American Tabloid

American Tabloid
James Ellroy

“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.