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The Onion Field | [Joseph Wambaugh]

The Onion Field

Hollywood. Saturday night. A broken taillight leads to a routine traffic stop. It shouldn’t have changed the lives of the four men involved, but it did. The Onion Field is the frighteningly true story of a fatal collision of destinies that would lead two young cops and two young robbers to a deserted field on the outskirts of Los Angeles, towards a bizarre execution and its terrible aftermath.
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Publisher's Summary

Hollywood. Saturday night. A broken taillight leads to a routine traffic stop. It shouldn’t have changed the lives of the four men involved, but it did. The Onion Field is the frighteningly true story of a fatal collision of destinies that would lead two young cops and two young robbers to a deserted field on the outskirts of Los Angeles, towards a bizarre execution and its terrible aftermath.

The Onion Field is the basis for the movie starring James Woods and John Savage.

©1973 Joseph Wambaugh (P)2010 Audible, Inc.

What the Critics Say

“More ambitious than In Cold Blood and equally compelling.” (The New York Times)

“Wambaugh is the best in the business.” (Kathy Reichs)

“No other writer illuminates the heart beneath the badge better or more honestly than Joseph Wambaugh" (Robert Crais)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.8 (337 )
5 star
 (120)
4 star
 (103)
3 star
 (61)
2 star
 (31)
1 star
 (22)
Overall
3.8 (255 )
5 star
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3 star
 (41)
2 star
 (24)
1 star
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Story
4.0 (260 )
5 star
 (102)
4 star
 (84)
3 star
 (45)
2 star
 (17)
1 star
 (12)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Aurora Leos Orange County, CA USA 05-28-13
    Aurora Leos Orange County, CA USA 05-28-13 Member Since 2015

    Artist/crafter and writer

    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    13
    13
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Pulse-pounding and gripping! Couldn't put it down!"

    Joseph Wambaugh, a master at storytelling, I found this book almost too heard to continue listening... he puts you right in the middle of the event! At times too frightening!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Fiona 01-30-12
    Fiona 01-30-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    299
    8
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Too much minutiae for my taste"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    Better suited to someone who enjoys details of how someone's life has led them to this point.


    Has The Onion Field turned you off from other books in this genre?

    No I will still try other books in this genre.


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    The narrator was fine.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Onion Field?

    I find the minutiae excruciating to read and would prefer more action


    Any additional comments?

    I got about half way before I gave up and still there was no onion field!

    7 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda Greenville, SC, United States 11-03-10
    Linda Greenville, SC, United States 11-03-10 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    26
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    309
    14
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
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    Overall
    "Never a dull moment!"

    Fast paced and really enthralling. Wambaugh draws you in and never lets go. I love his books. Wish more were available on audible. Very credit worthy!

    9 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Russell 04-07-11
    Russell 04-07-11 Member Since 2008

    I love books and animals.I enjoy all sorts of genres, anything from history to supernatural.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    240
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    214
    96
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    30
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    Overall
    "Good.... but LONG"

    This was a good book, but it felt as though it was longer than it should have been.

    I think the author did a good job of injecting feeling and emotions into his work, but he included way too many details and was a bit too wordy. This reminded me of In cold blood by Truman Capote - but much wordier.

    The narrator did a fantastic job - if it was not for this great narration I probably could not have finished this book.

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeremy 09-01-14
    Jeremy 09-01-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    29
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Need to listen at 2x speed"

    Not that this makes this dated dud a worthwhile experience, but playing the recording at double speed makes it a quicker one while sacrificing nothing. Just a tip.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Suzy Kearney, MO, United States 05-10-11
    Suzy Kearney, MO, United States 05-10-11 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    21
    2
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    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Overall
    "Can't even finish it"

    This book was so slow to start, and I did not find it enjoyable at all.

    4 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tamica Tucson, AZ, United States 04-19-15
    Tamica Tucson, AZ, United States 04-19-15 Member Since 2012

    tsears

    HELPFUL VOTES
    22
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    32
    31
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    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
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    Performance
    Story
    "longer than necessary but ok"

    I enjoyed this book overall. It was slow in some parts, a lot of detail but it was a good story. Very sad that it happened.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kim 04-06-15
    Kim 04-06-15 Member Since 2012
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    8
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Long"

    It was to long the court seen could have been shorten. Wanted to know more about the farmer that help.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    I. Langford 03-27-15
    I. Langford 03-27-15 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not worth the money or cost."

    Too long, boring at times, just drags on and on, does flow well, seems writer loses train of thought.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John 03-09-15
    John 03-09-15 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Sad true story."

    This is an excellent factual chronicle of a murder and the destruction of the many lives it destroyed. I'm a cop story loved but this one is hard to listen to and senseless like all murders.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
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