The approaching US election has given me a hankering for sprawling state-of-the-nation books, and I dipped back into my library and have been re-reading some attempts at the Great American Novel. Last week it was American Pastoral by Philip Roth and this week I’m re-reading American Tabloid by James Ellroy. American Tabloid is one of my favourite books, chronicling the compromises, manoeuvrings and corruption of a supposedly more innocent and idealistic time. It might be about Camelot, but the knights of the round table are anything but chivalrous. I love it.