[PDF] ✩ American Tabloid ✭ James Ellroy – Altobook.co

10 thoughts on “American Tabloid

  1. says:

    James Ellroy has called me a panty sniffer to my face Granted, he calls everyone at his book signings a variety of colorful names, but I still like the idea that I ve been personally mock insulted by one of my favorite authors This is his best novel, and my love for it is pretty much unconditional As proof of my devotion My internet alias is from a character in it, and I ve got an autographed copy of it sitting on my shelf along with an signed copy of the sequel, The Cold Six Thousand The trilogy completes with the release of Blood s A Rover next week so I m going back through the first two books, and it d been a few years since I d read American Tabloid It was even better than I remembered.This is Ellroy s freaky take on American history from the late 50s through the JFK assassination, and it features Jack and Bobby Kennedy, J Edgar Hoover, Howard Hughes, and Jimmy Hoffa It s got the Mafia and the CIA, Cuba and Cuban exiles, the 1960 presidential election, the Bay of Pigs, the civil rights movement, and some heroin trade, just for laughs.Ellroy uses one of his unholy main character trinities of Bad White Men doing Bad Things, but instead of limiting the action to post war Los Angeles like he did with the LA Quartet of crime stories, he uses his three fictional characters chasing their own twisted obsessions and ambitions to probe the darker moments of a particularly juicy slice of American history.Kemper Boyd is ex FBI, who begins spying on the Kennedy s for J Edgar Hoover, and ends up devoted to Jack, even as he is moonlighting for both the CIA and the Mafia He wants all his masters to unite in a play to oust Castro so that his behind the scenes schemes will make him wealthy enough to be just like a Kennedy, but he has to make sure to keep his loyalties compartmentalized.Ward Littell is Kemper s former partner and friend, and is still with the FBI He hates the Mob and wants nothing to go to work for Bobby Kennedy to get away from J Edgar Hoover s obsession with persecuting harmless leftist groups Even though he s considered weak and cowardly, he shocks himself and everyone around him with the lengths he goes to fulfill his dream of being a Mob buster for RFK.Big Pete Bondurant is a former LA cop and works as a criminal handyman for Howard Hughes He runs blackmail divorce shakedowns and does the odd contract killing for the likes of Jimmy Hoffa in his spare time Once arrested by Kemper and Ward, he likes Kemper s style but hates Ward with a passion Pete thinks he can ride shotgun to history by becoming Kemper s partner in his various Cuban schemes, and he likes the sound of that rather than being Howard Hughes s errand boy.As all three of these men scheme and plot and commit horrible crimes to become like the powerful men they are beholden to, they keep rubbing up against big events and desperately try to shape them to their will What they all find out the hard way is that the people they re dealing with didn t become who they are by getting fooled by the men they regard as useful but inferior.One of the things I absolutely love is Ellroy s complete lack of buy in to the JFK Camelot bullshit The myth goes that JFK was a glorious leader who was cut down because he stood up to the Bad Men in the country who wanted to take us into Vietnam An odd story considering that JFK is the one who started committing troops to Vietnam Ellroy brilliantly points out that the reality is that JFK was the son of a rich and corrupt man, and in one of the weirdest twists every, probably owed his presidency to the very people that he then let his zealot brother prosecute In all likelihood, the Mafia helped JFK take Illinois because of promises from guys like Frank Sinatra that JFK was reasonable RFK hated the Mob but turned a blind eye to the CIA recruiting Mafia contacts for trying to kill Fidel Casto The Cuban exiles felt terribly betrayed when not only did JFK not fully commit to the Bay of Pigs invasion, he turned on them in the aftermath by having the Feds bust their training camps in the South If you believe in a conspiracy about JFK s death, Ellroy points out that the guy might have brought it on himself by betraying so many people And if there was a conspiracy, it probably wasn t some Oliver Stone paranoid fantasy about some all powerful military industrial complex, it was probably a group of these type of guys, motivated by general JFK hatred that knew that all the embarrassing entanglements of JFK s legacy would keep a real investigation from ever being done I personally don t think there was a conspiracy, but JFK surely pissed off a lot of dangerous people by having his cake and eating it too and it makes for a great story This is Ellroy at his best Fully in control of his crazy staccato brilliant writer with ADD style, and wildly spinning plots and counter plots with over the top violence and history as the backdrop.Fair warning for those who haven t read, there s a lot of ethnic slurs in Ellroy s work and he s taken some heat for this over the years He defends this by pointing out that he s writing about evil white guys doing horrible things 50 years ago They wouldn t have been politically correct He s got a point, but it is pretty jarring reading in this day and age.

  2. says:

    to paraphrase kris kristofferson if it sounds fucked up, man, that s because it is sometimes i chug coffee to the point where i m glazed with sweat, red eyed, about to crap my pants, and i throw my headphones on and blast either miles davis bitches brew or motorhead ace of spades i sit down in front of the computer and write write write and the result is exactly what you d imagine from a mediocre writer w a flair for the hyperbolic all hopped up on caffeine not too good imagine, however, if a brilliant writer, a demented rotgut drunk coozehound of a bastard did what i did and laid out some genius shit you d have something like american tabloid for me, this book is the nearest representation of what 20th century american history feels like fuck the facts, we ll never really know what they are, anyway and when ellroy s riffing away and it s preposterous and over the top and just fucking stupid, and it all leads to a plot by the american government and CIA to hire the mafia to put a hit on a foreign leader, i wanna toss the book aside because of how fucking implausible ellroy is and then i realize that this did actually happen and JFK did put a hit on Castro and JFK was banging starlets and whores and secretaries and that the whole thing, history and governments and agencies and outfits and syndicates and the whole damn mess, it s really one big lumbering idiot, a big cock spewing messy loads of fear and anger and confusion all over the face of america, a sinister and hateful thing that we can never really truly decipher or understand and ellroy s world of castro and kikes and niggers and whores and rednecks and hughes and hoover and JFK and RFK and KKK and all the parts of, what homo hollywood gossip man lenny sands calls the life , are all toxic and diseased and i don t think it s changed that much

  3. says:

    Check out the prose Dig the style Raymond Carver looks verbose Hemingway looks weak and fey Dig the streamlined story 1500 pages of plot compacted into 576.Dig the violence The greed The manipulations, the conspiracies Check out the Outfit The Beard The Cadre Jimmy and the Klan The Hair and Little Brother all gunning towards history like a hophead mainlining a speedball Check out the geek posing at writing this review.

  4. says:

    The fates of three men, Ward Littell, Kemper Boyd, and Pete Bondurant, are forever entwined in the era of mobsters, Fidel Castro, and the Kennedys.Yeah, that s not much of a teaser but there s no quick way to sum this one up.American Tabloid takes key figures of the late 1950s and early 1960s and pisses all over them Ellroy is back to the trinity of sin structure that worked so well in The Big Nowhere and LA Confidential His three leads, Ward Littell, Kemper Boyd, and Pete Bondurant, rise and fall as they influence key historical events.Politics makes strange bedfellows and Kemper Boyd is in bed with most of them At various points of the book, he s linked with the FBI, CIA, the Kennedies, and probably other groups I can t remember at this moment He s a wheeling dealing son of a bitch He was easily the most compelling of the three leads Ward Littell started off as kind of a weakling and wound up being the biggest bad ass of the three He also lost the most before winding up on top Pete Bondurant struck me as the most pragmatic for most of the book and I m hoping he ll be back for the sequel.Ellroy doesn t pull any punches in this The clipped sentence structure is in full effect, so much so that it s a little overwhelming at times I still dug it He also isn t afraid to cast aside the myth of the Kennedys being great men JFK and RFK both come off as tools J Edgar Hoover is almost the Dudley Smith of the piece, a master strategist who never really takes the fall.It was great how Littell, Boyd, and Bondurant were interwoven into the sagas of Jimmy Hoffa, Howard Hughes, and the Kennedys, linking all of them together into a tapestry of lies, drugs, and death American Tabloid is just as bleak as the LA Quartet in its own way While Ellroy s Hollywood is a cesspool, his political world is even worse, a shit and vomit flecked abattoir where everyone is in bed with everyone else and no one can be trusted By the end, I didn t think any of the three leads would survive to the second book.American Tabloid was a dark and exhausting read By the time I was done, I felt like Kemper Boyd had done a number on me with brass knuckles 4.5 out of 5 stars.

  5. says:

    He used to pimp and pull shakedowns Now he rode shotgun to History Whoa, Ellroy s done it again another 5 star read So far, that s 5 out of 5 for me This time, he takes his talent for weaving complex plots and conspiracies from his 50 s Los Angeles setting and unleashes it nationwide in an epic re shaping of the country s turbulent history between 1958 and 1963 as we follow three men who play pivotal roles in the events that ultimately lead to that infamous day in Dallas, Texas on November 22, 1963.Just when I thought a conspiracy couldn t get any complex than L.A Confidential s, this book takes it to a whole new level But surprisingly, even though this is bigger in scope, I actually found it easier to follow along here than in Confidential I m not sure why that is, but maybe it has something to do with Ellroy s growth as a writer His courage was weakness pushed into grandiosity Along with the immense amount of historical detail, plot development, and supporting players, Ellroy is able to create three of his most fascinating protagonists who, through their individual fears, dreams, and covetousness, end up creating the history we know today Ward Littel is an FBI agent who dreams of taking down mobsters and has a fascination with crime buster Robert Kennedy and his cool cat buddy Kemper Boyd Ward is desperate to get rid of his reputation for being a punk bitch, and decides that he ll do anything to gain favor, discovering talents that provide him an opportunity he s never dreamed of His friend Kemper Boyd is obsessed with the Kennedy family and their high class status, and starts to juggle multiple secret allegiances with the FBI, the CIA, the KKK, Jack Kennedy, and the Mob in order to get to that same status Pete Bondurant is a shakedown artist and dope procurer for Howard Hughes He s getting tired of the extortion world and sees his job in jeopardy once Howard Hughes starts transforming into a Mormon vampire, so when Kemper and the CIA come calling, he sees a way out and a way to big money These three guys are intriguing and complicated Ellroy creations, and their arcs and journeys are what really gives the book its heart Boyd was now some triple or quadruple agent Boyd was a self proclaimed insomniac Boyd said rearranging lies kept him up nights Ellroy is constantly experimenting with form and language and it always works for me but might not work for other people I m not sure how he is able to pull this stuff off It seems like he s so entrenched in the eras that he portrays, and these stories in his head are so desperate to get out, that the words just spill out onto the page And what s produced is a piece of work that is his and his alone He is definitely one of a kind And as usual for Ellroy, there s enough material in this bad boy for three separate books You would think that something this huge would run away and get too large for the author, but once again, he is able to stick his landing in glorious form and bring it all to an awesome ending He really knows how to pull off a great conclusion and that s a big factor in my 5 star ratings Hughes kept Lenny on the payroll to write a private skank sheet The sheet would feature skank too skanky for public skank consumption The sheet would be read by two skank fiends only Dracula and J Edgar Hoover He is not interested in accuracy, but interested in how the people in power in our country are just as complicated and enigmatic as we are But while our complications only really have an effect on us or those close to us, their complications affect the whole country So watch who you vote for How much of Ellroy s fucked up epic is true I have no clue, and that s not what matters What matters is that we all know that it could happen in America and we wouldn t be all that surprised if it actually did happen And that notion is terrifying It s time to demythologize an era and build a new myth from the gutter to the stars It s time to embrace bad men and the price they paid to secretly define their time Here s to them

  6. says:

    Whoa This book is the literary equivalent of sticking your head out of a car window at 80mph.I don t hear this talk much any, but at one point folks were very interested in defining and or writing The Great American Novel I assert that this may be it Forget everything about grandma and her apple pie, with this book Ellroy grabs us by our collective red, white, and blue lapels and flings us out of the barn loft into a big warm pile of the real history of the United States As unpleasant as it might be to admit, this is a country founded on the backroom deal a Made in China tagged utopia with a pawn shop ticket still attached Long after all of us are gone and the US is remembered as only another morbidly interesting failed experiment in human history, events such as the Bay of Pigs and the assassination of JFK will be what everyone remembers this country for Too cynical Perhaps, but unless you are a serious student of history I ll bet that when the subject of Ancient Rome comes up the first thing that you think of has something to do with their late period descent into decadence.This book revolves around three characters Pete Bondurant, Kemper Boyd, and Ward Littell At the beginning of this story Boyd and Littell are FBI agents and Bondurant is operating on a paler shade of law and order These three men are like the Forrest Gumps of the Red Scare Mafia espionage world of the late 50 s early 60 s, as they are at least present for every big event that goes down during this time period and most likely had a hand in instigating it Their allegiances change many times over as they fall in and out of bed with the Kennedy family, the Chicago Mafia, and the Anti Castro movement They are allied with one another and working against one another in equal measure, sometimes engaging in both actions simultaneously Behind the scenes of it all J Edgar Hoover appears to be the shadowy puppet master who is allowing everything to happen.Is this sounding a little hinky one grand, interweaving narrative where some of the same people are constantly involved Kind of sounds like every conspiracy theory ever, doesn t it I thought the same at first, until remembering names such as Cheney and Rumsfeld that keep popping up again and again from Nixon all the way down to George W In the hands of a lesser writer this story could have gotten unbelievable very quickly, but Ellroy is not a lesser writer.Truth of the matter is that I loved all three of these characters Sure they are all sociopaths, but they were my sociopaths When Littell kept firing the shotgun over and over into the walls of Jules Schiffrin s home, I had to stop and catch my breath When Pete and Kemper have the Chicago Mafia after them, I was sincerely worried for their safety.It amazes me that Ellroy can stir such emotions for characters that are given so few background details outside of the action at hand Ellroy s clipped writing style, almost a hard boiled style filtered through minimalism, manages to cover so much ground Any other writer probably would have milked this material into three or four standalone novels Along with the straight narrative, certain chapters also consist of wiretap transcripts and magazine articles for the Lenny Sands penned gossip rag Hush Hush The Hush Hush articles had to have been a total blast for Ellroy to write Alliteration a go go.As I have already hinted, this book covers many factual events and includes many characters that were actual historical figures in that era The Kennedy family basically serves as the hinge that the whole story swings upon, but lots of other people show up such as Hoover, Sam Giancana, Howard Hughes, and Frank Sinatra although or less as a cameo No character in this book comes out smelling like roses either One has to believe that the heirs of these men would have been righteously pissed off when they got wind of how Ellroy had portrayed Grandpa Joe, etc Perhaps Knopf has a whole kennel of pit bull lawyers who smoothed everything over pre release, but it makes me love Ellroy just that much to know that he had the balls to write this book in the way that he did This is a brilliant book The mere thought of it makes me want to grab a beer and rye lunch and go put the brass knucks on a stupe One caveat There are a multitude of racial slurs throughout this novel No one is excluded, except maybe the honkies although maybe Howard Hughes called a couple of people Jive Turkey, but I might be thinking of something else I accepted this as authentic in that this was probably the way most American males spoke during this time period If exposure to such words causes you intense pain, you may want to keep that in mind.

  7. says:

    I began reading this book around mid December but given the chaotic nature of my life at the time, I found it nearly impossible to focus Seeing as Ellroy s American Tabloid is a novel that commands your attention, a wandering mind will do you no favors So when things settled down, I picked it back up, determined to dive back into the world of mid 20th century America and read all about The Kennedys, the FBI CIA, Jimmy Hoffa and the Communist Red Scare.With American Tabloid, Ellroy is uncompromising in his presentation of US history he lays it out, warts and all While I enjoy crime fiction from this era, I m not a connoisseur when it comes to the actual events that occurred surrounding JFK and his rise to power, so there were many instances when I had to seek out the answer to the question, did this really happen Man, saying that there s a lot going on here would be an understatement However, Ellroy attempts to boil the story down to three central characters power driven Kemper Boyd, a retired FBI agent tasked by director Hoover to infiltrate Robert and Jack Kennedy s committee Ward Littell, an FBI agent with an intense hatred for organized crime and Pete Bondurant, a retired cop working as a cleaner of sorts for the reclusive Howard Hughes.There s little rest for Ellroy s cast when they re all playing the long con through major events in the early 1960s keeping track of their movements was like watching one of those street grifters with the ball cup shuffle I found myself continuously re reading chunks of texts and whole chapters as I tried to stay in the loop I m not sure if anyone else has had this issue but at times it became downright exhausting Not a fun novel to read at night before bed when you re falling asleep.I m big on Ellroy and his jackhammer style prose, a method that inspired another author I enjoy in Don Winslow Sometimes you want to read a story that hits you like a machine gun, you know Short, punchy sentences that accentuate both the blunt violence as well as the hardness of his characters.Despite often being listed as his defining work, in my opinion American Tabloid falls just short of my favorite of his novels, The Black Dahlia That being said, I ll keep exploring Ellroy s back catalogue I can t wait to dig further into the underbelly of American history It s worth noting that due to Kemper sharing the same name as one of the three main characters as well as always sporting an Archer inspired avatar, I had trouble picturing Kemper Boyd as anyone other than the super spy himself.

  8. says:

    Questo romanzo si pu dire che segni un confine netto nella mia vita di lettore, la mia linea d ombra.Ricordo che lo comprai il giorno stesso dell uscita, o quello dopo, avevo letto qualche anticipazione sui quotidiani forse conservo ancora un ritaglio della Stampa da qualche parte e quando lo presi dall espositore all ingresso di una minuscola libreria oggi chiusa, il libraio, caro amico, mi guard annuendo con intima soddisfazione.Conoscevo Ellroy solo di nome all epoca, ma il suo progetto sotterraneo, di cui American Tabloid costituiva il primo tassello, mi sembrava portentoso.Lo lessi, poi lo rilessi, poi rilessi ancora qualche brano, quelli con JFK in particolare.Rimasi folgorato.Amavo i classici a quei tempi, e la fantascienza, poco altro.Con American Tabloid la mia percezione di lettore radicalmente mutata, si come amplificata.C stato un prima e c un poi.La mia linea d ombra.

  9. says:

    This is a LONG read, loaded with umpteen characters and written in choppy, gumshoe detective language The basic run down this is a chronologically presented story of three characters who played a role in the eventual assassination of JFK.My curiosity about Jimmy Hoffa, Howard Hughes, J Edgar Hoover, the Mafia, the Cubans, and the government are what kept me reading, but the language and content was very much a throwback read offensive Here were lots of babes and their booberage, very violent murders, sex acts staged and secretly taped, derogatory terms for any minority you can think of, and JFK acting like a complete sex addict Jimmy Hoffa, we learned, liked to slaughter sharks with a machine gun, reserving a baseball bat with spikes for close up work Howard Hughes was an incredible dope fiend who hated the Kennedys Old Joe Kennedy, the former bootlegger, was involved in highly illegal dealings which ripped off working class families but made him a bundle all while his sons were in DC.The brick hard tone and chipped little sentences are exactly in the style of writing in old tabloid newspapers in the late 50s and early 60s the book feels authentic, but I confess to feeling frustrated during the middle section of this big thing.If you like JFK conspiracy tales and can handle this very old fashioned noir language AND the book s length, go for it Ellroy also wrote The Black Dahlia and LA Confidential, o if you enjoyed the movie adaptations, this too might be up your alley My enjoyment was a 3.5 but will bump to 4 just for the style.

  10. says:

    America was never innocent We popped our cherry on the boat over and looked back with no regrets You can t ascribe our fall from grace to any single event or set of circumstances You can t lose what you lacked at conception.Conspiracy theorists have been among us since the inception of mankind Whenever an event of a particular scale and importance happens they will be there, in the background, quietly well, not always disputing the official story and proposing alternative explanations Conspiracists cover all sorts of events from school grades the tests were rigged , football games they were rigged , business deals rigged to matters of great importance, like the presidential elections guess what The largel the scale of event, the bigger the conspiracy behind it global warming is a good example Michael Crichton wrote a book focused exactly on this it s titled State of Fear I ll have to read it one day Perhaps the most interesting and often outlandish conspiracy theories arise in events involving violence and murder Assasinations provide good fodder murders of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, and of course President Kennedy all gave life bad pun to conspiracies which were supposed to surround them The US government seems to always be at least a partial perpetrator of American conspiracies a prime example are the 9 11 attacks on America There are people who believe that the buildings have been brought down by a controlled demolition, but these are the calm ones The real conspiracists dispute even the existence of hijacked planes they believe that missiles hit the towers, and they only looked like the planes because of CGI Passengers and crew of the planes said to be hijacked have been either killed by the government or live calm, brainwashed lives on some small Carribean island.These theories originate in our need to seek patterns and explanations of things Sometimes it s hard for us to accept that in life things happen which are completely random, driven by chance This also gives plenty of opportunity for the employment of our creative imagination Elaborate schemes and structures are made up to fit the seemingly obvious conclusion how could a few men wield the knife right into the heart of America without powerful help from the inside How can a single, unremarkable man kill the most powerful man on earth Surely he was just a puppet, whose strings were pulled by the group who selected him, put him in the proper place and gave him the gun American Tabloid is concerned with the JFK assasination, and allows James Ellory to invent conspiracy upon conspiracy, basing on his fascination with the American underworld Set all over the USA and some other areas in the late 50 s and early 60 s, Ellroy s novel draws real historical characters The Kennedy brothers, J Edgar Hoover, Jimy Hoffa, Jack Ruby among others and mixes them with Ellroy s fictional creations all breathe and speak and feel and are alive, and if we did not know otherwise it would be difficult to tell that there was no Pete Bondurant, Ward Littel or Kemper Boyd Ellroy is completely unsentimental towards the real and imagined characters, and knows the period he s writing about, henceforth they come at the reader with all their dirt, racism, swindling and corruption which altogether is all too human As the novel progreses it becomes difficult to separate Ellroy s fiction from historical fact, which perhaps is the greatest compliment one can give to a novel which aims at succeeding in exactly that given the fact that we never will be allowed such an intimate look at lives of the rich and the deadly, these novels are all we ve got And this one is particularly good in it Ellroy packs punches than Mike Tyson in his best bout His writing is what carries it it s gritty and taut, stripped of all excessive fat, unnecesary adjectives and adverbs all ripped of, leaving only the bare bone to offend you with its wrong whiteness Ellroy s prose is a tribute to all the hardboiled classics of the past and it might take some using to, but once you do the novels pulls you right in and won t let go Another, less skilled writer might have taken twice as many pages Ellroy leaves Hemingway coughing in the dust What he has done in American Tabloid has almost a hypnotic quality to itself with all its violence you almost want to look away but it s simply too compelling and gripping To say would spoil it go and try it Chances are you ll like it just as much as I did.This if the first novel in a sequence of three works I hesitate to call it a trilogy concerned with the American underworld the second one is called The Cold Six Thousand and the last one is Blood s a Rover You bet that I ll be reading them, though I think I need a bit of a rest first, and perhaps a detox, too.

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American Tabloid download American Tabloid, read online American Tabloid, kindle ebook American Tabloid, American Tabloid 60dd7fd90d54 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, DCWhere The CIA, The Mob, J Edgar Hoover, Howard Hughes, Jimmy Hoffa, Cuban Political Exiles, And Various Loose Cannons Conspire In A Covert AnarchyWhere The Right Drugs, The Right Amount Of Cash, The Right Murder, Buys A Moment Of A Man S LoyaltyWhere Three Renegade Law Enforcement Officers A Former LA Cop And Two FBI Agents Are Shaping Events With The Virulence Of Their Greed And Hatred, Riding Full Blast Shotgun Into HistoryJames 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 OpenChosen By Time Magazine As One Of The Ten Best Books Of The Year Hard Bitten Ingenious Ellroy Segues Into Political Intrigue Without Missing A Beat The New York Times Vastly Entertaining Los Angeles Times One Hellishly Exciting Ride Detroit Free Press A Supremely Controlled Work Of Art The New York Times Book Review