Christmas 1951, Los Angeles: a city where the police are as corrupt as the criminals.
Six prisoners are beaten senseless in their cells by cops crazed on alcohol. For the three LAPD detectives involved, it will expose the guilty secrets on which they have built their corrupt and violent careers.
©1990 James Ellroy (P)2015 Random House Audio
One of the two best books by Ellroy...his "Cold Six Thousand" is the other. Gritty, suspenseful, and a great cast of characters. I love Craig Wasson's narrating skills, but I do agree with some other reviews that he appeared to be trying too hard on this one.
Nonetheless...highly recommend this Audiobook.
I write for myself, for my own pleasure. And I want to be left alone to do it. - Salinger ^(;,;)^
Like Fight Club, 'L.A. Confidential' is one of those contemporary novels that provides a certain literary difficulty for readers who come to it AFTER the film dropped because the directors (David Fincher, Curtis Hanson) created such large, iconic images out of the novels. L.A. Confidential's major characters are all very similar to the movie, but there are some major omissions and changes made in the movie that keep Elloroy's urtext both novel and different enough, to warrant your buck and your time.
Ellroy is a modern master of the slow build, the dark, back motives, the inevitable bloodbath. I think of the image of three big waves cresting together when I think of Edmund "Ed" Exley, Wendell "Bud" White, John "Jack" Vincennes, and their personal demons, all coming together to exact justice, each for their own reasons and with their own baggage and agendas. Anyway, it was all deftly done.
The novel also contains many of the usual Ellroy tropes: pornography, children haunted by the actions of their parents, prostitutes, vice-in-general, the mob, corrupt cops, heroic cops with fatal flaws, femme fatales, queers, shrinks, plastic surgery, and a dark undercurrent that cuts thorough the heart of both L.A. and Hollywood. The world Ellory paints is dark, harsh, and often perverse. It isn't a place you want to raise a family or even walk a dog.
My only gripe with the narration is sometimes I think Wasson only has one voice for jews, one voice for women, one voice for thugs. I would have probably served the narration better to tone down some of the character narration. The story creates enough drama, no need to turn it to 11.
the plot, while at times complex enough that I had to rewind, was very satisfying and engaging. the ending was both rewarding and somewhat sad. hands down the most magnificent performance by a narrator I have yet to come across. definitely listen to this book!
no too overblown
some details could be eliminated. hard to follow
tried to hard too impersonate the various people in the story. i liked the performance of the big nowhere -- more neutral and simple. ellroys's stories complicated enough. they benefit from being told simply.
Yes. I can't listen to the print version on my commute.
Yes. This book has a well developed plot. Ellroy at his best.
Craig Wasson was great!
Better than movie
Trying too much!!!
The whole story
I have listened to many audiobooks in my time. This time I have to say that the reader tried too hard. It is a shame really because when I saw this title in the pre-order section I thought christmas came early this year. I felt so let down because the reader in my mind tries too hard.
A thrilling and gripping story. Violent, intense and intriguing. The story stalls out slightly in and around part 3 but accelerates towards an exciting and shocking ending. Craig Wasson is brilliant as the reader.
For newcomers and anyone already familiar with Ellroy's classic sprawling crime novel, this audio version of L.A. Confidential is worth a listen. Wasson tackles author's curt, biting style expertly in narration and highlights the three main characters' complexities in a way the movie doesn't come close to touching. Some of his characters come across as stereotypical voices - Inez Soto - for instance, while others lapse into unintentional comedy: see Yorkin and Jack Vincennes as Jack Nicholson's The Joker, Sid Hudgins as Snaglepuss smoking a pack a minute and the Lucky Charms leprechaun appearing as Dudley Smith. Still, Wasson does a good job of helping Ellroy's sometimes too-fast moving riffs come across as plot development. Audible should consider changing the thumbnail for this title - I can only imagine how much better the original version narration by film actor David Strathairn, who originally played Pierce Patchett, is comparatively.
Make it clear who's talking - I couldn't distinguish between characters.
Yes, it wasn't horrible but it was very hard to follow.
Written like a screenplay and not a book. The author doesn't distinguish between characters in dialogue so it's very hard to know who's talking and when.
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