Wednesday, April 25, 2001

The Cold Six Thousand

By way of a PSA: Chris Barsanti review of the new Ellroy, The Cold Six Thousand, at In These Times. This one picks up where the meaty, beaty, big and bouncy American Tabloid left off; therefore, it's probably not going to make a good introduction to Ellroy, but sounds like a promising re-entry point.
The speed is lightning-quick; there's hardly a paragraph that's more than two sentences long. Every page is packed with information; blink and you've missed about 40 major plot points. There are times when it reads more like a police rap sheet than a novel ... The book quickly becomes almost an alternate history of the Vietnam War era, with the usual run-through of civil rights battles and war protests taking a backseat to explications of the country's criminal underbelly ... When Ellroy lets himself take a breath, he does come out with a nice line or two. Describing a small Southern town: "A main drag. Feed stores. Segregated shade. Whites on the sidewalk/Negroes in the street." The jazzy bop-bop-bop of the writing is infectious and carries the reader fast through the most ludicrous and comic-book-like events ...

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