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James Ellroy - Perfidia out September 2014


Boozy The Clown
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It's 1968. Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther King are dead. The Mob, Howard Hughes and J Edgar Hoover are in a struggle for America's soul, drawing into their murderous conspiracies the dammed and the soon-to-be damned. Wayne Tedrow Jr.: parricide, assassin, dope cooker, mouthpiece for all sides, loyal to none. His journey will take him away from the darkness and into an even greater darkness. Dwight Holly: Hoover's enforcer and hellish conspirator in terrible crimes. As Hoover's power wanes his destiny lurches towards Richard Nixon and self-annihilation. Don Crutchfield: is a kid, a nobody, a wheelman and a private detective who stumbles upon an ungodly conspiracy from which he and the country may never recover. All three men are drawn to women on the opposite side of the political and moral spectrum; all are compromised and ripe for destruction. Only one of them will survive. The final part of James Ellroy's "Underworld USA" trilogy is set during the social and political upheaval of 1968-72. "Blood's a Rover" is an incandescent fusion of fact and fiction and is James Ellroy's greatest masterpiece.

Published

05/11/2009

Publisher

Century

ISBN

9780712648158

I've been waiting roughly 7 and a half years for this book. He says it's his masterpiece. Event of the year. Forget MW2, Forget Halo Reach, Forget Batman 3. This is bigger than all of them combined.

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I've been waiting roughly 7 and a half years for this book. He says it's his masterpiece. Event of the year. Forget MW2, Forget Halo Reach, Forget Batman 3. This is bigger than all of them combined.

No question. This is the cultural event of the year for me. Hard to believe it's nearly 8 years since 6000. Can't wait.

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I got caught up in hype today and went to a talk/signing he was doing to promote this in Glasgow this evening. He was also introducing a screening of LA Confidential afterwards which would've been great to see again, but sadly I couldn't stay long enough. He's doing something similar in Belfast on Saturday if anyone is interested, it's quite the experience to hear him read his own work.

Starting American Tabloid again tonight then, I read this years ago but remember so little of it I need to go in fresh and I've never touched The Cold Six Thousand. That's a lot of motherfucking reading.

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American Tabloid is one of the best things I've ever read, but I stalled on 6000 for a number of reasons - mainly because for a long time other stuff just... got in the way of reading books. I picked up another copy of that along with Blood's A Rover, so yeah, I've got a bit of reading to do myself.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 2 months later...

He was really interesting on DID I thought.

It piqued my interest to read some of his stuff. Now I never read crime fiction, with the exception of having read everything by Raymond Chandler, am I likely to like this Ellroy cat?

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Yep, he’s incredible. I’d also suggest Black Dahlia as the best place to start (hopefully you won’t have seen the dreadful film). I found the first 100 pages a bit hard to get into but once I got a handle on his style I blitzed through it in 2 or 3 sessions. Then hoovered up the rest of the LA Quartet in about a fortnight.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Being too tight to shell out for the HB, I've made the wife get it from the library for me. Hoping to spend a good few hours with it at the weekend.

How have you found the book so far Boozy?

Well I decided to re read the first 2 before diving in and that took me the best part of two months over December/January. I've started the new one but haven't been as grabbed by it as the other two, probably due to the lack of Big Pete. It's certainly delivered so far in terms or random violence and J Edgar's vitriol.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Right so - I want to quiz you about one bit, I'm not sure I "got". Let me know when you're done.

I really liked this. It's a lot tighter than the Cold Six Thousand and, I think tells a better story, round the robbery from the start. It loses the epic sweep of American History the first two had along the way and it definitely suffers for not having Big Pete, but I liked Scotty Bennett almost as much.

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Right.

I just finished a read through of American Tabloid , Cold 6000 and Blood is a Rover. (so that's my 3rd read of AT and second of cold 6000).

Short review - the law of diminishing returns is in effect. Blood meanders, it's too long, and the Cuba/Tiger squad stuff is pretty much irrelevant. 6000 was much better on a second read through though.

Dwight & Scotty are not a patch on Le Grande Pierre and the holly/wayne dynamic has nothing on the Kemper/Ward relationship.

It's still pretty good, but I can't help feeling a bit disappointed, the ending is a bit flat, muted and unsatisfying.

So that's the past month or so of reading, what next?

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I'm just starting The Cold Six Thousand. For some reason I couldn't get through it the first time I tried, which was a few years ago now.

Also got the Dudley Smith trilogy on my bookshelf, looking suggestively at me. The only one of those I've read is LA Confidential.

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