilliant as was the plot. Again couldn't put it down.Published 18 months ago by baz kennedy