I took my son to his bass guitar lesson a couple of months ago. I was sitting there looking at the NY Times Sunday Book Review section, and I turned to page 12 for part 2 of the review of the new Primo Levi biography.
My eye drifted over to the left to an ad for the paperback release of James Ellroy's The Cold Six Thousand, and I saw a blurb:
- "A ripping read....This book is pure testosterone."
-The Plain Dealer
I reviewed that book last year for the PD.
Although I did, in fact, write the things they quoted, I also wrote a lot of other things that weren't all that flattering, leading me to believe that reviews of this book must not have been all that great. They also quote the NY Times and Village Voice, so I'm in good company. Pretty cool to be in the NYT for the second time in a week.
In case you're wondering, the book was readable, even compelling, but very disturbing and ultimately not very satisfying.
Here's my original Ellroy review from the Plain Dealer:
- The Cold Six Thousand
by James Ellroy
Alfred A Knopf, New York
James Ellroy's The Cold Six Thousand is a morality play and character study in the guise of a very hard-bitten crime/political conspiracy/espionage novel. Beneath the surface of a ripping read, Ellroy explores the natures of hate, revenge, loyalty, greed, deception, idealism and addiction. This audacious, extended (almost 700 pages) adrenaline rush traces the frenetic exploits of three fictional characters through the volcanic period bookended by the murders of John Kennedy in late '63 and Robert Kennedy in mid '68.
These people - youngish, troubled Las Vegas PD intelligence officer Wayne Tedrow Jr.; former FBI operative, and current attorney to both Howard Hughes and major Mob figures, Ward Littell; and hitman/drug and gun runner/anti-Castro idealist Pete Bondurant - are so busy scheming, traveling and committing flamboyant, operatic murders that they barely take a nap in four-and-a-half years. Among the locales the peripatetic characters scuttle back and forth between are Dallas, Las Vegas, Saigon, various towns along the Gulf Coast, Mexico City, Washington DC, Los Angeles, Houston, Chicago, Sparta Wisconsin, and an opium farm in Laos.