Chickenhawk by Robert Mason

Helicopters in Vietnam.  I’ve seen many recommendations for this book and eventually picked it up at the bookshop at Glastonbury festival where it was featured on a list of books recommended by Nick Mason of Pink Floyd.  It’s an easy read (if anything which covers how people become desensitised to brutality can be) but, it just didn’t grab me the way I’d hoped.  I’m intrigued to read the follow up though having enjoyed the ‘cocaine cowboys’ tale.

L.A. Confidential – James Ellroy

Ripping.  Two cops, one privileged, educated, the other brawn and limited brain.  Really enjoyable but you have to get on board with Ellroy’s style, his voice.  A review of another of Elroy’s books, Perfidia, picks out that Ellroy cranks everything up and leaves it there.  This is cool but can be fatiguing.  Check out this interview with him to get a flavour of this style.

http://thequietus.com/articles/16855-james-ellroy-intervoew-perfidia-crime-la-quartet

Recommended and I’m now off to start Perfidia and re-watch the LA Confidential movie to see how they sliced up the book to make a comprehensible (and classifiable) movie.

Pro-cyling on 10$ a Day – Phil Gaimon

Phil the thrill http://philthethrill.net/ ‘s book charting his early life and primarily his early career.  Yes he was a fat kid, yes he took up cycling and was less fat.  Enjoyable but I can see how it would be less so if you weren’t a cycling fan / interested in knowing a bit more about the lower ranks of the US pro-scene.

Phil’s podcast, Real Talent, http://philthethrill.net/new-podcast-real-talent-with-phil-gaimon/ is, for me, more interesting than his book, being a number of  conversations with other athletes discussing their careers, how they got to where they are, where they are going etc.  Really interesting.

Catching the Wolf of Wall Street – Jordan Belfot

Part 2.  Picks up where part 1 finished, from Belfort’s capture and finishing up with his incarceration.  This is essentially is a story of the breakdown of his marriage and his subsequent relationships.  It’s just as readable as the first book and is enjoyable on that basis alone.  Both books are of course nice easy reads that skip along.  His right hand man Danny Porush said that the film was a distant cousin to the truth with the books being a distant cousin from the film (he may not have used the word cousin).  Enjoyable no matter how unbelievable they may be.