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American Tabloid Paperback – April 24, 2001
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Top Customer Reviews
When I was in college I picked up this book completely as a fluke. It looked interesting, I am big into history and the book jacket peaked my interest. From the first moment I started to read I couldn't put it down. I carried it to the kitchen five hours later while I threw together a sandwich and read while the bread toasted. I read all night and into the next day. I blew off my classes. I didn't do anything else but read. When I was done that afternoon I was not exhausted as one would think. I was exhilarated. This book is so well written, so complex, so dark, so funny, so much more than the average book I was physically excited.
Over the next few months my friends read it and each one read it with the same kind of fervor I did. People who hated to read loved this book.
READ IT! BUY IT! Do not hesitate. If you love a good book then you will completely flip out over this one! It is truly an amazing book and one of the best pieces of fiction ever. I cannot tell you strong enough how wonderful this treasure is for someone who loves to read. It is a perfectly written novel.
In the tautest prose between covers we follow a handful of near and complete psychopaths as their lives intersect through John F. Kennedy's presidential campaign, and his 1000 day reign. Big shots and underlings alike. Their machinations are complex, and almost always involve extortion, but solutions are often simple - a beating for a lesson, a bullet to the head for the more recalcitrant. But why stop there when torture, and dismemberment are so fulfilling. The lead characters suffer, but except for one ex-Jesuit seminarian become FBI agent, become mob lawyer, the suffering is physical rather than existential, and it's so much easier to deal with a migraine than a crisis of conscience.
"American Tabloid," for all the horror contained therein, is one of the best books I've read in the past five years. It's right up there with Cormack McCarthy's "Border Trilogy," but where McCarthy can go sentimental, James Ellroy never lets up.
--from the introduction
James Ellroy has never been afraid to explore the sordid. His heroes (anti heroes?) are amoral creeps (usually cops) who'd betray their own mothers in the pursuit of quick cash. There are three such men in American Tabloid, Ellroy's fictional take on the Kennedy assassination--Kemper Boyd (who serves the Kennedy brothers, the FBI and the CIA simultaneously), Ward Littell (a disillusioned G-man turned Mob lawyer), and Pete Bondurant (a Howard Hughes bag man who becomes a linchpin in the ill fated Bay of Pigs operation). Three men, blinded by greed, patriotism, ambition and hate. Three men that history knows nothing about, but whose actions ultimately lead to the brutal murder of John F. Kennedy.
At the request of J. Edgar Hoover, Kemper Boyd ingratiates himself with the Kennedy brothers, first serving on the McClellan committee, then in the Kennedy administration. While serving in this capacity, Boyd finds time to align himself with the CIA, the Mafia, drug runners and anti-Castro refugees. Boyd lives in a world where no one is pure, deceit is commonplace and strange bedfellows are the rule. At first, he easily negotiates the complexities of this world. Eventually, however, things fall apart, and an American president dies as a result.
This book will shock, horrify, entertain and amuse.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Ellroy is an incredible writer who writes compelling stories about very bad men doing very bad things. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Adam Van Brocklin
Becoming a big Ellroy fan. I really enjoyed the L.A. quartet that includes White Dahlia,The Big Nowhere, Hollywood Confidential and White Jazz. Perfidia was also great.Published 2 months ago by John F. Healy
What a sick view of humanity. I hated everyone in the book. they were either victims or exploiters.Published 5 months ago by barberoux
very tabloid-style different and strong view on the american historyPublished 6 months ago by bharadwaj vasudevan
Everything you ever wanted to know about the FBI, the CIA, the Cubans who killed JFK, and many other topics involving government agencies and their incestuous relationship with the... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Charles Carreon
Once you get used to the choppy, cheap detective voice that dominates the narrative, there's an interesting story told about a mysteriously criminal time in American life.Published 8 months ago by Richard Signore
Choppy, not well written. Can't believe I was a just a little kid back then. Jackie O had to be deaf, blind, and stupid to allow that kind of behavior. Sad people in sad times. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Kindle Customer