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The Cold Six Thousand | [James Ellroy]

The Cold Six Thousand

In The Cold Six Thousand, James Ellroy's most ambitious and explosive novel yet, he puts the whole of the 1960s under his blistering lens. The result is a work of fierce, epic fiction, a speedball through our most tumultuous time.
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Publisher's Summary

James Ellroy's high-velocity, best selling novels have redefined noir for our age, propelling us within inches of the dark realities of America's recent history. Now, in The Cold Six Thousand - his most ambitious and explosive novel yet - he puts the whole of the 1960s under his blistering lens. The result is a work of fierce, epic fiction, a speedball through our most tumultuous time.

Wayne Tedrow Jr., a young Vegas cop, arrives with a loathsome job to do. He's got $6,000 in cash and no idea that he is about to plunge into the cover-up conspiracy already brewing around Kennedy's assassination, no idea that this will mark the beginning of a hellish five-year ride through the private underbelly of public policy.

Ellroy's furiously paced narrative tracks Tedrow's ride: Dallas back to Vegas, with the Mob and Howard Hughes, south with the Klan and J. Edgar Hoover, shipping out to Vietnam and returning home, the bearer of white powder, plotting new death as 1968 approaches...

Tedrow stands witness - as the icons of an iconic era mingle with cops, killers, hoods, and provocateurs. His story is ground zero in Ellroy's stunning vision: historical confluence as American Nightmare.

©2001 James Ellroy; (P)2001 Random House, Inc. Random House AudioBooks, A Division of Random House, Inc.

What Members Say

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  •  
    Snoodely Santa Barbara, CA United States 07-24-09
    Snoodely Santa Barbara, CA United States 07-24-09 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Plausible history"

    You should not listen to this book if you are looking for entertainment and diversion. "The Cold Six Thousand" deals with greed, corruption, perversion, cruelty, and violence. However, if you have any interest in what was really going on in the 1960's -- how the J.F.K. assassination, the M.L.K. assassination, the Bobby Kennedy assassination, heroin, the Vietnam war, the Mafia, Las Vegas, and Cuba all related to one another -- then I highly recommend this book to you. Yes, James Ellroy definitely has his own unique style of writing -- kind of a cross between Hemmingway and Joyce -- with much profanity and slang, but "The Cold Six Thousand" vibrates with gritty reality, and sounds a whole lot more plausible than the Warren Commission report. I think college American history courses should assign this book as required reading.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brendon Atlanta, GA, USA 09-01-08
    Brendon Atlanta, GA, USA 09-01-08
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    "Two-Fisted Adaptation of an Awesome Novel"

    I have previously read (& love!) "American Tabloid" and "The Cold Six Thousand." I knew I wanted to see what the audiobook had to offer & am glad I did! The reader really does a good job of characterizing the numerous figures in the book consistently & convincingly. He does J.Edgar Hoover & Dwight Holly particularly well. The book is a little overwhelming at first, with the angry writing style and mutitudes of characters, but eventually you get the hang of this "world" & everything fits together after the first hour or so. Too bad the first book in the series ("Tabloid") wasn't made into an audiobook!

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul Oakland, CA, USA 04-17-05
    Paul Oakland, CA, USA 04-17-05
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    "An Achievement That Won't Insult Your Intelligence"

    At first I thought I wouldn't be able to listen to this because of Ellroy's sentence style. I counted something like 15 sentences in a row that began with the word WAYNE. At first the style seemed like a parody but later I realized how brilliant it was. The style captures the blunt and brutal character of the key individuals portrayed and of the roll bigotry and hatred played in 1960's USA. If you listen to this you must pay attention. Ellroy's unique style, the complexity of the story, and the fact that this author (refreshingly) doesn't insult his reader's intelligence all demand that you think as you listen. This is an amazing story told poetically. You might back up the audio to catch an important sentence you missed, (Ellroy claims there is not an unnecessary or wasted word in the book. Actually I think I caught one somewhere around the 18th hour) but chances are better that you'll back to listen again to his beautifully crafted writing. If you listen to the sample and are put off by the style you may be doing yourself a disservice. In short time you'll adjust to the style, and before long you'll be addicted to it.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christopher Boulder, CO, United States 03-22-12
    Christopher Boulder, CO, United States 03-22-12 Member Since 2010

    I am a co-author of The Cluetrain Manifesto, and author of Gonzo Marketing: Winning Through Worst Practices, and The Bombast Transcripts.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "a rip-snortin' conspiracy bunker-buster"

    ...and one of the best books on Audible. Brilliantly narrated -- and this is a difficult book to get all brilliant with, trust me -- The Cold Six Thousand will rearrange your sense of second-half 20th century American history. James Ellroy writes like an avenging angel on meth. And in this case, that's a good thing. Can't recommend this one highly enough.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ray Fredericksburg, VA, USA 10-04-06
    Ray Fredericksburg, VA, USA 10-04-06 Member Since 2005
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    "Excellent book...but beware"

    I have loved Ellroy's books in the past, and his book the Black Dahlia was packed with narrative that let you "get into the mind" of the characters. The first fifteen minutes of this book completely put me off, I almost just gave up. The quick-fire, rapid shoot sentences drove me crazy--I had a tough time trying to keep up with it and the multiple characters. BUT, then it drew me in. I couldn't NOT WAIT to get in the car and commute to work and home. I loved how Elloy weaved the story into the troublesome events of the 1960s--the JFK assassination, FBI/Hoover chicanery, the Civil Rights movements, MLK, and RFK. Underneath all of this is the backdrop of the mob and the Vietnam War. This is a GREAT LISTEN, but you must be ready to start absorbing from the get-go.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Maia Roslindale, MA, USA 11-14-06
    Maia Roslindale, MA, USA 11-14-06 Member Since 2005
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    "took some time"

    It was painful getting to know the authors style, and i have to tell you I nearly turned it off in the first 5 chapters. The use of the three word sentences is annoying at first, but once I got into it, I could not turn it off. Really makes me look at historical events with a much more critical eye now.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joseph Manvel, TX, USA 10-04-04
    Joseph Manvel, TX, USA 10-04-04 Member Since 2003
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    "Ellroy Delivers another masterpiece"

    The followup to the American Tabloid begins just one hour after the Tabloid finishes. I was overwhelmed not just by the words but also by the ideas that Ellroy can spin in my head. It is so difficult to understand the difference between fact and fiction. Each one of us must make the decision at every turn.
    I felt overwhelmed and I had to read it again. It was just as good the second time, maybe better

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Laure Amesbury, MA, USA 01-17-04
    Laure Amesbury, MA, USA 01-17-04 Member Since 2003
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    "Amazing!!!!"


    I listened to this book about a year ago. The writing style makes this a challange to listen to, but once I got my bearings, I absolutely loved it. It's one of the few books I have listened to more than once (three times!) As the other review says, listen to the sample, but bear in mind that your mind adapts to the style after a bit. And it's addicting. The reader molds to the writing style perfectly -- he is awesome. I loved this book....

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Austin Los Angeles, CA, USA 02-22-03
    Austin Los Angeles, CA, USA 02-22-03 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Ellroy's writing style is fantastic"

    I listened to this a few months ago and am still thinking about it. Gritty, harsh, and dark, but riveting...You'll either love or hate his writing style, so listen to the sample.

    5 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alex Austin, TX, United States 02-04-09
    Alex Austin, TX, United States 02-04-09 Member Since 2005
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    "Perfect narration; great for long drives"

    I hope that Audible employes the same narrator of the "Cold Six Thousand" to also record Ellroy's "American Tabloid." The narrator's phrasings and inflections are a perfect match for Ellroy's text. Example: the dialog between J Edgar Hoover and Littell. Given all that's happened in American politics and business the last 10 years, it is worth rereading and let fiction and fact swirl about in the old subconscious. This unabridged reading of "Cold Six Thousand" will keep you wide away during those 12 hour drives between Texas and California.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
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