• Blood's a Rover

  • By: James Ellroy
  • Narrated by: Craig Wasson
  • Length: 26 hrs and 12 mins
  • 3.9 out of 5 stars (247 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Summer, 1968. Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy are dead. The assassination conspiracies have begun to unravel. A dirty-tricks squad is getting ready to deploy at the Democratic Convention in Chicago. Black militants are warring in southside L.A. The Feds are concocting draconian countermeasures. And fate has placed three men at the vortex of History.

Dwight Holly is J. Edgar Hoover's pet strong-arm goon, implementing Hoover's racist designs and obsessed with a leftist shadow figure named Joan Rosen Klein. Wayne Tedrow - ex-cop and heroin runner - is building a mob gambling mecca in the Dominican Republic and quickly becoming radicalized. Don Crutchfield is a window-peeping kid private-eye within tantalizing reach of right-wing assassins, left-wing revolutionaries and the powermongers of an incendiary era. Their lives collide in pursuit of the Red Goddess Joan - and each of them will pay "a dear and savage price to live History."

Political noir as only James Ellroy can write it - our recent past razed and fully reconstructed - Blood's A Rover is a novel of astonishing depth and scope, a massive tale of corruption and retribution, of ideals at war and the extremity of love. It is the largest and greatest work of fiction from an American master.

©2009 James Ellroy (P)2009 Random House

Critic Reviews

"Ellroy concludes the scorching trilogy begun with 1995's American Tabloid with a crushing bravura performance. As ever, his sentences are gems of concision.... It's impossible not to read Blood's A Rover with a sense of awe . . . It's a stunning and crazy book that could only have been written by the premier lunatic of American letters." (Publishers Weekly)
"Ellroy calls this third leg of 'The Underworld USA Trilogy' an historical romance, but it's also very much a gangster novel, a political novel, a tragic-comedy, a poignant love story - and remarkably entertaining no matter how you slice it.... You won't easily put it down." (Kirkus Reviews)

What listeners say about Blood's a Rover

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

An all-around masterpiece

LA Confidential and the Black Dahlia had long ago made me a James Ellroy movie fan. This book made me an Ellroy literature fan, and I have now gone back and listened to his other recorded books. The movies, as good as they are, can't do his writing justice. A unique, compelling voice meets an unbounded imagination. No wonder Michael Connelly finds ways to pay homage to Ellroy in his books. And Craig Wasson's reading is a spot-on, magnificent rendering of myriad characters. The entire production is a masterpiece.

9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Magnificent.

Magnificent. Brings Cold Six Thousand to a proper conclusion. Ellroy loves Beethoven, but this is Mahler. It is certainly not for everyone, but for those it is for... wow.

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Superb narration

Craig Wasson once again superbly narrates James Ellroy. A perfect match of narrator to writer's style. And Ellroy's trilogy -- American Tabloid, Cold Six Thousand, and now Bloods A Rover -- in its wonderfully twisted fiction, is probably the closest to the "truth" we are going to get of American political history 1950 to mid-'70s. Certainly resonates in the current environment.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Ellroy is a magician

The Cold Six Thousand was killer good. This is even better. The man doesn't just write, he's like a dog who bites you and then the whole world changes. You'll see.

15 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Hypnotic

An enthralling read-not for the queasy, or easily shocked. I've enjoyed all of Ellroy's period thrillers, and he's out done himself this time. The only criticism I have is that you'll find yourself rewinding to listen to certain parts again- there's so much information. Craig Wasson did an excellent job with the different accents and sexes.

4 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Just Perfect!

Where does Blood's a Rover rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

One of the best. Densely plotted and vast in scope. I love all of the author's work. Although the LA Quartet is always going to be my favorite, I think that this book is his masterpiece.

Having heard the author read before I can tell you that Craig Wasson captures Ellroy's style perfectly. And that's good because it is a long ride. Worth every second.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Not your mother or father's history.

"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 tied all together they create an amazing (and yes depressing) portrait of the corruption and conspiracies of the JFK (American Tabloid) assassination, Bobby Kennedy & MLK (The Cold Six Thousand) assassinations, and Hoover years. Filled with CIA agents, FBI agents, rogue cops, corrupt cops, black panthers, femme fatales, voodoo, Cuba, conspiracies, intrigue, etc., these books read like the back side of some warped people's history. This isn't your mother or father's history. This is the devil's diary, the assassin's journal, the sludge and the gout of history. It is the underbelly and the corruption. Sometimes you learn as much from the worm as the eagle. This book is the worm and it is brilliant. I'm sad it is over and sad this series will never again be a shock. Reading these books seems to be as close as you can come without ingesting methamphetamine of experiencing the chalk, crystal, and ice of those years of Camelot that weren't photographed in Life magazine. The prose and the dialogue seemed to drill into my brain as I read. It was relentless. I think about the prose and the narrative and I wonder about how any writer could emerge from birthing this series without scars, wounds, and serious therapy debt. I'm glad Ellroy paid the price that we might experience this work of art.

13 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Okay...

Not my favorite in the trilogy but okay. Awesome narration. Craig Wesson has found his calling. What was up with the random hating on Archie Bell and the Drells??? Who doesn't love "Tighten Up"?

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

great

loved it. could stand alone s it's own novel, but best read in the trilogy.

not as good as American Tabloid; far better than the Child Six Thousand.

easy to get lost in his slangy dialogue and large cast of characters, many who spear in other Ellroy novels.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Best Ever Narration, Not a Good Book

Both this book and Cold Six Thousand are self indulgent works by a brilliant author who has fallen in love with his subject and genre and cannot bring himself to deal with the fact that his interest in it has become a destructive addiction. Unlike LA Confidential and American Tabloid, there are zero redeeming elements to these stories about degenerates and losers that go nowhere .

Elroy is lucky that Craig Wasson narrated these books. Immensely talented guy who could provide an enjoyable experience for a listener by reading a phone book.

In my opinion Elroy is lost in his own mind and many of his artifices are more annoying than effective, such as repeating the same simple sentence subject thirty or more times in trying to bring interest to vapid pointless stories of destructive lives. Read some of the more critical comments in even the more admiring reviews, multiply by double digit number or more and you'll have a pretty good idea.

Much,much better stuff available here than these two books.