“I love this fucking life of ours,” one aging gangsters says to another in American Tabloid. “It is never fucking boring.” Indeed it is not. Ellroy’s “telegraphic style” – foregrounding action, dialogue, and immediate perceptions – pounds out an alternative American mythology with “reckless verisimilitude” – one populated by tough guys, hot babes, and an A-list of the rich and powerful (names like Howard Hughes, J. Edgar Hoover, Jimmy Hoffa, and the Kennedys). No more history than a tabloid is news, it does noir in Technicolor and presents an American chronicle with all the dull stuff left out. A comic book that doesn’t attempt depth of character, or indeed depth of any kind, it nevertheless shows what can still be done with that old warhorse the historical novel.