Customer Reviews for

The Cold Six Thousand (American Underworld 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

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

Disappointing

I've read several of Ellroy's books, including My Dark Places, the Black Dahlia, and my absolute favorite LA Confidential. The Cold Six Thousand was a huge disappointment. The overlapping and myriad story lines and the fragmented prose, which are Ellroy's trademark, sty...
I've read several of Ellroy's books, including My Dark Places, the Black Dahlia, and my absolute favorite LA Confidential. The Cold Six Thousand was a huge disappointment. The overlapping and myriad story lines and the fragmented prose, which are Ellroy's trademark, stymie rather than entertain. In previous books, the characters' violence, racism, and general soullessness were essential; in Six Thousand, the progressive escalation of killing, racist language, and heartlessness felt gratuitous, and formulaic.

posted by Anonymous on October 16, 2003

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2002

    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 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.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 31, 2013

    I love Ellroy and i love the time period that the american under

    I love Ellroy and i love the time period that the american underworld trilogy is set in! Definitely recommended. The only problem i had was that after awhile i really started getting sick of the 4 word sentences, but nonetheless a good read and although a work of fiction it is a great story for those who enjoy alternate theories on whatwent down in the 1960's 

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 17, 2001

    Awesome

    In his newest edition to his Underworld USA Trilogy (beginning with American Tabloid) James Ellroy takes the stakes even higher. While the first novel dealt primarily only with the events leading up to the Kennedy Assassination, The Cold Six Thousand takes the bull by the horns, spanning from the aftermath of the aforementioned assassination to Vietnam to Mob Rule in Las Vegas to Klan Activities in the south, to Martin Luther King, and finally the assassination of JFK's brother. The opening sentece pretty much sets the tone for the whole novel. It's brutal, it's violent, but it never fails to entertain.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 13, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 4, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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