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Summary

It's 1958. America is about to emerge into a bright new age - an age that will last until the 1,000 days of John F. Kennedy’s presidency.

Three men move beneath the glossy surface of power, men allied to the makers and shakers of the era.

Peter Bondurant, Howard Hughes’ right-hand man, Jimmy Hoffa’s hit man. Kemper Boyd, employed by J. Edgar Hoover to infiltrate the Kennedy clan. Ward Littell, a man seeking redemption in Bobby Kennedy’s drive against organised crime.

The festering discontent of the age that burns brightly in these men’s hearts will go into supernova as the Bay of Pigs ends in calamity, the mob clamours for payback, and 1,000 days end in brutal quietus in 1963.

©1995 James Ellroy (P)2015 Isis Publishing Ltd

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Histrionics

Ellroy delivers machine gun prose as his narrative has you switching your allegiance from one lowlife to the next with a cast packed with enough historical facts and figures to almost make you believe that you've uncovered a secret layer to perhaps the most influential period in modern American history. Goodfellas meets LA Confidential meets The West Wing. Epic Skank.

6 people found this helpful

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Brilliantly narrated hard-boiled fiction

A tale of bad men and dishonest deeds against a well-known historical backdrop. Some “celebrities” *were* harmed by the writing of this novel ;-) (or at least their legacy was!).

I wasn’t at all sure about the narrator at first, funnily enough, but his ability to perform all of the accents and somehow give the Kennedy brothers the same accent but different voices quickly had me won over. He suits the laconic style of Ellroy particularly well.

3 people found this helpful

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Terrible performance

Don't attempt a woman's voice if your only go-to is sounding like a petulant child. Urgh. Fantastic book, partly ruined by the narration; will try Chris Lane's version instead.

1 person found this helpful

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Amazing

Noir Chandler on speed. Often had no idea what was happening but . . . pace and style more than compensate and I will certainly listen to it again. I do not listen to books a second time.
My only query is, how did Elroy get away with this? His portrayal of real people seems somewhat libelous!

1 person found this helpful

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Sheer brilliance

James Ellroy's writing is unique in its character and I just love it. The tale he tells in this trilogy is perhaps more fascinating to someone of my age who remembers the events covered and the personalities involved, however, anyone could be swept along with the pace and excitement of these books. For me though one person makes this audiobook a superb listen and that is the awesome Jeff Harding as narrator. He makes any book come alive for me and my wife and his ability to keep one interested through a very long book is sheer genius. We have listened to just about every Jeff Harding book on Audible that is over 10 hours long and eagerly await every new one. We have also tried to contact him to let him know just what pleasure he has brought us - but to no avail - so Jeff I hope you read reviews. I am now about to start on the third book in this trilogy and would recommend this series to everyone. It is gritty in places and perhaps a bit too graphic for some - but this is REAL. Full marks to author and narrator - thank you both.

3 people found this helpful

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An epic tale and incredible vocal performance

Jeff Harding did an incredible job narrating this book, his range was fantastic and really helped to bring life to the characters.

The story itself is a great, the characters are strong and their journeys are interweaved well with the supporting cast of famous names.

It is worryingly believable, I know little about the JFK's rise and fall from power to appreciate how he was seen at the time, but this telling speaks of a time that would be inconceivable today. Hopefully...

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Superbly dark

Not sure how this got published but I’m glad it did. I’ve done 4 elleoy books in a row now so going to take a break for a while. It gets a bit intense!

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Audio book excellence

Excellent thriller. Not for the squeamish or culturally sensitive. The audio rendition is first class & I found it addictive. The character voices are suited to the people involved, all done by one man. Hoover is by far the most apt, slimy, polite & frightening.
It’s best to remember this is fiction set against real people & real events. Don’t let subject bias spoil the experience.

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The Novel’s very good but the Narration! It’s Absolutely Brilliant

I read this because at Hay Winter 2020 Stig Abel, whom I admire, recommended it. I am not disappointed. If you’ve enjoyed Marlon James’ a History of Seven Killings try this: - Complex, slippery, sweaty, with a million characters, and rapid-fire lingos; political, criminal, violent; ‘Historic’. The novel is very good, then. But if you get the Audible version prepare for something better. The narration is off the scale. JeffHarding deserves an Oscar. He brings to life mad whackos, humble switchboard operators, the President & his family, in every situation and accent without lifting for a nano-second. He’s really acted the whole book on his own. [round of applause].

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Wonderful historical noir

Brilliant, very dark tale about how the mob got rid of JFK.. Not for the feint hearted.

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  • jeff
  • 01-06-19

absolutely terrific.

plot, style, narrator just fantastic. couldn't stop listening. hoodlums, Cuba, Castro and Kennedy. a whole era in your ears!