RARA-AVIS: Recent read: American Tabloid (Spoiler)

From: scatalogic@aol.com
Date: 05 Dec 2007

I know we've all read it (if you haven't you really should, like now) but I re-read this again recently and was AGAIN absolutely blown away by the pace, the multi-handed plot, the fantastic cast of characters, the Ellroy prose style, the clever use of document inserts and phone conversation transcripts, and the amazing research... (that is to say what I believe to be the amazing research - I don't know how Chicago mobsters speak or anything very much about Jimmy Hoffa's character but it all rings true).

I think Ellroy's genius lies largely in the creation of Pete Bondurant, Ward Littell and Kemper Boyd as his travellers through this very dirty American history, they work really beautifully as characters - I believe in them utterly when I am with them.

As I say, I know it's all old stuff but this is Ellroy's masterpiece: astounding and, I think I'm sort of beyond calling things "The Greatest" or "The Best Ever" now, but I think it's the best novel I've ever read... I guess I'll now have another go at The Cold Six Thousand, which I'm pretty sure I've only read once - in a feverish rush - and found it somehow less satisfying that Tabloid... Is there any news of the next and final Underworld USA novel? It would be cracking timing for me if it came out soonish - I assume Ellroy has to wait for a lot of people to die before he can wax fictional on their history, perhaps it's with the lawyers, but it's been six years since the Six Thousand... I'll try and find out myself in fact.

I spent a lot of the book thinking why has no-one filmed this, but that thought soon became, NOT FILMED but televised - gosh darnit (as we almost never say in the Forest of Dean), but the dialogue's already there and it's already set out in a perfect format already for a many episodes, big budget, American TV spectacular! Cliff hangers, multiple points of view, voice over, short scenes... Someone do it, please - as Tina Turner so rightly said, We Don't Need Another Heroes... I shall add it to my list (Fantomas, The Mask Of Dimitrious) of scripts I'd love to try and write... But, I am genuinely surprised that no-one has taken that route with it.


And, I have to ask those who will know better, is it true? I know that's an odd question about a work of fiction but I went on to read the journalistic The Dark Side Of The Kennedys and pretty much everything in there was in American Tabloid... Did the mob kill JFK? Or, rather, is that a theory that has currency and credibility in the States? Does anyone care any more?
  Anyhow, all the best Avians - nice to see that Jim came back.
  Join my Church: www.myspace.com/thereverendspadgedooley


[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]

This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 05 Dec 2007 EST