A brilliantly panoramic novel spanning a quarter-century of American life, John Gregory Dunne’s The Red White and Blue tells the story of California's high-profile Broderick family, a tale beginning in the tumult of the 1960s. The clan includes a billionaire San Francisco patriarch, his sons the celebrity priest and Hollywood screenwriter, and his daughter, wife to the brother of the American president. Rounding out the front-line cast is Leah Kaye, a politically radical lawyer once married to the screenwriter Jack Broderick, an ex-newspaperman and the book's narrator. The influence of wealth in American politics. A California agricultural strike. A South American election. The black-power movement. Hollywood movers and shakers. All of this and more is deftly navigated as Dunne sets his main characters and big-canvas forces in motion. Jack himself is pulled into the swirl, his ironic detachment proving insufficient bulwark against dramas that grow darker, more dangerous and more personal as Dunne’s epic unfolds. A robust, bitterly comic portrait of America in the Viet Nam era and after, with a storyline headed towards tragedy, The Red White and Blue — appearing here in digital format for the first time — is John Gregory Dunne at his most ambitious and far-seeing, his gaze sweeping from coast to coast and from decade to American decade.
In this first-ever digital edition of John Gregory Dunne’s acclaimed collection Crooning, readers find evidence from the get-go confirming the writer’s reputation as one of the most clear-seeing, incisive observers of the American cultural and political scene. In sixteen sharp, distinctively voiced essays, Dunne profiles a blacklisted Hollywood screenwriter who three decades later passed himself off as a young Chicano novelist; considers the Kennedy men and conservative William F. Buckley, takes us inside California’s labyrinthine water politics and criminal justice system, details the workings of the Los Angeles county morgue, and is on the ground observing in Jerusalem just weeks before the intifada enveloped the West Bank and Gaza Strip in 1987. Here, too, are superbly entertaining accounts of the Hollywood star system and studio machine, Dunne drawing on two decades of experience as an L.A.-based journalist and fiction-writer with regular forays into screenwriting. He is candid and insightful about the business of writing and life of the dedicated writer as well. In “Laying Pipe,” Dunne chronicles the five-year experience of writing his epic novel The Red White and Blue. And in “Critical,” he focuses on book reviews and reviewers from his perspective as an author who, along with manifold strong notices, also received the occasional critical knock. He names names, and takes the opportunity to fire back at one of his critics. Early in Crooning, Dunne tells us that when he tires of the writing grind, he fantasizes about being a Johnny Mercer-like crooner, then reveals a moment later that he is tone deaf. The title, then, is playful - and in more than one way. Instead of writing sweet narrative melodies, Dunne built his career through work that exposes, challenges, thrums with opinion, and bristles with spiky, knowing humor. Download Crooning and dive into a book of provocative reportage, great stories, and witty, vigorous prose.
In John Gregory Dunne’s celebrated third novel, Los Angeles-based criminal defense attorney Dutch Shea, Jr. struggles to keep from falling apart after an act of terrorist violence strikes his family, the loss pushing him towards a confrontation with his past and into a mystery involving the death of his father, a felon who died in prison. Set in L.A. and Dunne’s hometown of Hartford, Connecticut, the novel follows Shea into a labyrinth of deception, corruption, and criminal malice. Fighting to keep a host of disturbing memories tamped down, Shea plunges into his legal work, one embedding him in a world of scammers and burglars, pimps and prostitutes, corrupt cops and shady private eyes. With unrivaled detail and pitch-black humor, Dunne takes us into police precincts and criminal courtrooms, judge’s chambers and city morgues. The novel’s deft noir touches will remind readers of Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett, while Dunne’s command of legal dynamics and police procedures anticipates fiction by Scott Turow, John Grisham and Michael Connelly. Introducing a sweeping cast of two dozen vivid characters, including Shea’s sometime girlfriend, a judge who packs a pistol under her robe, Dutch Shea, Jr. - a Zola e-book exclusive - is a gripping, bleakly funny exploration of a fallen world through which its past-haunted hero weaves, beset from within and without, for a series of fraught days.
Quintana & Friends gathers thirty-three brilliant essays written by a pioneer of New Journalism between 1963 and 1978. John Gregory Dunne's gifts for keen reportage, subtle storytelling, and articulate opinion on full display, he covers topics ranging from the Hollywood machine to America’s last fight club to departure day for young soldiers shipping out to Viet Nam. In a celebrated baseball essay, he follows San Francisco Giant outfielder Willie Mays as the slugger seeks to break the National League career home-run record, his portrait capturing a prickly veteran not shy, in an age before PR handlers for athletes, of expressing his annoyance with reporters. In “Sneak,” Dunne brings us inside Twentieth-Century Fox’s Minneapolis advance screening of the movie Dr. Doolittle. In “Quebec Zero,” he spends 24 hours underground with a crew of four young men manning nuclear missiles aimed at the Soviet Union, Dunne’s goal “to see how it worked on the mind, to have World War III only an arm’s length away.” In the title essay, Dunne writes of raising his adopted daughter Quintana with wife Joan Didion, speculating about the day the girl might wish to seek out her birth mother. In “Friends,” he writes movingly of a best friend, screenwriter Josh Greenfield, father to an autistic son. “Eureka” celebrates Los Angeles. “Pauline” famously takes down revered New Yorker movie critic Pauline Kael. And in the much-discussed essay “Gone Hollywood,” Dunne blasts the notion that the movie business is a destroyer of writing talent. “The ecology of Hollywood eludes them,” he writes of those who bemoan the studio system’s effects on writers. Echoing this point in the Kael essay, occasional screenwriter Dunne, making reference to an Upper West Side of Manhattan grocery store, famously declares: “The writers who fell apart in Hollywood would have fallen apart in Zabar's.” Download this first-ever digital edition of Quintana & Friends and enjoy John Gregory Dunne at his wittiest, most observant, and powerfully eloquent best.
Los Ángeles, años cuarenta: en un solar se descubre el cadáver mutilado de una joven. La prensa bautiza el caso con el sugerente nombre de la «puta virgen» y, de repente, un asesinato que podría haber pasado desapercibido se convierte en el ojo de un huracán que adquiere cada vez mayores dimensiones.
Dos hermanos, Tom, detective de homicidios, y Des Spellacy, sacerdote con ambiciones políticas dentro de la Iglesia, constituyen los ejes en torno a los cuales desfilan personajes comprometidos en sobornos y tráficos de influencias, que nos llevan de los aposentos de un cardenal a un sórdido prostíbulo de suburbio; de los campos de golf donde los notables juegan sus partidas y entretejen sus redes de poder y corrupción a la humilde feligresía de una parroquia californiana; de policías de moral ambigua que bordean la ilegalidad a la atormentada vida sentimental de Tom, cuya esposa entra en delirios místicos y cuya amante tiene la molesta virtud de despertar su mala conciencia.