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Blood's a Rover (Underworld USA #3)
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Blood's a Rover (Underworld USA #3)

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  3,827 Ratings  ·  352 Reviews
America's master of noir delivers his masterpiece, a rip-roaring, devilishly wild ride through the bloody end of the 1960's. It's dark baby, and hot hot hot.
Martin Luther King assassinated. Robert Kennedy assassinated. Los Angeles, 1968. Conspiracies theories are taking hold. On the horizon looms the Democratic Convention in Chicago and constant gun fire peppers south L.A
ebook, 656 pages
Published June 29th 2011 by Vintage (first published September 2009)
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Thomas My advice is: Do not start with this book. In my opinion, American Tabloid is brilliant; this novel is a slog. I strongly recommend reading American…moreMy advice is: Do not start with this book. In my opinion, American Tabloid is brilliant; this novel is a slog. I strongly recommend reading American Tabloid, and if you like it, reading The Cold Six Thousand. Skip this novel altogether unless you love both those books (as I did), and even then, maybe you'll hate this as much as I did.(less)
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“I paid a dear and savage price to live History.”

And that’s the message of James Ellroy's bloody and brilliant Underworld USA trilogy (American Tabloid, The Cold Six Thousand and Blood’s A Rover) summed up in one sentence. Here at the end, it’s all about remorse, radicals, revolution, rebellion, revenge and redemption. (To borrow some Ellroy-style alliteration.)

The book begins with a brief flashback to an armored car heist in 1964 that might have been planned by The Joker considering the body co
Aug 02, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
barreling down the 101 in a '63 impala, psychojazz squawking outta busted speakers, sucking hard at a bottle of beam, poppin' dexies every few miles, truckstop whore's got your cock in her mouth, spots and stars and sunbursts all over the sky, the road, the windshield, and yer mainlining speedballing ramrodding straight through american history -- "everything looks different" "then maybe it is" -- and this is it in all its nastiness and it just ain't ever gonna stop. beam dripping all down your ...more
Oct 04, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
"You will read with some reluctance and capitulate in the end. The following pages will force you to succumb. I am going to tell you everything.”
― James Ellroy, Blood's a Rover


This is how the 60s ends, this is how the 60s ends, not with a bang, but a peeper. James Ellroy's Underworld trilogy was fantastic, but this was my least favorite of the three books. Looking back, I think they all were amazing, but this one just dragged a bit too far and wasn't as tight or stylized as his other two. But t
Ellroy seems like he's running out of steam here. Story-wise and stylistically, this novel fits right in as the final book in the Underworld USA trilogy, where he documents his own version of the history of this country's turbulent '60's, with this book pulling us from the MLK and Bobbie Kennedy assassinations and into the early 70's with the Nixon years and the Black Power movement. But it's a far cry from the quality of his masterpiece American Tabloid, and surprisingly, I even liked it a
Oct 10, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 24, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: historical, crime
Ellroy closes out the Underworld USA Trilogy in style with a book that sees its characters moving from authority to revolution and from history's secrets to its margins.

(As always, I'll assume you've read the preceding books.)

Blood's a Rover continues the story of Wayne Tedrow, Jr., who, fresh from participating in the MLK assassination and orchestrating his father's murder, is struggling with guilt, burnout, and his own past--especially how it's reflected back at him by everyone he meets. He's
Duffy Pratt
Oct 24, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
Ellroy does redemption. It's not pleasant. There's a mantra that runs throughout the book: "Nobody dies." But this is Ellroy. So you can guess how well that works out.

In some ways, this review is pointless, at least as a guide to any potential reader. Let's face it: if you've read American Tabloid and The Cold Six Thousand, you already know whether you are going to read this one or not. If you haven't read either of those, then you owe it to yourself to give American Tabloid a shot, or maybe sta
Sep 02, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
There might be some spoilers. I will make sure that they pop up later in the review. Don't hit more if you don't want to see them.

The hump sucked up fear and hate wholesale. He was a stone shit magnet.

After 1600 plus pages in the past three weeks, slumming in the netherworld of Ellroy's vision of American history my brain has fried itself on staccato prose, excessive violence and a belief that we are all rotten to the core. I feel complicit. I want a sap. A few throw-down pieces. I want to walk
Scott Rhee
The final book in James Ellroy's Underworld U.S.A. trilogy, "Blood's A Rover", is an exciting, provocative examination of crooked cops and the conspiracies that have shaped this country.

Ellroy is probably one of my favorite writers ever, but I can't seem to read him one after another. I need long breaks between his books, they are so intense and disturbing. They are, however, a joy to read, as his language is a hodge-podge of cop-slang, pulp, and stream-of-consciousness.

His characters are fasc
John Hood
Oct 03, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hard Print

Three the Hard Way

James Ellroy Chats about Underworld USA

By John Hood

Dig. Mau Mau militants knocking off ghetto liquor stores. An unhinged J. Edgar Hoover heaving heavy over Archie Bell & the Drells. An FBI cut-out cutting everybody else outta the rad action. A holed-up Howard Hughes buying up Vegas and scarfing down nuclear-strength narco-cocktails. MLK shot dead. RFK ditto. Sirhan Sirhan and James Earl Ray on ice and spitting conspiracy.

Nov 14, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Fairly disappointing Ellroy. Still an exhilirating ride, but the pay-off was very unsatisfying. This is the conclusion to his American Tabloid trilogy. The first part was based around the assassination of JFK, and the second around those of Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther King. Ellroy, justifiably, decided not to cover the Watergate scandal in the third volume, but that left no comparable historic events to anchor this book, making it feel a far less significant work. This sadly drags down the t ...more
Jun 19, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ellroy, you magnificent bastard! The final piece of the Underground U.S.A. trilogy is also the largest, longest, most convoluted, bloodiest, most intricate, fast-paced, and conspiratorial.

Wayne Tedrow and Dwight Holly are back as main players, as are "Gay" Edgar Hoover, Howard "Dracula" Hughes in his decadent decline, Richard Nixon in his ascent to power, assorted Mob figures, American celebrities major and minor, sundry Communist revolutionaries, banana republic dictators, Haitian voodoo kings
Oct 14, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
So I've finished Blood's A Rover and I am happy to say that my initial enthusiasm carried throughout the entire read. I was so sad to see it finish, which is rare for a crime novel. While I tend to think the best crime novels are the equal of the best litfic, there are those that disagree. Genre snobs should consider the book a literary work and note that while its story line is like that of a thriller, the depth of character, the singular use of language and syntax and the emotional depth of th ...more
Ellroy, James. BLOOD’S A ROVER. (2009). **. I’m a big fan of Ellroy, or at least I used to be. This novel, the third in his latest trilogy began with “American Tabloid,” and was followed by “The Cold Six Thousand.” It is a relatively stand-alone book, though some of the characters from the previous two show up again. It is written in his familiar – of late – staccato form, much like an old Walter Winchell broadcast. In fact, reading the book is like sitting through a six-hour Winchell marathon t ...more
Aug 26, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This trilogy seriously goes downhill after the excellent "American Tabloid." Not only does the writing style become increasingly more inscrutable (especially in the second book, "The Cold Six Thousand") but the characters become less well-defined and difficult to care about, and the historical stakes they're dealing with get far lower.

Whereas the first book deals largely with the JFK assassination and the lead-up to it (feeding into conspiracy theories and making the reader really think about w
aPriL does feral sometimes
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James Ellroy's literary Underworld USA Trilogy is worthy of reading, especially the first book, 'American Tabloid'. However, the next two novels I did not admire as much. 'Blood's a Rover' is the last one and I was glad of that. In my opinion, the taut-tough-terse construction which makes 'American Tabloid' a classic of American literature is missing from the next two books, taking the sense of very interesting fraught and anxious criminal depravity away with its disappearance. Ins
Aug 05, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This series really does fall victim to the law of diminished returns. I’ve already noted how ‘The Cold Six Thousand’ is not as good as ‘American Tabloid’, but ‘Blood’s A Rover’ is a considerable dip from all that went before.

It was never going to be easy. ‘American Tabloid’ focused on the assassination of JFK, while ‘The Cold Six Thousand’ built up to the deaths of RFK and Martin Luther King. And although the years after that were tumultuous and eventful ones in America’s history, there is no bi
Evan Wright
Jun 24, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am reading the advance copy. I have devoured all of Ellroy's work, have heard him read and love the manic rhythm of his language. I totally believe when Ellroy is at his best, his work transcends genre, and he is writing Great American Novels.

Blood's a Rover concludes the trilogy that began with American Tabloid, one of his best works and an amazing alternate history of America. I have been waiting for the final installment for a decade. Two hundred pages in, Rover does not disappoint. But I
Oct 04, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The latest from James Ellroy finds his characters not influencing national events like they did in American Tabloid or being caught up in them like they were in The Cold Six Thousand. Instead, they’re trying to do what feels right to them while navigating their way through the war between black militants and the FBI, mobbed up casinos in the Caribbean and a fictional armored car heist.

The big twist this book takes away from other Ellroy novels is how empowered women are throughout the whole stor
Jun 22, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, crime
James Ellroy does one style and you know what you are going to get from the first page, sleazy characters, noble psychopaths, everybody is deeply deeply damaged and deeply deeply messed up. Oh and of course everything is driven by every paranoids favourite fantasies.

Sometimes when reading this book I felt that the author needed to give himself and us a bit of break. Maybe throw in a happy puppy or an accountant who does not work for the mob, likes his wife and never killed his dad with his bare
Aug 24, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow. Seriously. Wow.

If you've got 26 hours to blow, put on your seatbelt and grab this audiobook. It got me from Portland to Los Angeles and back, driving.

If I had read the book, I would have probably given it four stars. The structure and story feels familiar, some of the same schtick as his previous two books, with slightly less of the depth of character. But Craig Wasson's read is masterful. It really bolsters the argument of the Audiobook as its own medium.

Haitian voodoo, J. Edgar Hoover, bl
Maria Beltrami
FBI, Pantere nere e altre organizzazioni dell'orgoglio afroamericano, droga, intrighi internazionali, infiltrazioni, depistaggi, vodoo, mafia, JFK, MLK e altri omicidi politici, poi di nuovo droga e intrighi, figli dei fiori e attivisti comunisti, Haiti, Cuba, schiavitù, colpi di stato, oppressione, violenza, droga e ancora droga e pestaggi, poliziotti corrotti e poliziotti idealisti e doppiogiochisti, Hoover “la checca” e “dracula” Hughes, e attraverso tutto questo un ragazzo che perde la propr ...more
Dec 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Στα βιβλία του Ellroy δεν υπάρχει καλό και κακό, δεν υπάρχουν ήρωες και αντιήρωες, όλοι είναι τα πάντα.
Ό,τι περιμένει κανείς απ' τον Ellroy είναι εδώ. Βία, ναρκωτικά, αδιέξοδοι έρωτες, σε μία τριλογία βιβλίων που μπλέκει την σύγχρονη Αμερικανική Ιστορία με θεωρίες συνομωσίας και τον υπόκοσμο τόσο καλά που δεν διακρίνεις τα ιστορικά γεγονότα απ' την φαντασία.
Στις τελευταίες σελίδες ένιωθα μια έξαψη σαν να έχω πάρει κι εγώ αμφεταμίνες μαζί με τους ήρωες.

Η βαθμολογία είναι για την τριλογία συνολ
Listened to after reading Stephen King's review in Entertainment Weekly. Brilliant audio-book.
Jan 05, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
THE COLD SIX THOUSAND is an important and innovative historical novel; BLOOD'S A ROVER is a good thriller that continues the story from the previous volume of some of the characters' lives. The tone is ugly; the story is ugly; even the love is ugly. The characters are mainly violent monsters and freaks who fit the bill for the lurid stuff that thriller/noir fans crave.

The Cold Six Thousand is important because it tells the secret history of three major American historical events: the JFK, RFK,
Jenny E.
Mycket droger, död och planer. Det är en värdig avslutning på trilogin. Men man bör läsa den med kortare mellanrum för att behålla sammanhanget mer.
Justin Mitchell
Jun 17, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 24, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well, JFK, MLK and RFK were all dead by the time this book began, so I was wondering where it would go. Who else could be offed? Thankfully, foreign casino insurgency and a gem heist gone to shit allow Ellroy the chance to work some of his favourite characters (requisite dirty cops, Sal Mineo and Sonny Liston, mysterious double agents, the Mob) into something which isn't quite as weighed down by history as the preceding books in the trilogy.

The gem heist - and where the gems lead - provides a n
Nate Jackson
May 30, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Maybe I missed Pierre Bondurant, I dunno but this was a tale of two books for me. Would've been 3 stars but the last 200+ pages saved it. A good novel just not as good as the first two in my eyes. 2nd half kicked ass.
Jun 26, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book defies description and critique, much like how Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep cannot be shelved in just one subsection of Science Fiction.

This was my first Ellroy novel, although I have seen a couple of the movies based on his books. I have tried to peek into a couple of his works before, and just didn't get it. This time I listened to the audio version -- yeah yeah, I had to have the book read to me -- but it allowed me to walk away with a lot more from it when a talented voice
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James Ellroy was born in Los Angeles in 1948. His L.A. Quartet novels—The Black Dahlia, The Big Nowhere, L.A. Confidential, and White Jazz—were international best sellers. His novel American Tabloid was Time magazine’s Best Book (fiction) of 1995; his memoir, My Dark Places, was a Time Best Book of the Year and a New York Times Notable Book for 1996. His novel The Cold Six Thousand was a New York ...more
More about James Ellroy...

Other Books in the Series

Underworld USA (3 books)
  • American Tabloid (Underworld USA, #1)
  • The Cold Six Thousand (Underworld USA #2)
“Our shared world is humanly unquantifiable and ideologically confused. Which one of them is capable of implementing the most recognizable harm or good? ” 9 likes
“Scripture-pure veracity and scandal-rag content. That conjunction gives it its sizzle. You carry the seed of belief within you already. You recall the time this narrative captures and sense conspiracy. I am here to tell you that it is all true and not at all what you think. You will read with some reluctance and capitulate in the end. The following pages will force you to succumb. I am going to tell you everything.” 1 likes
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