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The Cold Six Thousand (Underworld USA Trilogy #2)

Average Rating 4
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

Telegraph Style Results in Vague Images

The only other piece by James Ellroy that I¿ve read is ¿Dick Contino¿s Blues¿ as reprinted in Granta so my read of The Cold Six Thousand was not influenced by American Tabloid, much mentioned in other readers¿ reviews of The Cold 6K,or any of Ellroy¿s other novels. In...
The only other piece by James Ellroy that I¿ve read is ¿Dick Contino¿s Blues¿ as reprinted in Granta so my read of The Cold Six Thousand was not influenced by American Tabloid, much mentioned in other readers¿ reviews of The Cold 6K,or any of Ellroy¿s other novels. In this novel Ellroy tells a story of such corruption that the narrative structure, if it can be called such, is corrupt. Through the telegraphed, staccato style the author¿s narrative presence simply does not exist. The entire novel is contained in the moral wasteland of its characters. There is practically no description of place in this novel. The story relies entirely on what the characters are doing. This style becomes the instrument by which untoward references to racial and ethnic groups works without casting aspersions on the author. In this way the novel is hermetically sealed off from the rest of contemporary experience and allowed to progress under its own rules. The style of writing, that frequently makes Hemmingway look like Faulkner, comes off as sketchy at best and conveys few, if any, images. Ellroy¿s style at times carries the story along but other times becomes tiresome and bogs it down. There is also a pervasive lack or clarity in this story that results both from the style and because scenes and characters change so frequently. What narrative there is is often abstract and sometimes just comes off as words placed on the page to take up space until something more interesting comes along. Maybe this is why Ellroy tells some of the story in the form of document inserts and transcripts that are printed in a different font from the rest of the novel and which sometimes offer welcome relief from the morass. Ellroy¿s storytelling techniques create distance between the reader and the novel. I always felt that I was observing the story from the outside and never entering it or becoming a part of it. One reason for this is the near absolute lack of sympathy with the characters due to their reckless moral abandon. I don¿t know anyone like the principal characters in The Cold 6K. They are like Martin Scorsese¿s gangsters who seem comfortable in a world of sudden and brutal violence.

posted by Anonymous on August 2, 2002

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Most Helpful Critical Review

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

Disappointing

I am a big fan of thrillers--like John Sandford, Kellerman, Reginald Hill. But I just didn't like the tone of this book at all.

posted by 2063332 on October 16, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 4, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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