Back in February I provided a rave review, only about 15 years late, of the film L. A. Confidential. At the time I promised myself to buy some of James Ellroy's books and that I did a couple of weeks ago. His output, given the size and complexity of his tales, is outstanding but I chose American Tabloid which was originally published in 1995. I am enjoying it, sort of, but it is taking me a considerable time to read it. His prose style is brief and to the point but his plot, or, plots, are convoluted with central characters working for and double-crossing several employers simultaneously.
The story hangs off the hook provided by the Kennedy brothers and their appalling family in the late '50s as Jack geared up to run for the presidency and Bobby attempted to pursue Jimmy Hoffa, the gangster running the Teamsters Union. Castro has seized Cuba and the CIA and the FBI are sniffing hither and thither but just about every agent is really working their own agenda. So far, not a single sympathetic or even faintly likeable character has appeared. One begins to sympathise with the doleful picture of Howard Hughes spending his hours alone in various hotel suites drugged up to the eyeballs on heroin provided by one of Ellroy's 'heroes'!
So, not an easy read, in fact, a rather depressing one but I must resist a final opinion until I finish the book.