I actually cried a little today when I read the end of 'Vendetta,' Alston Purvis' story of the life of his father, Melvin Purvis. Even if Purvis hadn't lived in such remarkable times and been involved in such amazing historic events, the story of his fractured family was captivating (although it was not the focus of the book, by any means).
The real focus of the book is the relationship between Purvis and J. Edgar Hoover. The epilogue did the most to explain the lurid title, the decision to make the book center around Hoover's animus and active campaign against Purvis, even 25 years after the agent left the Bureau. Doris Rogers, Purvis' secretary in the 30s, was one of the important contributors to the book; and in the epilogue Alston explains that she told him--exhorted him--to make the book "angry"--as angry as she was, even at 90 years of age, at the treatment of her boss, Melvin Purvis.
I got the new edition of the book (done for the release of 'Public Enemies' with a quote from Christian Bale on the cover), but the original was even more lurid. Go under the cut for the cover photo and the quote.
Christian's quote:"This book never left my side throughout the filming of Public Enemies. Melvin spoke to me through its pages. Alston has done us, and his father, a great service in recording Melvin Purvis' dynamic and tragic life here."
It really is a well-written book, no doubt thanks in part to Alex Treswiowski, the co-author. Yes, it's too personal, too analytical and too preachy from time to time, but overall I found it fascinating, enlightening and even heart-breaking.
And, it's GREAT background for fanfic. Now's the dilemma . . . can I stomach messing further with the life of a man who's already been misunderstood and fictionalized, even in government files, by writing slash fiction about him . . . especially slash fiction about the very relationship that, for all intents and purposes, finally destroyed him?
Hmmm . . . drum roll . . . uh, yes. I can. After all, it's the Bale character I'm borrowing, not the actual man.
I'll be sure to put an added disclaimer in my template.